SUU Strategic Communications

Jayson Kovar Headed To Nationals For Second Straight Season

May 27, 2017
By SUU Strategic Communication

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AUSTIN, Texas - Competition came to a close at NCAA West Prelims on Saturday evening, and one Thunderbird will have an opportunity to continue their season at the NCAA National Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Senior discus thrower Jayson Kovar will have one more meet in a Southern Utah University singlet, as he finished fourth in his event at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Kovar threw a season-best of 191' 2'' on his third and final throw of competition to finish with the fourth furthest mark in the field.

“I feel relieved and I'm just glad that I'm able to go back,” Kovar said. “I didn't want this to be my last meet, so I just went out there and tried to do what I know how to do and pulled it off.”

Last season in Eugene Kovar earned Second Team All-American status, and said this time around he's hoping to break into the First Team category.   

“I've just got to stay relaxed,” Kovar said when asked what he learned last year that can help him this season. “My first throw was my best throw and then I had five more throws that I tried too hard on and just tensed up. I've just got to stay relaxed and keep it smooth and I'll be good.”

Two other Thunderbirds were in action on Saturday, with Kasey Knevelbaard competing in the 1,500-meter and the 5,000-meter, and Mike Tate also competing in the 5K.

Knevelbaard finished ninth in his heat in the 1,500-meter with a time of 3:51.63. He also finished ninth in the field, but competitors from the first heat that finished with slower times received automatic qualifying spots by finishing in the top five.

Both Tate and Knevelbaard saw extremely successful seasons come to a close in the 5,000-meter, as they finished 10th and 11th in their heat with times of 14:42.12 and 14:43.88 respectively. Overall, Tate was 19th and Knevelbaard was 21st.

Both Tate and Knevelbaard had very memorable outdoor campaigns. Tate set the second fastest 5K time in school history with a 13:32.28 and Knevelbaard set the fastest 1,500-meter time in Southern Utah University history with a 3:41.76.

The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships will run from June 7-10 at the Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. The meet will be aired on the ESPN family of networks.  

For all things SUU track and field follow @SUUTrackandxc on Twitter and Instagram and like the Southern Utah Track and XC page on Facebook.