Track & Field To Host Howie Ryan Invitational This Weekend
Jan. 30, 2014
HOUSTON - Three strong meets have pushed the University of Houston track and field program to a top 25 ranking and the Cougars look to continue their streak as they host the 2014 Howie Ryan Invitational and Multi-events this weekend at the Yeoman Fieldhouse.
More than 850 athletes and 63 teams are scheduled to attend including Rice, Houston Baptist, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Lamar, Texas State, Northwestern State (Louisiana), McNeese State, San Diego State, Sam Houston State, South Florida, UTSA, UT-Tyler, Prairie View A&M, Grambling State, Southern, North Texas and Texas Lutheran.
The meet will begin with the women's weight throw starting Friday at 10 a.m. The multi-event athletes will have their first chance this season to compete in the women's pentathlon and men's heptathlon beginning Friday at noon.
Following the multi's, the women's pole vault will start the second round of field events at 3 p.m. The running events begin at 4:30 p.m. and follow a rolling schedule.
On Saturday, the women's shot put will begin at 9 a.m. followed by the last three events of the men's heptathlon. The running events will begin at noon following the Cougar Senior Day presentation.
ABOUT HOWIE RYAN
While competing for Houston, Ryan set new school records in the 1,500m, 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase. He was a nationally ranked competitor and participated in 12 national championships. No doubt Ryan had the endurance for distance, the agility to make it over steeples, and the speed to compete at the national level.
Former head track and field coach, Tom Tellez, remembered Ryan as "a kind individual that would do anything for others and he was a tough competitor."
In 1966, he was an NCAA All-American and later pursued excellence as he qualified for the 1972 Olympic Trials in the 5,000m run and in the steeplechase and again in 1976 in the steeplechase.
Following his competitive career, Howie began his coaching career at the high school level in 1970 before returning to his alma mater in 1976 where he was a coach for the Cougars for 26 seasons.
"I hired him right away and he was with me my whole time at UH. He related well with the athletes and was very knowledgeable about distance running," Tellez said.
After a coaching career that spanned decades and included the mentoring of numerous champions, he retired in 2002.
His life was short-lived as the Cougar great passed away on June 3, 2008 at the age of 63.
"Howie Ryan was all about his athletes," former athlete, Kyle Tellez recalled. "He would run with us during workouts, and he pushed as both a coach and training partner."
Ryan's contributions not only as an athlete, but also as a coach and mentor serve as a lasting legacy to the Houston cross-country and track and field programs. He will forever be remembered for his ability to motivate and lead by example.