SUU Distance Squad Races to BSC Qualifiers at Husky Invite
SEATTLE, Wash. – Feb. 15 - The Thunderbird distance squad raced to several Big Sky qualifying times as they represented Southern Utah at Washington’s Husky Classic over the weekend.
“We split the team up between UW and New Mexico this weekend and I think that decision really paid off,” head coach Eric Houle said. “The power athletes excelled at UNM and the distance athletes were able to chase those qualifiers and record personal records. Overall, I think we were able to accomplish what we had set out to accomplish and I’m very happy with the results.”
Freshman Mike Tate led the men’s squad with a ninth-place individual finish in the mile and time of 4:05.87. The performance marks Tate’s second collegiate mile and falls only two seconds from the second-place SUU record of 4:03.84 he recorded at Washington two weeks ago.
Ryan Barrus and Hayden Hawks represented the men in the 5,000-meter run and both raced to Big Sky qualifiers and top-ten Southern Utah times. Barrus placed 15th with a 14:18.34 and improved his fifth-place SUU record, while Hawks posted an eighth-best school record with a 31st-place time of 14:28.34.
Hawks also posted a 31st-place time of 8:22.60 in the 3,000-meters, followed by Dylan Marx (8:31.98), Ibrahim Ahmed (8:34.28) and Sean Newcomb (8:37.22) in 48th-, 50th- and 54th-place, respectively. Jon Lee was the only T-Bird to race in the men’s 800-meters and his 34th-place time of 1:54.82 fell just short of the Big Sky qualifying standard of 1:54:00.
Ashley Hawks led the Lady T-Birds at Washington with a sixth-place individual finish in the 3,000-meters and conference-qualifying time of 9:54.00. Hawks’ time also ranks sixth in Southern Utah’s records for the event. The junior also recorded a 33rd-place mile time of 5:00.85, followed by freshman Sierra Malm in 35th-place with a time of 5:02.38. Dayna VanArsdol and Shelli Mogensen raced in another section of the mile and placed 10th and 11th with respective times of 5:15.39 and 5:15.41.
VanArsdol posted the women’s other Big Sky qualifier with a 5,000-meters time of 17:35.14. She also broke into the SUU records and now ranks 10th in the event. Aubrey Bryson represented the women in the 800-meter run and posted a personal best time of 2:14.62. Bryson’s time ranks sixth in the school’s top ten and fell just short of the conference standard of 2:14.00.
The distance runners will be back in action next weekend when they reunite with the throwers, sprinters and jumpers for Idaho State’s Conference Tune-Up. The meet is set to take place Feb. 21-22 in Pocatello, Idaho, and will provide the athletes’ last chance for Big Sky qualifiers before the championship on Feb. 27-Mar.1.