T-Birds Open Indoor Season with Qualifying Marks at NAU
The sprinters racked up conference qualifiers as Shaun Murray raced to a second-place finish in the 60-meters with a time of 6.75. Converting Murray's time to the Big Sky 55-meters standard and adjusting for altitude sets the senior at the head of the conference field with a qualifying time of 6.32. Freshman Arnold Carrillo also opened the season with a Big Sky qualifier, racing to a conference-leading time of 48.97 in the 400-meter dash.
Kodai Kusano returned from a redshirt season to lead the T-Bird hurdlers with a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdlers. Converted to a 55-meter hurdles time, Kusano's 7.76 ranks fourth in the conference and qualifys for a spot at the championship. On the women's side, Shaye Maurer also gained a 55-meter hurdles qualifier with a 7.86 time converted from a second-place finish in NAU's 60-meter hurdles. Aside from qualifying, Maurer's time also places her first in the Big Sky.
The Lady T-Birds led the distance squad as Whitney Curtis raced to a first-place finish in the 3,000-meters with a time of 10:49.55. She was followed by Armarose Cesal in second place as Cesal recorded a time of 10:58.11. Aubrey Bryson and Kaylee Coates led the team in the mile with third and fourth place respective times of 5:16.85 and 5:17.14. Jon Lee and Clinton Rhoton represented the men in the mile with times of 4:19.03 and 4:22.99, placing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Alex Anderson led the jumpers at Northern Arizona with a fourth-place finish in the triple jump. Anderson's qualifying distance of 48-7.25 places him first in the Big Sky as well as improving his previous all-time Southern Utah record. Long jumper Stephen Wilson also earned a place at the conference championship with a mark of 22-8, ranking fourth in SUU's indoor record book.
Summit League champion Kayla Kovar returned to lead the throwers with conference-leading qualifying marks in both the shot put and weight throw. Kovar placed third in the weight throw with a distance of 57-0.75 and fifth in the shot put with a distance of 48-6.
The women placed third at NAU's Lumberjack Team Challenge with 84 points while the men came in fourth with a score of 63. Big Sky competitor Northern Arizona placed fifth on the women's side and second on the men's at its home meet.
Southern Utah Track & Field will be back on the road next weekend as the teams split between New Mexico's Cherry & Silver Invite on Jan. 18-19 and the NAU Invitational on Jan. 19.