Southern Utah T&F Unites for UW Invitational
"We go to UW to see some of the best competition in the country," head coach Eric Houle said. "This is a high end meet and we're taking our best athletes in hopes of recording some top-30 national marks, as well as top conference marks."
A smaller group of athletes from each team will travel to the Washington meet than has competed in previous weeks, with only 13 men and 13 women hitting the road. The women's squad will be comprised primarily of distance runners led by Big Sky qualifiers Jamie Smith, Kirsten Bradford and Sylvia Bedford. All three women raced to top conference times in the 3,000-meters at New Mexico last weekend, with Smith and Bradford also recording conference top-five mile times.
The men will be led by sprinters Shaun Murray and Preston Myers, as well as hurdler Kodai Kusano, each of whom have also qualified for a place at the indoor championship. Murray currently leads the Big Sky in the 55-meter dash* and the 200-meter dash, while Myers ranks third in the 55-meters. Kusano sits at fourth in the Big Sky in the 55-meter hurdles after a third-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles at the NAU Invite.
Two-time Big Sky Athlete of the Week Kayla Kovar will lead a group of throwers at UW as she continues to approach her SUU records of 52-6.5 in the shot put and 58-9.75 in the weight throw. Teammates Jennika Wright and Chris Johnson will also be among the competing throwers after each recorded Big Sky qualifiers in the shot put at New Mexico. Johnson's mark currently ranks fourth in the Big Sky in the men's shot put while Wright ranks fifth in the women's.
The T-Birds will hit the road again next weekend as the teams split between two venues. A portion of the team will head north to Pocatello, Idaho, for Idaho State's Mountain States Games on Feb. 1-2, while another group will return to Flagstaff, Ariz., for Northern Arizona's Mountain T's Invitational on Feb. 2.
*All Big Sky 55-meter dash/hurdle times have been converted from 60-meter times