NAU’s distance duo, UNC’s Wesley shine at NCAA Championships


EUGENE, Ore. (June 6, 2018) – The Big Sky Conference kicked off the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a bang as a pair of Northern Arizona distance runners earned first-team All American honors during day one.

The Big Sky Conference didn’t land a first-team All-American selection until the end of the day, but what a thrilling men’s 10,000-meter race it turned out to be. The league had three participants in the event, including Northern Arizona’s senior Matt Baxter, sophomore Tyler Day and Southern Utah’s senior Mike Tate. The Lumberjack distance duo of Day and Baxter went fourth and fifth, respectively. Day clocked a time of 28:39.03 and Baxter recorded a time of 28:39.35. Day and Baxter now rank sixth and eighth all-time in Big Sky history and both received first-team All-American honors for finishing in the top eight.

Southern Utah distance runner Mike Tate

Tate of Southern Utah placed 20th in the 10,000m with a time of 30:14.75 to collect honorable mention All-American accolades.

Northern Arizona’s Freshman Luis Grijalva got the day started with a 17th-place finish in the men’s 1,500m. Grijalva recorded a time of 3:49.85, which earned him honorable mention All-American status.

Just after the men’s 1,500m, Weber State senior Jordan Cross recorded a 20th-place finish in the men’s steeplechase and ran a time of 9:00.82 to earn honorable mention All-American honors.

Northern Colorado’s junior Alex Wesley, UNC’s first NCAA Finals competitor since 2013, finished 14th in the men’s 400m with a time of 45.91 to garner second-team All-American accolades. Wesley’s time was a personal best and ranks fifth all-time in Big Sky history.

Southern Utah’s sophomore Tre James got his first taste of the NCAA Finals after a 24th-place showing and a time of 21.28. James collected honorable mention All-American honors for his efforts.

The second day of Big Sky track & field competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will begin tomorrow (June 7) with the women’s hammer throw at 1:30 p.m. (PT). In all, the conference will be represented tomorrow by four athletes across four events.

Fans can watch the action live on the ESPN family of networks.

First-team All-American honors will be awarded to those athletes from individual events and relay teams that finish 1st through 8th, while those who place 9th through 16th will be named to the second-team. Honorable mention will be given to those who finish 17th through 24th.

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