T&F Shines In Three Different Meets, Knevelbaard Sets School Record
CEDAR CITY, Utah - The Thunderbird track and field teams are split up between the state of Texas and the state of California, with the distance squads competing at the Stanford Invitational and the San Francisco State Distance Carnival and the rest of the team competing at the Texas Relays.
Kasey Knevelbaard had a huge showing at the Stanford Invitational, setting a new school record in the men’s 1,500-meter. The sophomore ran a 3:41.76, which is the fastest mark in school history. Knevelbaard broke the previous mark of 3:42.61 that was held by Cam Levins. He won the event at the meet, beating out some of the best competition in the entire country.
Knevelbaard currently has the best time in the 1,500-meter in the entire country.
“All of our athletes are very fit, and Kasey showed that on the track today,” SUU head coach Eric Houle said. “To finish the final 300 meters in 40 seconds is all-american type speed. He just showed how strong this program is, and what is in store for us.”
Mike Tate had a huge day as well, running the second-fastest time in school history in the men’s 5,000-meter run.
Tate finished with a 13:39.81, which puts him No. 2 in the entire country currently. He sits only behind Cam Levins, who claimed a NCAA National Championship in the event.
“We redshirt athletes to help build their strength and fitness level, and it can be a tough year sometimes because you’re pretty much racing on your own,” Houle said. “Mike was able to weather that year and follow the system to get stronger and now we're seeing the benefit on the track.”
Matt Wright ran a personal best of 14:09.44 in the 5,000-meter. The time puts him seventh all-time in the history of the program. He finished third in his section.
On Friday two Southern Utah javelin throwers were able to set impressive marks. Jeff Rowley set a 199’ 11’’, which is just short of his Big Sky-leading mark of 205’ 11’’. Skyler Porcaro, who is in his first competition since being sidelined with an injury, is now second in the Big Sky Conference in the event with a mark of 189’ 8’’.
Tre James improved on his career-best, as the freshman ran a 10.541 in the 100-meter dash.
The men’s 4x400 team hit a season-best of 3:16.26, with Inoa Wahinehookae, Montgomery, Harley and Lewis setting the mark.
The women’s 4x400 team ran a season-best as well, as the group of Carly Dalton, Mia Russell, Peyton Green and Linnea Saltz hit a 3:52.27.
In his 2017 outdoor debut SUU’s Jayson Kovar threw the discus 180’ 3’’ to finish fourth amongst the field in Austin.
San Francisco State Distance Carnival
Ashley Tyndall put up the best performance for the women’s team at the Distance Carnival hosted by San Francisco State, setting the second-fastest time in the history of the program in the 10,000-meter. She ran the 10K in a 35:41.29, finishing eighth in a stacked field.
Kaylee Abel set a new personal best in the 10K as well, breaking her previous mark by 98 seconds with a 37:21.73.
In the women’s 1,500-meter Paige Cardiff and Morgan Vorwaller both set personal bests. Cardiff ran a 4:38.45 and Vorwaller ran a 4:51.25.
Josie Riggs ran the women’s 5,000-meter in a time of 17:03.24, which was a personal best by nearly 50 seconds.
Three freshmen also ran in the women’s 5K on Friday, with Maddy Kauffman (17:52.10), Julia Mahlke (17:52.59) and Julieta Navarrete-Lamas (18:02.24) all setting solid times.
“Our women’s program is looking stronger and stronger and stronger, and it’s been great to see those athletes develop,” Houle said about the women’s distance team.
In the men’s 1,500-meter Jason Quinn ran a 3:55.51, Michael Finch ran a 4:02.17 and Kyle Warrick ran a 4:04.25.
The T-Birds will have some athletes continuing competition on Saturday at the same events they competed at on Friday.
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