CEDAR CITY, Utah - Jan. 29 - Track and field athletes will represent Southern Utah at multiple venues this weekend as the Thunderbirds split between the UW Invitational in Seattle, Wash., and ISU’s Mountain States Games in Pocatello, Idaho. Both meets will take place on Friday and Saturday, marking the first of several multi-meet weekends for the Thunderbirds this season.
“The Mountain States Games provide a great opportunity for athletes to potentially qualify for conference and continue the developmental process,” head coach Eric Houle said. “The Washington meet will be a higher level of competition, and so those athletes have to be able to handle that and chase those performances. Experiencing that higher level of competition allows them to rise to new levels of achievment.”
Several distance runners will travel to Seattle in search of qualifying marks, including Ashley Hawks, Shelli Mogensen, Aubrey Bryson and Dayna VanArsdol on the women’s side and Hayden Hawks, Ryan Barrus, Dylan Marx, Ibrahim Ahmed and Jon Lee on the men’s.
Sprinters Preston Myers and Shaun Murray will also continue the indoor season at the Washington meet and are set to race in both the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes. Kayla Shakespeare will represent the T-Birds in the same events on the women’s side, while Shaye Maurer-Springall looks to defend her top Big Sky position in the 60-meter hurdles.
Big Sky Athlete of the Week Kayla Kovar will also look to defend her first- and second-place positions in the shot put and weight throw, competing alongside her brother Jayson Kovar and teammate Jennika Wright. Russell Nielson, Alex Anderson and Taylir Garrison will represent the jumpers at the UW meet.
The rest of the traveling T-Birds will return to Idaho State after opening the season there with 12 Big Sky qualifiers two weeks ago. Conference competitors Montana, Northern Colorado, North Dakota and Weber State will also compete at the Mountain States Games, alongside the Thunderbirds and the hosting Bengals.
The Southern Utah squad will unite the following weekend for Northern Arizona’s Mountain T’s Invitational, which will take place in Flagstaff on Feb. 7-8.