XC Opens Season at Rice Invitational (Men-2nd, Women-3rd; Reyna wins Men's 4K)

Action begins at 6:15 p.m., Friday with the women’s 4,000-meter race with the men slated to follow at 6:45 p.m., in a 6,000-meter run. The event will be held on the intramural fields on the campus of Rice University.

The Cougar men return 10 letterwinners from the 2016 season, and welcome back redshirt seniors Brian Barraza and Gabe Lara. Lara is scheduled to make his return to the track at Friday’s invitational. Junior G.J. Reyna also makes his return to the track at Rice after finishing as Houston’s top runner in six of the squad’s seven meets a year ago.

“Everyone always talks about Brian (Barraza) being the guy and the leader, and he is, but it’s been great to see G.J. step up,” Head Coach Steve Magness said. “This is a guy that didn’t make our travel squad his freshman year for conference, and last year he took a step up and was in the 20s at conference, and now to pull off a win against a good field shows he’s taking steps and making progress. He’s going to be a leader. He’s going to follow in the footsteps of Brian, and that’s what we need.”


Ebony White and Meredith Sorensen were both essentially hurt the entire year last season,” Magness said after the race, “and to see them come off major injuries and return and battle up front is inspiring and shows both of their characters and work ethic and determination.”