The Thunderbirds men’s track and field program earned a pair of First Team All-American titles on Friday evening at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas as competition came to a close on the men’s side.
Junior distance runner Kasey Knevelbaard earned First Team status in the men’s 1,500-meter by finishing in sixth place with a time of 3:42.43. Knevelbaard with right in contention down the stretch of the race. Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse won the event with a 3:41.39.
“Coming around that bend I thought he had a really good shot to win the title, and he was really only off one second,” SUU head coach Eric Houle said. “To get in there and finish sixth in the country and be regarded as one of the best out there is sometimes all you can ask for. I see it as a victory. To get to this level, get to the final race and leave it as a First Team All-American is definitely a victory for him, his coaching staff and the program.”
Sophomore dual-sport athlete Frank Harris III also claimed First Team status with a jump of 7′ 3″. That mark put him in a tie for seventh in the field and tied his own school record. He was the lone underclassman to compete for Southern Utah over the course of the weekend.
“It instills confidence that he’ll be able to tap into in the future,” Houle said. “The more times you can get onto a stage like this, the more you begin to calm down and be able to worry about the things you can accomplish, not what everybody else is doing. He’s already brought that to that event, but to be in the atmosphere and come away as an All-American is what we hope for with these athletes at this level.”
As a team the Thunderbirds finished 45th in the NCAA with 4.5 points scored by the duo of First Team All-Americans.
“To go in with four guys and all of them come away with some type of All-American citation, what a crazy cool way to end a great year for us,” Houle said. “It’s the best of the best that comes out of this program, and for them to represent Southern Utah like they did is awesome and is a great cap to the year.”
Southern Utah claimed their first Big Sky Outdoor Championship since joining the league in 2012 back in May.
Day One Recap: https://bit.ly/31dGZyQ
Angie Nickerson (Women’s 5,000-Meter) will wrap up the meet for SUU on Saturday.
The meet will be televised a streamed on the ESPN Family of Networks. The following is a link to all broadcast information: https://on.ncaa.com/2rUswb6
Stay current on the Thunderbird track and field programs by following @SUUTFXC on Twitter and Instagram and like the Southern Utah Track and XC page on Facebook.
Head to www.suutbirds.com for all Thunderbird athletics news.