T-Birds Prepare for Conference with Outstanding Weekend Away

February 11, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication
The men's distance team excelled in three different venues.
The men's distance team excelled in three different venues.
Courtesy: SUU Strategic Communications

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y./ SEATTLE, Wash./ FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Feb. 11 - Cameron Levins secured a place in the mile at the NCAA Championship with a seventh-place finish in the historic Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, setting a new Southern Utah record with a time of 3:57.16. Levins' time currently ranks first in the Summit League.

While Levins competed in New York, another portion of the distance squad represented SUU at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. Nate Jewkes raced to a 14:08.67 finish in the 5,000-meters, ranking second in the Summit League and third in Southern Utah's records. Jewkes also raced in the 3,000-meters, finishing with a seventh-place conference time of 8:20.56.

"It really was an insane weekend for track and field," head coach Eric Houle said. "To be competing at such a high caliber, and in a conference ranked eighth in the nation, really shows what we've accomplished this season."

Austin West also represented the men in Washington, finishing 11th in the mile with a time of 4:05.51. West's sister, Danielle, led the women with a first-place finish in the 3,000-meter run and time of 9:51.36. Danielle West's time ranks third in the conference and in the SUU record books. She also raced in the mile, crossing the finish line at 4:55.54.

Diana Medina-Mitchell and Ashley Gray also competed at UW. Medina-Mitchell recorded 3,000-meters and 5,000-meters times of 9:35.54 and 16:41.75 respectively, while Gray finished fourth in the 3,000-meters with 9:58.19. Gray's time currently ranks fifth in the conference.

The bulk of the team traveled to Northern Arizona for the NAU Invitational in Flagstaff, where the distance team also excelled. Ryan Barrus and Clinton Rhoton led in the 3,000-meters with respective finishes of 8:19.32 and 8:19.99. Barrus' first-place finish places him fourth in the Summit League, while Rhoton's third-place finish ranks fifth.

Freshman Daniel Keller led the 800-meter run with a second-place time of 1:53.59, placing him seventh in the conference while Dallas Eborn's second-place mile time of 4:10.16 ranks 6th.

Throwers Chris Johnson and Kayla Kovar each finished first in the shot put. Johnson's mark of 55-2 ranks second overall in the Summit League and raises his own second-place SUU record, while Kovar leads the conference with a school record toss of 52-6.5.

Jasmine Paicely-Mullins and Jamila Pullum led the sprinters on the women's side. Paicely-Mullins' second-place 60-meter hurdles time of 8.63 ranks first in the Summit League and improves her previous third-place SUU record, while Pullum's  third-place 400-meter dash time of 56.76 ranks seventh in the Summit League.

The distance team was led by Kaylee Coates in the 800-meters with a third-place time of 2:14.02. Coates' time places her sixth in the Summit League. She was followed in fourth place by Lizzy Butler with a time of 2:17.92.

Chelsea Morley-Atkinson finished third in both the high jump with a mark of 5-5.75, and in the pole vault with a mark of 10-8. Morley-Atkinson's height in the high jump places her fifth in the conference.

The T-Birds will now take a two-week break from competition before traveling to Fort Wayne, Ind. for the Summit League Indoor Championship on Feb. 24-25.

Southern Utah fans should also start looking for tickets to the NCAA Indoor Championship, set for Mar. 9-10 in Boise, Idaho. Tickets can be purchased at ICtickets.com or NCAA.com/tickets, or by calling (208) 442-3232.

*Flagstaff times have been adjusted for altitude.