SUU Distance and Sprints Athletes Return to UW
"We want to improve our times and get some national qualifying marks this weekend and the Husky Classic is a great meet to do that," head coach Eric Houle said. "There is a great atmosphere and we have a great history in terms of producing qualifying marks there."
Clinton Rhoton and Ryan Barrus will lead the men at UW as the teams seek national and conference qualifying marks. Rhoton currently ranks 29th in Division I and second in the Big Sky in the 5,000-meters after a 14:25.14 finish at the UW Invitational. Barrus holds two conference qualifiers with a fifth-place rank in the mile and seventh-place rank in the 3,000-meter run. Teammates Devan Antczak, John Hart, Jon Lee and Elijah Rono will also compete in Seattle.
The women's distance squad is also looking for national qualifying marks this weekend as top runners Jamie Smith and Kirsten Bradford prepare to race at UW. Smith and Bradford rank 28th and 41st in the nation in the 5,000-meters while holding the top-two conference positions in the event. The women also hold top-six conference positions in both the mile and 3,000-meters. Fellow distance runners Sylvia Bedford, Aubrey Bryson and Lizzy Butler will also travel to compete at UW. Bedford currently ranks fourth in the 5,000-meters and 10th in the 3,000-meters.
Sprinters Dallin Tavoian and Mayra Franco will also represent Southern Utah at the Husky Classic as they chase qualifying times for the Big Sky championship. Franco is currently .06 seconds from qualifying with a season best 55-meter time of 7.29*.
The throwers and sprinters will return to competition on Feb. 15 as the T-Birds travel to Flagstaff, Ariz., for the last indoor meet before the championship, the NAU Tune-Up. The team will then prepare for Southern Utah's first track and field championship in the Big Sky Conference, set to take place Feb. 22-23 in Bozeman, Mont.
*Converted from a 60-meter dash time of 7.81.