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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University track & field will travel to Forest Grove, Oregon this week to compete at the 2013 Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The meet will be hosted by Portland State University on the campus of Pacific University.
The Thunderbirds will enter the meet favored in four events, including the men’s 100- and 200-meter dashes, the men’s 10,000-meters and the women’s 5,000-meters. The athletes at the top of the pack include Shaun Murray in the 100-meters (10.49), Preston Myers in the 200-meters (21.27), Nate Jewkes in the 10k (29:08.04) and Jamie Smith in the women’s 5k (16:08.94).
Myers is narrowly behind Murray in the men’s 100-meter standings, recording a season-best time of 10.54 at the Utah Valley Intercollegiate on March 29.
On the women’s side, Shaye Maurer is also considered a favorite in the heptathlon, trailing Big Sky leader Lindsey Hall of Montana (5343) by only two points after a season-best 5341. She is also less than one-tenth of a second behind the leader in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 13.56.
Southern Utah’s women will also look to tally points in the women’s 5k with seven athletes having recorded Big Sky qualifying marks during the year. The group make up four of the top-11 times in the conference so far with Smith leading the way by almost a full four seconds.
The Thunderbirds wrapped up the indoor season with a fifth and seventh-place finish for the men and women, respectively, at the conference champioships in February. The duo of Murray and Myers finished one-two in the men’s 55-meter dash at the championships with Myers later returning to take the individual title in the 200-meters. Kayla Kovar also captured an individual title for the T-Birds in the women’s shot put, but will not travel with the team to the outdoor championships.
The competition will begin on Wednesday and Thursday with the multi events and continue with the brunt of the meet taking place on Friday and Saturday.