Courtesy: Kelly Gorham
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University track & field/cross country head coach Eric Houle has announced the 2014-15 signing class, welcoming 20 newcomers to the program for the upcoming season.
The group includes the program's first commitment from Europe, Istvan Szogi, a member of Hungary's national team at the World Junior Championships who has recorded personal-best times of 30:04 in the 10k and 14:11 in the 5k. He will join Canada's Liam Kennell as the pair of international signees with Kennell coming in with PRs of 1:55 in the 800-meters and 4:11 in the mile.
The Thunderbirds will have three more milers in Keeghan Hurley (Perham, Minn.), Bryan Pearson (Cedar City, Utah) and George Espino (Las Vegas, Nev.) with incoming times of 4:13, 4:14 and 4:18, respectively. Hurley has also recorded strong performances in the 3,200-meters with a PR of 9:07 with Espino and Pearson excelling in the 800-meters with PRs of 1:52 and 1:53, respectively.
Zac Morris (Lehi, Utah) and Justin Lewis (Las Vegas, Nev.) headline the incoming sprinters with PRs of 10.84 and 10.74 in the 100-meters, 21.47 and 21.53 in the 200-meters and 50.14 and 49.71 in the 400-meters. Morris picked up an individual state championship in the 200-meters with Lewis finishing as the runner-up in the 200-meters in Nevada.
Andrew Tyndall (Kaysville, Utah) will bring another state title, capturing the pole vault crown at Davis High School and will enter with a personal best of 14 feet 11.75 inches - a mark that would have led the team this past season and would rank within the all-time top-10.
Devon Montgomery (Pahrump, Nev.) and Jon Durrant (Richfield, Utah) round out the men's signees and are set to compete in the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles, recording personal-best times of 14.59 and 14.80 and 38.93 and 39.06, respectively.
On the women's side, the Thunderbirds will welcome a wealth of distance talent with eight of the nine competing in the mile or longer distance. The group is headlined by Karlie Garcia (Oakmont, Calif.), a fifth-place finisher at the Foot Locker Invitational, and personal bests of 10:40 in the 3,200-meters and 17:02 in the 5k.
The distance group will also feature six athletes with mile times hovering around five minutes led by Sharlie Dimick (Syracuse, Utah) with a personal-best time of 5:02. She is followed closely by Angie Nickerson (West Jordan, Utah - 5:03), Jana Warrick (Eastvale, Calif. - 5:05), Ashley Tyndall (Kaysville, Utah - 5:10), Courtney Allred (St. George, Utah - 5:16), Katlyn Baker (Cedar City, Utah - 5:17) and Regan Pond (Mapleton, Utah - 5:22).
Caitlin Elgan of Preston, Idaho rounds out the distance signees with personal-best times of 2:21 in the 800-meters and 11:32 in the 3,200-meters. Hometown product Melissa Kunz of Canyon View HS is the final member of the group, entering SUU with a personal-best time of 57.5 in the 400-meters.
"I'm pleased with the class we are bringing in," Houle said. "Our recruiting coordinators, Nigel Sharp and Nate Houle, were able to isolate the best talent to put us in the position to chase a conference title. I really think this group will help us continue to build our competitiveness at the regional and national levels."
Sat. Oct. 18
@ NCAA Pre-Nationals
Fri. Oct. 10
vs. Color Country Invitational
Fri. Oct. 3
@ Notre Dame XC Invitational
Sat. Sep. 27
@ Roy Griak Invitational
Sat. Sep. 20
@ UNLV Invitational
Sat. Sep. 13
@ UC Riverside
Sat. Nov. 1
@ Big Sky Conference Championship
Fri. Nov. 14
@ NCAA Mountain Regionals
Sat. Nov. 22
@ NCAA National Championships