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INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD: Southern Utah's track and field teams will head to Fargo, N.D., this weekend in pursuit of conference championships as the Thunderbirds compete at the 2010 Summit League Indoor Track & Field Championships.

"This is the meet that we have worked towards all year," head coach Eric Houle said. "North Dakota State will be the team to beat on both sides, but we hope to cut into some points and make some improvement over last year."

Southern Utah finished second and fifth on the men's and women's side, respectively, in 2009, but look to make a charge this year with several of the top times and marks in the league this season.

Included among the conference leaders are Cameron Levins (mile, 3:59.80), Carlos Valle (shot put, 53-6.25), Christina Day (400 meters, 54.93) and Sharla Manuele (3,000 meters, 9:25.21, and mile, 4:45.94).

Southern Utah athletes have also made a run on the record books this season, breaking two records on the men's side in the mile (Levins) and in the indoor heptathlon (Wade Nielson, 4,832). The women have also rewritten the all-time marks with new school records in the 60 meters (Shaye Maurer, 7.70), 60-meter hurdles (Maurer, 8.59), 400 meters (Day), mile (Manuele) and 3,000 meters (Manuele).

The meet will begin on Sunday morning with the multi events, with the brunt of the action taking place on Monday with individual and team champions being crowned following the men's 4x400-meter relay.

GYMNASTICS: Southern Utah's Elise Wheeler captured her seventh consecutive all-around title of the season, breaking the school record with a 39.550 performance, but a pair of falls on bars made all the difference as the T-Birds dropped a 196.100-195.425 decision to the Boise State Broncos on Friday night at Cedar City.

"The difference tonight was the way Boise State recovered from falls on events and we weren't able to match that," head coach Scott Bauman said after the meet. "We scored a season best tonight, but we know that it wasn't our best effort. We know we can do better and we need to start hitting our routines every night to be able to move to the next level."

Southern Utah got off to a great start, tying the school-record on vault with a 49.275 as Wheeler led the way with a 9.900. She was followed by Melissa Johnson (9.875), Bailey Baker (9.850), Lindsey Schultz (9.850) and Caitlin Kennedy with a 9.800 to round out the team score. The performance on vault left the Thunderbirds with a three-tenths advantage over the Broncos as BSU scored a 48.925 on bars.

BSU began its first rotation on bars with a fall, but the rest of the team finished the event 5-of-5 to keep close to the T-Birds moving onto the second rotation.

The second rotation proved to be where the meet was won for Boise as a pair of falls on subsequent routines for Southern Utah led to a team score of 48.150 on the event. The score was more than five-tenths lower than SUU's season average on the event and was a rarity for a team that scored a 9.725 or better on the other four routines during the rotation. Wheeler led the way with a meet-high 9.875 to claim the individual title on the event.

Boise State used the wiggle room to swing momentum to its side as the team score a 49.350 on vault to take a 98.275-97.425 lead after the second rotation.

Southern Utah looked to make up the difference as the night progressed outscoring the Broncos 48.850-48.675 during the third rotation, including another individual title for Wheeler with a meet-best 9.900 on beam. Alyssa Click and Ari Lamb were close behind with matching 9.800's.

BSU opened its final rotation with a fall on beam, giving the Thunderbirds the possibility to catch up in the standings, as SUU scored a season-high 49.100 on floor, with Wheeler (9.875) once again taking the individual title. However, Boise remained composed as the final five gymnasts each hit their routines to secure the 196.100-195.425 victory over the T-Birds.

Wheeler's 39.550 in the all-around was more than two-tenths ahead of second-place finisher Amy Glass and broke her own school record of 39.525 that she had set last year.

Southern Utah will be back in action next weekend when the Thunderbirds compete against the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City on Sunday, March 7. The meet will feature strong SUU ties as Iowa assistant coach Caleb Phillips served as an assistant coach under Bauman for four years. The meet against Iowa is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (MT).

BASEBALL: Southern Utah's baseball team continued its rocky start to the 2010 season as the Thunderbirds dropped 12-6 and 13-1 decisions to the Utah Valley Wolverines on Friday. The losses leave the T-Birds winless with an 0-7 record while Utah Valley moves to 3-3.

SUU had its first lead of the series in game one as Bucky Aona recorded his first of two RBIs on the day, driving home Matt Sanford from second base with an RBI single. However, Utah Valley answered with four runs in the top of the second inning, loading the bases with no outs in the frame. Mitchell Kauweloa hit the first of three home runs on the day for the Thunderbirds in the home half of the inning, but three more runs in the top of the third by UVU brought the score to 7-2.

Aona blasted a shot over the center-field fence in the third inning to trim the lead to four, 7-3. Utah Valley broke through with a run in the top of the sixth, making the score 8-3 before Southern Utah made a big push in the bottom of the sixth.

The Thunderbirds led off the inning with back-to-back singles, with Kauweloa's bringing home Trevor Randolph from second base following an errant throw by the Utah Valley pitcher. Brock Westphal's home run to center field capped the scoring for Southern Utah as the T-Birds drew to within two, 8-6. But UVU's four runs in the top of the seventh inning produced the final score of 12-6 in the shortened, seven-inning game.

In game two, SUU couldn't find its bats, scoring its only run in the bottom of the fifth inning by capitalizing on a Utah Valley error to score Taylor Shaw from second base. Shaw led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on a bunt and then crossed home plate as Justin Neuhart reached first on an error by UVU's shortstop.

The game was 4-1 in the Wolverines' favor going into the top of the seventh inning, but nine late runs by Utah Valley, three in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, sealed the 13-1 victory for UVU.

Southern Utah will have its final shot of the weekend to capture a victory over Utah Valley today when the two teams take to Bruce Hurst Field on the campus of Dixie State College at 11 a.m. to close out the four-game series.

SUMMIT LEAGUE: The Summit League and Midcontinent Communications, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., have reached an agreement to air the first 10 games of the 2010 Summit League Basketball Championships. Midcontinent will televise and originate production for all four men's quarterfinal games, all four women's quarterfinals games and both women's semifinal games.

Television coverage for The Summit League Tournament will now include live coverage of all 14 men's and women's games, culminating on Tuesday, March 9, with the women's championship game on ESPNU and the men's championship game on ESPN2.

"We are pleased to have Midcontinent Communications televise the first 10 games of our tournament," said Commissioner Tom Douple. "For the first time in our league's history we will have all 14 games available on live television. This unprecedented coverage follows record-setting attendance at last year's tournament and demonstrates the growth of our event."

Games televised by Midcontinent will be available live throughout South Dakota and North Dakota. Sioux Falls, Yankton, Vermillion and surrounding areas will be subject to blackout. In addition, Midcontinent will air the men's semifinals produced by Metro Sports.

Midcontinent will distribute a feed of their games to Summit League markets and to ESPN Full Court, who will air three men's quarterfinal contests.

Furthermore, Midcontinent will extend access to the tournament games by providing rebroadcasts during the week and games on-demand following the event.

The Summit League Championships return to Sioux Falls, March 6-9, after netting attendance and corporate sponsorship records in 2009, its first season at the location.