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CEDAR CITY, Utah - June 9 - Southern Utah University’s Kayla Kovar will head to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field championships this weekend as one of only three competitors in the nation to qualify in three separate events. Kovar is set to compete in the women’s hammer on Wednesday, women’s discus on Thursday and the women’s shot put on Saturday.
The Ridgecrest, Calif. native will enter the meet on the heels of having been named the 2014 Mountain Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. She picked up the award after her performance at regionals - a 10th-place finish in the shot put and discus and second-place finish in the hammer. Kovar also had a strong showing at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships, placing second in the hammer and discus and claiming an individual title in the shot put.
Kovar’s season included school records in all three events after season-best throws of 53 feet 6.5 inches in the shot put, 216 feet nine inches in the hammer and 178 feet one inch in the discus. Her distance in the hammer is more than 20 feet greater than the previous school best, thrown by NCAA national qualifier Kristi Koplin in 2010 (196-7).
Kovar will be making her second appearance on the national stage this week, having already qualified for the indoor championships in March. At indoors, Kovar finished 10th in the shot put, throwing 53 feet 3.75 inches.
SUU has had a representative at the NCAA Nationals in each of the past five seasons. The run has included a pair of individual titles as Cam Levins stood atop the podium in the men’s 5k and 10k in 2012. Levins went on to win the 2012 Bowerman Award, the highest honor in collegiate track & field, and to represent Canada at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Fans can follow Kovar’s performance at the national championships with recaps available online at www.suutbirds.com.