COLLEGE STATION, Texas
- Rice sophomore Hociel Landa
and senior Clay Musial
each placed in the Top-25 at Friday's NCAA South Central Regional to earn All-Regional honors and guide the Owls to their highest team finish (fourth) since 2004.
The Owls placed fourth overall with 141 points, while Arkansas (59 points), Texas (76 points) and Texas A&M (135 points) finished 1st-3rd, respectively.
"The course and weather were great for a cross country meet," Rice head coach Jon Warren
said. "To a person, each athlete responded as was needed and put up a great performance. We got out well and stayed close together to snag fourth and just missed beating Texas A&M for third, while defeating C-USA champion North Texas. Hociel and Clay both ran great. Matt had his best race of the season and only a few seconds back were Alex and Adolfo. The speed difference from our 1-5 was only 51 seconds. It was a great team effort to end the year."
Rice entered the meet ranked 11th in the USTFCCCA South Central Regional Poll, yet finished above seven teams ranked higher than them in the Oct. 29 rankings
The Owls placed six runners in the Top-50 overall, led by Landa's 19th place (32:18) result in the 10k race. The Phoenix, Ariz. native improved by 12 spots from last year's race at the NCAA South Central Regional. Musial, from Elgin, Ill., made a late surge to finish 21st (32:27), jumping 12 spots in the final stages to earn his first career All-Regional honor.
Redshirt sophomore Matthew Murray
just missed out on joining Landa and Musial in the Top-25, placing 27th overall in a time of 32:43. Sophomore Alex Topini
(40th-33:08) and junior Adolfo Carvalho
(41st-33:09) earned the Owls final points while freshman Andrew Abikhaled
placed 47th (33:23) and senior Bradley Dohner
concluded his Rice cross country career by finishing 87th (34:23).