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Monday, October 02, 2023 — Houston, TX

Track and field begins outdoor season at Texas Southern relays

By Shannon Foreman     3/25/14 7:56pm

The Rice University men’s and women’s track and field teams began their outdoor season this past weekend at the Texas Southern University Relays at TSU in San Marcos, Texas.

The Rice University men’s and women’s track and field teams began their outdoor season this past weekend at the Texas Southern University Relays at TSU in San Marcos, Texas.

Several Owls performed strongly at the meet, especially junior Claire Uke, who won the shot put event with a personal-best mark of 4.1 meters, the second-best throw in the nation last week.

Uke said she was surprised by her own performance and hopes the momentum will carry through the rest of the season.

“I actually wasn’t expecting to throw that far on Saturday, so I’m really excited about how the season is going to progress,” Uke said. “If things pan out correctly, I should be able to peak toward the end of [the] outdoor season when things really count.”

Many other field athletes also surpassed their previous personal-best performances. In the women’s pole vault, sophomore McKenzie Johnson won the event with a vault of 4.1 meters, the fifth-best mark in the country last weekend, and junior Alisha Janke returned from injury to break her own personal best to finish in third place with a vault of 3.8 meters. 

The Rice women carried their success into the running events as well. Junior sprinter Tyneisha McCoy finished fifth in the 100-meter with a time of 12.39. Senior Heather Olson ran 4:36.59 in the 1500-meter to earn the top collegiate spot.

The Rice men also found success in the 1500-meter, in which they took five of the top six spots. 

Sophomore Harry Sagel, who led the Owls in the meet, said he was happy with the team’s efforts but is looking forward to continual improvement later in the season.

“As a team, the objective is to improve on last season’s times and aim for a win in as many events as possible,” Sagel said. “Right now, it’s just the first stepping stone towards bigger and more important meets later on in the season.”

Other strong performances on the men’s side included redshirt freshman Filip Drozdowski’s fourth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles, senior vaulter Alex Hsu’s second-place finish in the pole vault and sophomore thrower Evan Karakolis’s third-place finish in the javelin.

Men’s track and field Head Coach Jon Warren said he was pleased with the start to the outdoor season but knows the team has much more potential.

“Getting off to a good start is pretty important since we only have eight weeks until the outdoor conference meet,” Warren said. “We are still looking for significant improvement as the season progresses, but I am happy with the start.”

The Owls will next compete at Rice on Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30 at the Victor Lopez Classic, which will feature over 20 collegiate teams.


TSU relays Results - March 22-23

Junior Claie Uke - 1st place shot put 

Senior Heather Olsen - 2nd place 1500m

Freshman Daisy Ding - 2nd place triple jump

Sophomore McKenzie Johnson - 1st pole vault

Freshman Ijeoma Ugwunze - 2nd place discus

Junior Alicia Jahnke - 3rd place pole vault

Freshman Daisy Ding - 3rd place high jump

Senior Alec Hsu - 2nd place pole vault

Sophomore Evan Karakolis - 3rd place javelin 

Sophomore Harry Sagel - 1st place 1500m

Senior Alex Weinheimer - 2nd place 1500m 

Sophomore William Roberts - 3rd place 1500m

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