SUU is favored to win several events, entering the championship with the top marks in the women’s hammer and shot put and the men’s discus. The events are anchored by the Kovar siblings with Kayla leading the women in the conference by close to three feet in the shot put and five feet in the hammer. Kayla already has a shot put and weight throw title to her credit this season, standing atop the podium during the indoor season and advancing to the NCAA indoor national championships. Her brother, Jayson, leads the men in the discus by almost two feet.
In addition to leading in the three events, SUU athletes are in the top five of 13 events and in the top 10 in 15 more. The Thunderbird men take up five of the top 11 spots in the 5,000-meters and also own the third- and fourth-best times in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The women are deepest in the shot put with Kovar first and two more in the top ten. Shaye Springall will also be one to watch on the women’s side after capturing the 60-meter hurdle title during the indoor season and narrowly missing a title in the indoor pentathlon. She is currently ranked No. 2 in the heptathlon and No. 3 in the women’s 100-meter hurdles.
The championships are scheduled to begin on Wednesday and Thursday with the multi events. Friday’s schedule includes several preliminary races and finals in the men’s and women’s 10k. Field events on Friday will include the women’s hammer, women’s high jump, men’s and women’s long jump, women’s discus, men’s shot put, men’s pole vault and men’s javelin.
The rest of the finals will be contested on Saturday, beginning at Noon and running through the women’s 4x400-meter relay at 4:30 p.m. Fans can follow the championships with daily recaps available online at www.suutbirds.com. Links to live stats will be available online at www.nauathletics.com.