SUGAR LAND, Texas – The Rice Owls men’s and women’s cross country teams each recorded victories Friday afternoon at the HBU Invitational at Sugar Creek Park.
The men competed in a dual meet against host Houston Baptist, defeating the Huskies 20-37 in a four mile race. The Owls claimed four of the top five finishing spots, including an individual victory by redshirt junior Marco Ruiz, who won the 22-runner field with a time of 20:31. Imran Bell (2nd-20:41), Griffin Lee (4th-20:53) and Adolfo Carvalho (5th-21:01) rounded out the top five. Other Owls earned points were William Roberts (8th-21:24), Matt Calem (11th-21:45) and Clay Musial (12th-21:47).
As a team, the Owls averaged a four-mile time of 20:54 per runner.
“That’s the best team effort we’ve had all year,” Rice men’s cross country head coach Jon Warren said. “Marco was really solid from beginning to end.”
The men will next prep for the Crimson Classic next Friday in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Meanwhile the Rice women delivered their third victory of the season with a split squad defeating both Houston Baptist and Texas Southern with only 18 team points. The Owls averaged a time of 18:56.28 per runner in the 5000m race.
The Owls placed three runners in the top five, led by Fabiola Andujar-Perez’s second place finish of 18:18. Abby Halm (3rd-18:33) and Anna Figueroa (4th-18:54) also placed in the top five. Other Owls to earn points were Ellen Diemert (6th-19:04), Rachel Peterson (8th-19:49) and Lucrecia Aguilar (20th-21:00)
“We had a very good performance today and it was a chance for our young ladies that work so hard to enjoy the spotlight of running up front,” Rice women’s cross country head coach Jim Bevan said. “We were able to execute well on a hot, windy day. It was a good race for our team and we are continuing to develop with the Pre-Nationals and the Southwestern Invitational coming up next week.”