MOSCOW, Idaho (May 11, 2018) — Competition concluded at the 2018 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, with the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah securing a second place finish on the men’s side and a seventh place finish on the women’s side.
The meet was highlighted by Southern Utah sophomore Tre James earning the award for both Most Valuable Athlete and Most Outstanding Performer on the men’s side.
Men’s Team (2nd Place – 122 points)
James had himself a day for the Thunderbirds, securing the gold medal in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. In the 100, James finished with a time of 10.19. If that mark wouldn’t have been wind aided, it would have been the fastest mark in the history of the Big Sky Championships.
“Going into it I was confident already,” James said following the meet. “Yesterday easing up and seeing how the times were, I was confident coming into today, so I just had to execute and run my race to get the gold again.”
His success continued in the 200, where he set a new Southern Utah school record with a time of 20.57.
“It’s special to me because last year I was injured, so coming back this year and working hard has been key,” James continued. “I have to give a big shout out to Justin Lewis and Brandon Harley, they push me at practice everyday.”
George Espino reclaimed his 800-meter throne on Friday, winning the event with a time of 1:52.08. Espino claimed the event title at the 2016 Outdoor Championships before redshirting.
Espino also had plenty of success in the 1,500-meter, where he claimed the silver medal with a time of 3:50.56. Mike Tate also medaled in the 1,500, finishing right behind Espino with a time of 3:50.61.
T-Bird freshman Frank Harris III had a solid performance for SUU in the men’s high jump, hitting a mark of 7′ 0.25”. That was enough for him to claim the silver medal, finishing second in the event.
Devon Montgomery finished fourth in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, where he ran a 14.24.
In the very first event of the day, SUU’s Jordan Porcaro finished fifth in the men’s weight throw, hitting a mark of 117′ 5”.
Tate finished fourth in the field of the men’s 5,000-meter, hitting a time of 14:17.96. Aidan Reed, coming off a 10K title the day before, finished sixth in the 5K for the T-Birds.
The meet came right down to the wire between Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, who claimed the 2018 title. NAU’s performance in the 5,000-meter and the 4×400 Relay proved to be the difference in the meet.
Women’s Team (7th – 59 points)
Sharlie Dimick had a huge performance for the Thunderbirds in the women’s 1,500-meter to start the day off right, claiming the gold medal with a time of 4:27.61. Maddy Kauffman also had a big performance in the same event, taking home the bronze medal with a time of 4:28.50.
The women’s 5,000-meter was also big for the T-Birds, as Kauffman finished with another bronze medal running a 16:39.23. Madison Fruchey, Dimick and Angie Nickerson finished fifth, sixth and seventh for the T-Birds respectively in the 5K as well, boosting the T-Birds up the leaderboard.
Mia Russell had a solid performance for the T-Birds in the 100-meter dash, running a time of 12.02 and finishing in fifth place. Russell also ran in the 200-meter finals, where she finished in 24.51.
Madison Cook ran in the finals of the 200-meter hurdles on the women’s side, finishing in 1:04.31.
NCAA West Regional competition is next for the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. The field for NCAA Regionals will be announced next week.
SUU Athletics Strategic Communication