BOCA RATON, FL
- The Rice men's and women's cross country teams will be vying for a league title this Saturday, Oct. 27 at the 2018 Conference USA Championships, which will be hosted by Florida Atlantic at the Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park.
The women will run a 5k race at 7:30 a.m. (CT) followed by the men's 8k trek at 8:15 a.m. (CT).
The Rice women have won four C-USA team titles (2005, 2007, 2015, 2016) and have finished in the top three in 11 of the 13 seasons they've competed in the league.
The Owls enter Saturday's race ranked eighth in the latest USTFCCCA South Central Regional rankings. Aside from the Owls, Southern Miss (10th-South) and Middle Tennessee (11th-South) also rank in the top 15 in regional polls.
The 2018 edition of the Owls is one of Jim Bevan
's youngest squads to date, with 11 underclassmen and no seniors. Sophomore Lourdes Vivas de Lorenzi
has been one of the Owls top finishers this season and was named the C-USA Athlete of the Week on Sept. 11.
Rice is coming off a second place at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational back on Oct. 13, in which Lorenzi placed 7th overall. Other top competitors to look our for on Saturday include freshman Ryann Helmers
, junior Khayla Patel
, and freshman Ashley Messineo
The Rice men, who placed third at C-USA's last season, have finished in the top three at the C-USA Championships in nine of the last 13 seasons and will be vying for their first-ever C-USA team title on Saturday.
The Owls are ranked 10th in the latest USTFCCCA South Central Regional rankings. Senior Clay Musial
has been the Owls top finisher twice, while freshman Hociel Landa
has been among the top three Owl finishers in all races. Sophomore Alex Topini
will also be a key runner for the Owls.
Two other teams across C-USA are ranked in the Top-15 in the USTFCCCA Regional rankings, which includes North Texas (8th-South Central) and Charlotte (13th-Southeast).