T-Birds Stand in Sixth-Place on Day 2 of Big Sky Championship
"We're here, we're competitive and we're doing a good job," head coach Eric Houle said. "So far this has been a great showing for SUU in the new conference with some great performances on both sides."
Senior Shaye Maurer set the stage for the championship on Thursday with a second-place finish in the women's pentathlon and an SUU-best score of 3841. Maurer finished first in both the 55-meter hurdles and the high jump during the pentathlon, as well as fourth in the long jump and 800-meter run. She then raced to qualifying finishes in the preliminary heats of both the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles during Friday's competition. Cheyenne Thatcher also competed in the pentathlon on Thursday and finished 13th with a score of 3094.
The men also opened competition on Thursday as both Stephen Wilson and Eric Durrant set personal records in the heptathlon. Wilson finished fifth overall with a score of 4689 which included third-place finishes in the long jump and high jump, as well as a fourth-place finish in the 55-meter dash. Durrant followed in sixth-place with a score of 4539, including third-place finishes in the shot put and high jump.
Shaun Murray and Preston Myers led the way in the sprints on Day 2, each qualifying for the finals in the 55-meter and 200-meter dashes. Murray finished first in both preliminaries, racing to a 6.30 finish in the 55-meters and 21.43 finish in the 200-meters, Myers followed in second place (6.39) in the 55-meters and fifth place (21.80) in the 200-meters.
The distance runners represented SUU in the 5,000-meters on Friday night with Ryan Barrus leading the men with a fourth-place time of 15:03.81. Clinton Rhoton followed with a fifth-place time of 15:04.27. Jamie Smith, Kirsten Bradford and Sylvia Bedford each scored for the women in the 5,000-meters, finishing fifth, sixth and eighth with respective times of 17:27.07, 17:31.86 and 17:56.22.
Southern Utah's throwers also entered the conference championship on Friday, competing in the men's shot put and women's weight throw. Chris Johnson led the men with an eighth-place mark of 32-8 in the shot put, while Kayla Kovar placed sixth in the weight throw with a 55-6.5 toss.
Championship host Montana State leads the men at the conclusion of Friday's events with a score of 55, followed by Northern Arizona (43.5) in second with Sacramento State (26) and Montana (26) tied for third. SUU's men currently rank sixth with a score of 21. Idaho State (40), Weber State (34) and Sacramento State (33) lead the women in first, second and third places, while Southern Utah stands at sixth with 22.5 points.
The remaining Big Sky Championship events will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23, in Bozeman. The T-Birds will then return home to prepare for the outdoor season opener, the UNLV Invitational, set for Mar. 1-2 in Las Vegas, Nev.