Thunderbird T&F Set To Compete In Washington And New Mexico

The Thunderbirds will be in separate parts of the region this weekend as the sprinters travel to New Mexico to compete in the Don Kirby Invitational. Meanwhile the distance runners will be competing in the Husky Classic in Washington. Both meets will run from Friday, February 9 through Saturday, February 10.

Last Time Out

The last time the Thunderbirds competed, they traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona to compete in the Mountain T’s Invitational. Many athletes came home with record times.

Kasey Knevelbaard bumped Cam Levins out of first in the records with a time of 3:55.96 in the mile. This time has ranked Knevelbaard second in the Big Sky records as well as fourth in the NCAA currently.

Tre James and Justin Lewis also broke records tying for first with a time of 21.26 in the 200-meter. Lewis also placed third in the records with a time of 47.67 in the 400-meter.

Mia Russell performed well this weekend in 200-meter placing second in school records with a time of 24.84. She was followed by Sinclair watson placing third in the records with a time of 24.88. Watson also ran in the 60-meter with a time of 7.68 placing her second in school history.

Athletes To Watch This Week

Men’s Team

Tre James (60-meter, 200-meter & 4×400 Relay at Don Kirby Invitational) – With record setting times almost every meet this season, James is definitely an athlete to watch. As a sophomore for the Thunderbirds, James holds the program’s record time in the 60-meter. He is ready to challenge his competitors this weekend in Albuquerque.

Kasey Knevelbaard (Mile & 3,000-meter at Husky Classic) – Currently holding records in SUU and Big Sky history, Knevelbaard cannot be slowed down. On February 6, Knevelbaard was named Big Sky Athlete of the Week for the eighth time in his career. He has done nothing short of great this season and is working hard to continue this pattern.

Matthew Wright (3,000-meter & 5,000 meter at Husky Classic) – Last season, Wright placed fifth in the Big Sky championships in the 8,000 meter. He currently has a time of 8:07.16 in the 3,000-meter and 14:09.44 in the 5,000-meter. He is ready to face competition in Washington this weekend.

Women’s Team

Mia Russell (60-meter, 200-meter & 4×400 Relay at Don Kirby Invitational) – Landing herself in school records this past weekend, Russell is definitely an athlete to keep your eye on. She is now the second place holder in school records in the 200-meter with a time of 24.84. Russell is excited to compete again in New Mexico this weekend.

Ogochukwu Nwachukwu (Weight Throw & Shot Put at Don Kirby Invitational) – In Flagstaff, Nwachukwu placed second in the meet with a throw of 54’ 2 ¾”. Although it did not exceed her personal best, it is very close to her record in school history. She is currently fourth in the records with a throw of 54’ 3 ¼”. She is hoping to push those marks a little further this weekend as she competes.

Sinclair Watson (60-meter, 200-meter & 4×400 Relay at Don Kirby Invitational) – Watson had a big performance in Flagstaff this past weekend as she placed second in school records with a time of 7.68 in the 60-meter. She has been a tough competitor all season and ready to compete again in New Mexico.

Words From Coach Houle

On this past week’s records..

“Seeing all of these records being set, seeing these athletes rise to be some of the best in the country, you can’t help but feel excited,” said head coach Eric Houle.”It’s an indication of where we are and where we going, which is looking pretty good.”

On upcoming competition in Washington..

“With the looks of competition in the last few weeks, it’s going to be hard to beat our times,” commented Houle. “Personal bests are hard to get, but as long as we stay close to those times, we will be secure.”

On upcoming competition in New Mexico..

“Our sprinters are great athletes. Just as long as we stay healthy and stay focused, we will be just fine,” said Houle.

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Story By
SUU Athletics Strategic Communications

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