OGDEN -- Weber State's track and field teams made steady improvement Friday and Saturday, participating in the two-day Utah Spring Track and Field Classic.
The meet included 22 events on Friday at Utah's new McCarthey Family Track and Field complex, and 22 additional evenst Saturday at Stewart Stadium.
Friday in Salt Lake City, the WSU women had an outstanding afternoon. In the 200 meters, Amanda Alston (24.26) and Kristin Billings (24.37) each ran career bests. Alston also ran a personal best of 12.10 in the 100 meters.
Amber Henry, who has been burning up the track in the 1,500 meters and steeplechase, came down to run an 800 meters and ran 2:09.76, just off her personal best of 2:09.09. Laken Hintze, another middle/long distance runner, ran a 2:12.26.
Elisa Isakason jumped a new personal best of 11-5.75 in the pole vault on Friday, then came back on Saturday and upped it by two inches, leaping 11-7.75, the third best jump in WSU history.
Also on Friday, Dottie Vea threw a new personal best of 159-11 in the hammer throw, the sixth-best mark in WSU history. Hillary Stevens also had a personal best of 153-4.50.
Saturday saw the Wildcats qualified three runners in the 400 meters for the Big Sky Conference outdoor championships. Audrey Smith (56.95), Ashley Kealamakia (57.07) and Katherine Wishmeyer (57.22) each ran career-best times in the event to qualify.
"I really liked this format," said WSU women's coach, Jim Blaisdell. "Those who didn't perform so well on Friday had a chance to come back Saturday and look for improvement and a lot of them did. We now have 19 athletes qualified for the conference meet."
On the men's side, coach Dan Walker got three more athletes qualified for the Big Sky meet, giving him a total of 15. Walker was pleased the way the meet went and the marks and times his team posted.
"We probably had a better Friday than Saturday," said Walker. "Overall, I was pleased but we still have some work to do over the next couple of weeks."
Matt White ran personal bests of 10.71 in the 100 meters and 21.38 in the 200 meters on Friday.
Jonathan McUne won the 110-meter hurdles in a personal best of 14.67. Dustin Durfee was second in the 400-meter hurdles in 53.74. Durfee came back on Saturday to run a 48.19 in the open 400 meters, a career best.
Zach Parry threw a personal best of 198-9 in the hammer throw, the third longest in school history. On Saturday, Chris Struckman won the high jump in 6-6.75.
Most of the team will have next weekend off. The long distance runners, plus some short sprinters and relay teams, travel to Walnut, Calif., for the annual Mount SAC Relay.
* WILDCATS EDGED OUT: At Portland, Ore., for the second time in two days, the doubles point was costly for the 1-26 Weber State women's tennis team after a singles split. On Friday, it was Portland State that took the doubles competition and a 4-3 win.
Carly Lloyd and Thais Kurer won their match at No. 3 doubles, defeating Alexa McDonald and Nayanatara Vadali 8-5. The Wildcats battled in both of the remaining matches, but fell 8-6 at No. 2, and 9-7 at No. 1 to see the point slip away.
In singles, Brittiny Moore, Ashley Tanner and Annika Karlsen recorded wins for the Wildcats. Moore won the top match, defeating McDonald 7-5, 7-5, while Tanner cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Ashley Spencer at No. 2.
Karlsen won at No. 6 for her second-straight singles win, this time defeating Vadali 6-2, 6-4.
Kurer's singles match went down to the wire at No. 4. After dropping the opening set against Megan Govi 6-2, Kurer battled to even with a 6-3 win in the second set. The deciding set was a battle, with Govi pulling out a 7-5 win to help clinch the match for the Vikings.