The number seven turned out to be lucky for the two athletes on the men’s Rice Track & Field team.
Three days after teammate Chris Pillow finished seventh in the pole vault, Evan Karakolis took seventh Saturday in the javelin at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. Both Owls will come home as First Team All-Americans, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in a decade.
Karakolis best throw of the afternoon was 68.91. He bested fellow C-USA competitor Joshua Cox of Louisiana Tech (65.03 meters) and fellow Texas university counterparts Devin Bogert of Texas A&M (66.14 meters) and Fabian Dohmann of Texas (64.41 meters). Sam Crouser of Oregon won the event (76.98 meters) on his home track.
Karakolis, who hails from Scarborough, Ontario, was a little off his C-USA and NCAA Prelims marks. He topped just over 69 meters in each of those. He is the Rice record holder in the event (70.8 meters).
The sophomore is the first male Rice athlete to be a javelin All-American since Ricky Jacobs 1967.
Two Rice women athletes also had events on Saturday. Claire Uke capped her junior season by taking 16th place in the shot put and earning Second-Team All-American.
Uke’s top throw Saturday was 16.01 meters. That was a meter less than her performances at the Conference USA Championships (17.18 meters) and the NCAA West Prelims (17.16 meters). The 17.18 is a career high.
Athletes finishing 9-16 achieve Second-Team All-American status. Uke was First Team All-American after taking 8th at the NCAA Indoor Championship in March. The last Owl to achieve All-American honors in both indoor and outdoor was Wendi Miller in 1989.
Uke’s finish was two spots higher than last year. She was the only Owl to compete at the Outdoor Championships in consecutive seasons.
Iowa State’s Christina Hillman won the event with a throw of 17.73 meters.
Belle MacFarlane of Rice did not clear the bar on her three high jump attempts. She recorded a no height at 1.72 meters. The sophomore was one of four athletes to not record a height.
McFarlane was coming off a personal record 1.77 meters at NCAA West Prelims. She won the J. Fred Duckett Twilight and the Victor Lopez Classic on campus earlier this spring. She was the only Conference USA Athlete to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championship.
Georgia’s Leontia Kallenou won the high jump with a height of 1.89 meters.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t have a better finish today from both Claire and Belle,” said Rice women’s track coach Jim Bevan in a news release. “Claire was off today but she had the best year of a shot putter since Regina Cavanaugh and she’ll be back. I’m definitely glad both her and Belle are underclassmen.”