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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University track & field will have a total of eight student-athletes representing the Thunderbirds at this weekend’s NCAA first round in Austin, Texas. The group will compete against and represent the top track & field athletes in the nation.
The group includes Jamie Smith and Kirsten Bradford in the women’s 5k and Shay Maurer-Springall in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. They will be joined by Sean Murray and Preston Myers in the men’s 100-meters, Kodai Kusano in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, Ryan Barrus in the men’s 5k and Nate Jewkes in the men’s 10k.
Murray and Jewkes will enter the competition as Big Sky Conference champions in their respective events as Murray raced to a personal-best time of 10.47, setting a facility record and claiming first in the men’s 100-meters. Jewkes’ captured Southern Utah first individual title during the championship with his performance in the men’s 10k. The time was slower than his season best of 29:08.04 which currently ranks ninth among runners in the West.
Smith ranks in the top-20 of the West in the women’s 5k with a season-best time of 16:08.94 in the event, a time she ran at the Mt. SAC Relays earlier in the year. Bradford also ran her season-best mark of 16:31.70 at the Mt. SAC Relays with teammate Danielle Jewkes narrowly missing a qualifying time by the slightest margin after running 16:32.78, also at the Mt. SAC Relays.
Maurer-Springall qualified to the NCAA postseason with a 13.56 time in the 100-meter hurdles, set at the BYU Robison Invitational and Barrus punched his ticket in the 5k with a 14:02.59 time at the Mt. SAC Relays. Kusano ran a season-best time of 14.40 at the Big Sky Conference championship to clinch his spot.
Murray, Myers and Jewkes will open the competition for the T-Birds with the 100-meter prelims and 10,000-meters scheduled for Thursday. Maurer-Springall and Kusano will then compete on Friday in the hurdles with the 100-meter dash finals also scheduled that same day. The men’s and women’s 5k will wrap up the competition for the T-Birds on Saturday night.