Thunderbirds to Split Between Three Meets this Weekend
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Mar. 27 - Southern Utah track and field continues the outdoor season on Friday as the distance squad travels to California for the San Francisco State Distance Carnival in San Francisco and Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto. The sprinters, throwers and jumpers will spend the weekend closer to home, traveling to Orem, Utah, for the UVU Collegiate.
“These California meets really help us rise,” head coach Eric Houle said. “We strive to get great times, but we also go to experience the competition they offer. There are huge performance gains when you race against high-ranking schools and it really helps prepare potential qualifiers for the competition they will see at region.”
The distance squad will split between the Stanford Invitational and the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, with Nate Jewkes, Ryan Barrus and John Hart representing the men at Stanford and Jamie Smith and Danielle Jewkes representing the women. Nate Jewkes and Barrus will race in the 5,000-meters with Hart racing in the steeplechase, while Smith races in the women’s 5,000-meters and Danielle Jewkes races in the 1,500-meters.
The rest of the distance team will represent Southern Utah in San Francisco, led by 800-meter runners Kaylee Coates and Jon Lee. Coates currently leads the Big Sky Conference in the women’s 800-meters after posting a qualifying time of 2:13.79 at the Oxy Distance Carnival. Lee ranks third in the Big Sky after a 1:53.84 finish at Oxy. Sylvia Bedford, Kirsten Bradford, Dayna VanArsdol, Elijah Rono and Devan Antczak will also be among the T-Birds competing at San Francisco State.
Southern Utah’s sprinters, jumpers and throwers look to record more conference qualifiers as the teams compete at the UVU Collegiate. Top Big Sky competitors Preston Myers (200-meters), Kodai Kusano (110-meter hurdles), Jayson Kovar (shot put, discus), Stephen Wilson (decathlon), Kayla Kovar (hammer, discus) and Rylee Mulitalo (shot put) will lead the T-Birds against teams from around the state, as well as Big Sky competitor Idaho State.
“It will be good to get another meet in for the sprinters, throwers and jumpers,” Houle continued. “We’re expecting good weather and it should be a good meet.”
The Thunderbirds will then take a two-week break from competition before traveling to Pomona, Calif., for the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Apr. 13.