Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
SEATTLE, Wash./POCATELLO, Idaho – Feb. 1 – Southern Utah’s men raced to several Big Sky qualifying marks at the UW Invitational, led by Mike Tate with a second-best SUU record in the mile and Nate Jewkes with a first-place finish in the 5,000-meter run. The Thunderbirds spent the weekend split between two meets, as a portion of the squad competed at Washington and the rest of the squad returned to Pocatello for Idaho State’s Mountain States Games.
Tate raced to a top Southern Utah finish in the men’s mile, finishing 10th at the Washington meet with a conference qualifying time of 4:03.84. Tate’s finish places him second only to Cam Levins (3:57.16) in the school records.
“It is so crazy that we have a freshman setting our No. 2 all-time record,” head coach Eric Houle said. “Cam Levins didn’t come close to recording these kinds of performances as a freshman.”
The rest of the distance squad also excelled at UW, with Jewkes racing to a first-place finish in the 5,000-meters and time of 14:09.89. Dylan Marx followed in fourth place with a 14:21.78 and Ibrahim Ahmed came next with a 10th-place time of 14:37.62. All three Thunderbirds qualified for the Big Sky championship, with Jewkes’ time falling only one second behind his indoor personal best and third-place SUU record of 14:08.57. Marx time ranks sixth in the school record books.
Russell Nielson represented Southern Utah’s jumpers at UW and recorded a fifth-place mark of 6-10.25 in the high jump, tying for second place in the Thunderbird records.
Sprinter Arnold Carrillo also broke into Southern Utah’s records with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash. Carrillo’s time of 48.99 qualifies him for a spot at the conference championship and ranks 10th in the university’s all-time top ten. Shaun Murray and Preston Myers also raced in Seattle and recorded season bests of 6.81 in the 60-meter dash and 21.89 in the 200-meter dash, respectively.
Jayson Kovar was the only thrower to compete for the men at Washington. Finishing eighth in the shot put, the sophomore set a new personal best of 54-7.25 and now ranks third in SUU’s top ten for the event.
Thrower Jordan Parker led the T-Birds at Idaho State, placing third in the weight throw with a mark of 49-6.25. Sean Newcomb represented the distance squad in the 3,000-meters with a third-place time of 8:37.02, while Kacey Hutchinson (1:58.24) and Michael Cruz (2:06.62) raced to fifth- and eighth-place respective finishes in the 800-meter run.
“All of these performances show that our athletes are crazy good,” Houle continued. “Their work ethic and desire to be successful really enable them to compete with these top teams and do well.”
The Thunderbird squads will reunite next weekend when the team returns to Flagstaff, Ariz., for NAU’s Mountain T’s Invitational on Feb. 7-8.