CEDAR CITY, Utah - March 26 - The outdoor track and field season will continue this weekend when the Thunderbirds head south to compete at the UC Riverside Spring Track Classic.
“We are hoping that, by placing everybody in their respective events, we can see where they are right now,” head coach Eric Houle said. “I feel that a lot of our athletes are really hungry to compete and this will be a good venue with the teams that will be there and the warm weather. The expectation is that we will see some qualifying marks and also any adjustments we need to make before the championship.”
The Thunderbirds will compete against nine other programs at the Riverside meet, including the hosting Highlanders, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northeridge, Cornell, North Dakota State, Wyoming, UC Irving, UC Santa Barbara and fellow Big Sky Conference team Northern Colorado.
SUU will be represented by 54 individual athletes, competing in the sprints, throws, jumps and distance events, while Shaye Maurer-Springall, Alex Anderson, Eric Durrant and Russell Nielson participate in first the heptathlon and decathlon of the season.
All-Big Sky sprinters Shaun Murray and Arnold Carrillo will enter the outdoor season at UC Riverside, along with indoor 60-meter hurdles champion Maurer-Springall. Fellow sprinter Preston Myers will sit out the Highlanders’ meet due to an injury.
Throwers Kayla and Jayson Kovar return to competition after sweeping their respective events at the UNLV track classic. Kayla Kovar most recently represented Southern Utah at the NCAA Indoor National Championship, where she placed 10th in the shot put with a mark of 53-3.75 and earned USTFCCCA second-team All-American.
Distance runner Nate Jewkes returns to race for the T-Birds after an injury forced him to sit out most of the indoor season. He will join teammates Ryan Barrus and Eric Sandall to lead the men’s distance squad at Riverside.
Southern Utah track and field will then prepare to split between two California meets the following weekend, the Stanford Invitational and San Francisco State Distance Carnival. Both meets are set to take place April 4-5 in Stanford and San Francisco.