The Thunderbird men’s track and field team claimed their first-ever Big Sky Conference title on Saturday, earning the championship in the final event of the meet.
It all came down to the men’s 4×400 relay, where if the Thunderbirds finished second they would walk away with the championship. The team of Justin Lewis, Devon Montgomery, Tre Harley and Max Morley did just that, led by a huge charge from Morley at the end.
“It was intense,” Morley said. “Down to the last 50 I had to catch that last guy in order to get second place for the team, I had to do it, so I just went out and gave it all I had.”
They finished with a time of 3:10.94, which was a new school record.
The Thunderbirds were put in the position to win by many athletes, but specifically Aidan Reed who finished second in the 5,000-meter between several members of Northern Arizona, the three-time cross country National Champion.
“It’s a long time coming,” SUU head coach Eric Houle said. “To be able to put it together this weekend and have everybody do the job they were called to do was awesome. They really were consistent in their performances, and those performances equaled a championship. Barely, but it’s a championship.”
The T-Birds have won several conference championships in the past, but hadn’t won a Big Sky Championship until today.
Montgomery claimed the first gold medal of the day for the Thunderbirds, running the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.15 to take the top spot in the Big Sky. Montgomery went on to set a new school record in the 400-meter hurdles with an altitude adjusted time of 51.39, which won him the silver medal.
Lewis also claimed a gold medal for the Thunderbirds, setting a new school record in the 400-meter dash with an altitude adjusted 46.66 to separate himself from the field.
In the men’s 800-meter, George Espino and Kasey Knevelbaard finished first and second respectively with times of 1:49.94 and 1:50.06. Knevelbaard also earned a silver medal in the men’s 1,500-meter with a time of 3:45.06.
Skyler Porcaro also set a new school record for the T-Birds, as he threw the javelin 234′ 9″ to claim the Big Sky title and set a new benchmark for Southern Utah.
Southern Utah’s 4×100 team comprised of Lewis, Montgomery, Brandan Harley and Frank Harris III claimed the silver medal with a time of 40.84. That mark is the fourth fastest in the history of the program.
Cannon Brunsvik started the day on the right note for the Thunderbirds, breaking his own shot put school record with a toss of 59′ 1 ¼”. At the time of publication this will put him in NCAA Regional competition based on ranking.
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Head to www.suutbirds.com for all Thunderbird athletics news.
Story and Photo Courtesy of: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication