Thunderbird T&F Set For Big Sky Indoor Championships
By SUU Strategic Communication
CEDAR CITY, Utah - After roughly two months of high-level competition the Thunderbird track and field teams have their eyes set on the 2017 Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships in Pocatello, Idaho, this weekend.
Re-Writing The Record Book
This indoor season for the Thunderbirds has been one to remember, with several athletes setting all-time marks.
Freshman Tre James started the season off really strong for the Thunderbirds, setting a new school record in the 60-meter dash with an altitude adjusted time of 6.74 in his first meet, and really setting the pace for the rest of the season.
“Right out of the gates we started seeing performances a little bit better than we thought we’d see at that time,” SUU head coach Eric Houle said.
The Thunderbird distance medley relay team, which is comprised of Kasey Knevelbaard, Brandan Harley, George Espino and Josh Collins, ran a 9:45.08 last weekend. This set the school record for the second time this season.
Senior Jayson Kovar broke his own school record in the indoor shot put, throwing a 58’.5’’ mark in New Mexico.
Sharlie Dimick and Josie Riggs both spent the majority of the season among the top in the Big Sky in the women’s mile, and Dimick set the second fastest time in school history.
Freshmen Peyton Green and Linnea Saltz both set fast marks this season as well, and found their way into the record book in their respective events.
The Big Sky Conference is loaded with talent, and there will be be a fight on both sides for the conference crown.
“We’re there to compete, we’re there to fight and we want to continue the progress we’ve been making,” Houle said.
The men’s program finished second place in the Big Sky Indoor meet last season, and will be looking for a similar or improved mark this time around in a very tough league. The strength of the Big Sky was shown last fall when Northern Arizona claimed the National Championship in cross country.
Coach Houle believes that the men’s team will be right there at the top, fighting for the title this weekend.
“On the guys side they are by far the best team we’ve ever had,” he said. “We have seven milers under 4:11, we have two guys at 47 in the quarter-mile, we’ve got a thrower throwing 58 and the best DMR we’ve had.”
On the women’s side the Thunderbirds finished in 12th place last season, and will be looking for an improved placement as this season rolls around. Coach Houle said he has been very impressed with the strides he’s seen the women’s team make this season.
“We have more people in those events that could potentially be scorers, so we’re a stronger team than we were last year,” he said. “We’re still young, but the conference is tough. They’re just as good as all the conference championship teams we’ve had in the past. ”
2017 Big Sky Leaders
Event - Current Place in Big Sky: Name (Time) *Top 10 Included
Men’s 60m - No. 1: Tre James (6.74)
Men’s 60m Hurdles - No. 3: Devon Montgomery (8.23),
Men’s 200m - No. 3: Tre James (21.68), No. 8: Brandan Harley (22.07)
Men’s 400m - No. 1: Brandan Harley (47.97), No. 3: Inoa Wahinehookae (48.38)
Men’s 800m - No. 2: George Espino (1:51.23), No. 4: Kasey Knevelbaard (1:51.76)
Men’s 1 Mile - No. 5: Kasey Knevelbaard (4:03.40), No. 7: Josh Collins (4:04.82), No. 8: Liam Kennell (4:07.63), No. 10: Matt Wright (4:08.63)
Men’s 3,000m - No. 1: Josh Collins (8:02.03), No. 2: Matt Wright (8:07.61), No. 5: Kasey Knevelbaard (8:14.92)
Men’s 5,000m - No. 5: Matthew Wright (14:14.78)
Men’s 4x400m - No. 10: Southern Utah (3:22.50)
Men’s DMR - No. 1: Southern Utah (9:48.48)
Men’s Shot Put - No. 3: Jayson Kovar (58’ .5’’)
Men’s Weight Throw - No. 9: Jayson Kovar (57’ 3.5’’)
Women’s 200m - No. 6: Peyton Green (24.91)
Women’s 400m - No. 7 Peyton Green (56.56), No. 8: Linea Saltz (56.68)
Women’s 1 Mile - No. 2: Sharlie Dimick (4:46.96), No. 7: Josie Riggs (4:54.35)
Women’s 3,000m - No. 9: Brighton Glassman (9:56.46)
Women’s 5,000m - No. 10: Brighton Glassman (17:28.83)
Women’s 4x400 - No. 6: Southern Utah (3:53.70)
Women’s DMR - No. 3: Southern Utah (11:55.37)
Big Sky Athletes of the Week
January 17, 2017 - Tre James (Men’s Track)
January 30, 2017 - SUU DMR Team: Kasey Knevelbaard, Brandan Harley, George Espino and Josh Collins (Men’s Track)
February 20, 2017 - SUU DMR Team: Kasey Knevelbaard, Brandan Harley, George Espino and Josh Collins (Men’s Track)
Southern Utah Men - 12th in NCAA Mountain Region
The 2017 Big Sky Indoor Championships will kick off on Thursday with men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon competition. Friday will feature some trials and several finals, and Saturday will wrap up competition.
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