SUU Continues Toward BSC Championship with NAU and ISU Meets
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz./POCATELLO, Idaho - Feb. 2 - The Thunderbirds continued the indoor season this weekend competing at two venues as the distance squad raced at Idaho State's Mountain States Games and the sprinters, throwers and jumpers competed at Northern Arizona's Mountain T's Invitational. Athletes at both venues marked Big Sky qualifying finishes while the multi event athletes competed in the T-Birds' first pentathlon and heptathlon of the season at NAU.
"We saw some really good performances at both meets," head coach Eric Houle said. "These meets gave us a better idea of the team we will take to the conference championship and I think the athletes that will make up that team are among the very best we've ever had."
Pentathlete Shaye Maurer led the T-Birds at NAU with a first-place finish in the pentathlon and sixth-place finish in the 60-meter dash, qualifying for the Big Sky championship in both. Maurer's pentathlon score of 3774 ranks first in the conference while her 7.61 60-meters time ranks both first in the Big Sky and sixth in the SUU all-time records. She also broke into the school top-tens with her long jump mark of 18-1.5, which was recorded during the pentathlon. Teammate Stephen Wilson led the T-Birds in the men's heptathlon, finishing fourth overall and earning a fourth-place rank in the conference with a score of 4425.
Preston Myers led the men in the sprints at the Mountain T's Invite, finishing sixth in the 200-meter dash with a Big Sky qualifying time of 21.78. Myers also raced in the 60-meter dash and recorded a ninth-place time of 6.86. Both times rank third in Southern Utah's all-time records for the events. Shaun Murray led the men in the 60-meters with a fourth-place time of 6.84.
Thrower Kayla Kovar continues to lead the conference in both the shot put and weight throw after recording new season bests in both at the NAU meet. Kovar finished second in both events with respective marks of 52-4 in the shot put and 58-1.25 in the weight throw.
In Pocatello, Ryan Barrus led the distance men in the mile with a second-place finish and conference qualifying time of 4:07.49, ranking fifth in Southern Utah's all-time best miles. Elijah Rono came next for the men with a third-place mile time of 4:12.04, also breaking into the school's top-ten records.
Kirsten Bradford led the women in the mile with a fourth-place time of 4:55.81, followed by Jamie Smith (5:03.66) in sixth place and Sylvia Bedford (5:04.54) in seventh place. Both the men's and women's distance squads also recorded their first distance medley relay times of the season with the women placing third with a 12:51.21 finish and the men placing fifth with a 10:20.59 finish.
The T-Birds will spend the next two weekends united as the team competes in Washington's Husky Classic in Seattle on Feb. 8-9 and at the NAU Tune-Up in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Feb. 15. The regular indoor season will then come to a head as SUU competes in it's first track and field championship in the Big Sky Conference, hosted by Montana State and set to take place Feb. 22-23 in Bozeman.