SUU Distance Runners Rack Up Big Sky Qualifying Times at UW
"These are the meets and weekends that turn average athletes into great athletes," head coach Eric Houle commented. "It is great to see these top-ten finishes at such a competitive meet, especially with the Big Sky qualifying marks."
Jamie Smith led the women with a third-place overall finish in the 5,000-meters, recording a top conference time of 16:47.36 and ranking second in Southern Utah's all-time records behind 2012 graduate Diana Medina-Mitchell. Kirsten Bradford and Sylvia Bedford came next with sixth and eighth-place respective times of 16:57.78 and 17:07.28, also ranking in the Big Sky top-three and SUU all-time records. Dayna VanArsdol (17:44.28) and Shelli Mogensen (17:51.92) also raced in the 5,000-meters, finishing 13th and 16th respectively. All five women met the conference standard of 18:00.00 for the event and will go on to represent Southern Utah at the indoor championship.
Fellow distance runner Kaylee Coates also earned a place at the championship after a 2:14.92 finish in the 800-meter run and now ranks fifth in the Big Sky.
The men's distance squad also broke into the Big Sky top ten at Washington as Clinton Rhoton raced to a seventh-place finish in the men's 5,000-meter run with a conference qualifying time of 14:25.14. Rhoton's time places him second in the conference, as well as fifth in the all-time school records. Teammate Ryan Barrus led the T-Birds in the 3,000-meters with a qualifying time of 8:20.86 and now ranks sixth in the conference.
Freshman Arnold Carrillo earned a spot at the indoor championship as he led the field at Washington with a first-place overall finish in the 400-meter dash. Carrillo's time of 48.57 places him third in the Big Sky and seventh in the SUU record books. Fellow sprinter Shaun Murrary tied his own personal record and qualifying time of 6.79 in the 60-meter dash with a fourth-place finish while Preston Myers represented the T-Birds with a fifth-place time of 22.16 in the 200-meters.
Kayla Kovar led the throwers at UW, placing fourth in the shot put with a 49-9.25 toss. Chris Johnson and Jayson Kovar were the only throwers competing for SUU on the men's side and finished sixth and 10th in the shot put with respective marks of 50-4.50 and 50-0.
The teams will once again split between two venues as they spend the upcoming weekend on the road. One group will travel north to Idaho State's Mountain States Games in Pocatello, Idaho, on Feb. 1-2. The rest of the team will head south, returning to Flagstaff, Ariz., for NAU's Mountain Ts Invitational on Feb. 2.