Thunderbird Track & Field to battle in Utah Spring Classic

After an electric start to their outdoor season involving two school records being broken, Southern Utah University Track & Field will be back in action this Saturday, April 9, at the Utah Spring Classic. 

Last time out

The Thunderbirds last took part in a two–meet weekend at the Utah Valley Collegiate Invitational and the Stanford Invitational from Friday, March 31, through Saturday, April 1. 

Utah Valley Collegiate Invitational 

Freshman long jumper Cedar English led the Thunderbirds with a dominant third-place finish after a mammoth leap of 24’2” which also earned him sixth place in the SUU record books. 

Hunter Morganson earned his second top-five finish in the shot put during this outdoor season. Morganson threw 52’3” to claim third place and put him in tenth place all-time in the event for the Thunderbirds. 

Jace Rodgers had a strong performance in the 400 meter as he ran to a new personal best time of 22.15. Rodgers made the finals and finished in fourth place overall. 

Three Thunderbird women finished in the top ten in the women’s hammer throw. Emma Nwackwu earned her sixth top-three finish in 2022 with a second-place throw of 192’9.5”. Rebecca Hazlet finished in sixth with a throw of 162’4” and Jessica Jericoff grabbed ninth with a 151’3”. 

Stanford Invitational

Madisan DeBos debuted in the 3k steeplechase with a strong time of 10:44.71 to earn her fourth place in the meet as well as all-time in the event for the Thunderbirds. 

Nate Osterstock continued his infamous ways with a top finish in the 5k. Osterstock ran a new personal best time of 13:40.21 to finish in twelfth place overall in the event. 

Broken school records

Both Elizabeth White and Haley Tanne have broken school records in SUU’s last two meets. White started the outdoor season off strong at the UCLA Rafer Johnson Invitational and blew all her other competition out of the water in the long jump. White leaped to a monstrous 20’4” to beat all of her other competitors by two feet and shatter the previous SUU record in the event of 19’7”. 

Tanne followed that performance with a blazing 10:28.84 to take first place in the 3k Steeplechase on Saturday, April 2. This destroyed the previous school record time of 10:33.55. 

Athletes to watch This weekend

Freshman Veronika Vallova has shown loads of promise so far this season for the Thunderbirds. Vallova is coming off an outstanding performance in the women’s javelin throw where she tossed a 143’10.5” to earn third place in the event. She also moved into third place all-time for the Thunderbirds. 

Joren McKeever has been a crucial part of the Thunderbird’s success this year. The sophomore earned a new personal best jump of 6’11” to claim the Big Sky Indoor High Jump title at Montana State University earlier this year and had an impressive performance in his outdoor season debut. McKeever leaped to a mark of 6’8 ¾” to earn second place overall in the meet. 

Meet information 

The competition will consist of one day full of action on Saturday, April 9, starting at 10:30 a.m. with the pole vault. A live stream of the meet will be available on and the live results will be posted here. 

Story by: Seth Whitehouse 

Photo Courtesy of SUU Athletics