Kayla Kovar was named Most Outstanding Performer after her first-place finish in the shot put.
SUU Strategic Communications

Thunderbirds Finish Fifth and Seventh at Indoor Championship

February 23, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication

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BOZEMAN, Mont. - Feb. 23 - The Thunderbirds wrapped up the indoor track and field season today as the men's team finished fifth at SUU's first track and field championship in the Big Sky Conference. The women took home a seventh-pace finish at the conclusion of the third and final day of the championship. Sprinters Shaun Murray and Preston Myers made their Big Sky debuts with individual titles in their respective events while thrower Kayla Kovar was named Most Outstanding Performer for her first-place finish in the shot put.

"For our first championship in the Big Sky, I think we came in and did exactly what we needed to do," head coach Eric Houle said. "We performed the way we were projected to and did well at this level of competition. Now we need to maintain this level for the outdoor season."

Murray led the field of sprinters on the third day of competition, finishing first in the final heat of the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.38, followed by Myers (6.42) in second place. Murray also qualified for the 200-meter finals after a SUU-record preliminary time 21.50, but pulled out due to muscle pain. Myers, who had finished second in the 200-meter preliminary, went on to take the individual title with a time of 21.67.

Kovar led Southern Utah's throwers with a school record mark of 53-6.25 in the shot put, improving her own previous record at SUU. Rylee Mulitalo also competed in the shot put, finishing fifth with a personal best of 47-1.75 and improving her third-place SUU record.

Hurdlers Kodai Kusano and Shaye Maurer also achieved top-five finishes in their respective events. Kusano finished third with a time of 7.62 in the men's 55-meter hurdles, while Maurer finished second in the women's 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.87. Maurer had also recorded a second-place finish in the pentathlon on the first day of the championship.

The women's distance team concluded their championship performances with several top-10 finishes as Kirsten Bradford set a personal best time of 4:52.94 with a sixth-place finish in the mile. She was followed by Jamie Smith in seventh place with a time of 4:56.15. Smith then led the T-Birds in the 3,000-meters with a sixth-place time of 9:46.78, followed by Bradford (9:53.09) in 10th place.

Alex Anderson was the leading jumper for Southern Utah, finishing second overall in the triple jump with a mark of 48-0.

Northern Arizona took the men's title with 143.5 points, followed by Montana State (126) and Sacramento State (80) with Southern Utah finishing fifth with 63 points. The T-Bird women finished seventh with 58 points with Sacramento State (107), Portland State (93) and Idaho State (85) taking the top three team positions.

The Thunderbirds will now prepare for the outdoor season opener, the UNLV Invitational, which will take place Mar. 1-2 in Las Vegas, Nev.

*All times are adjusted for altitude.