The Weber State track and field team had a total of 10 new conference qualifiers on Friday in Montana and Washington. Those qualifiers were highlighted by Sarah Callister's near-school record in the 5,000 meters.
Callister and Taylor Thornley competed in the University of Washington's Washington Invitational in Seattle on Friday. Callister ran a 16:00.95 in the 5,000 meters, which is just two-tenths short of the WSU record. That record is held by current Weber State assistant coach Lindsey Anderson, who accompanied Callister and Thornley to Seattle.
Thornley also qualified with a 16:59.09 time in the same event.
The rest of the WSU squad was in Bozeman, Mont., for the Bozeman Running Company Invitational. The women's team added five qualifiers in Bozeman for seven total. Overall, the women's team had eight improvements.
Meanwhile, the men had one new qualifying mark and 14 seasonal bests.
Jamie Stokes qualified in bot the 800 meters and mile. She ran a 4:55.19 mile and had a 2:14.86 time in the 800 meters. Alice Keller also qualified in the mile with a 5:04.98. Ashley Kealamakia had a qualifying time in the 800 meters as well but has already qualified for the event. Kealamakia won the event in Bozeman with a 2:14.71.
Laken Hintze was another new qualifier for the women's team,winning the 3,000 meters in 10:01.40.
Britlie Silvester qualified in the weight throw with a mark of 16.42 meters. That was good enough to win the event.
The new qualifier on the men's side was Mike Hardy, who ran a 4:02 altitude-adjusted time mile.
"Mike ran a terrific mile," men's coach Dan Walker said. "I was very pleased with the way he ran in the meet."
With the performance, Hardy moved into the Big Sky top 10 in both the mile and the 3,000 meters. Cylor Morgan also performed well, winning the long jump for the Wildcats.
"Overall we had a very good meet for with all those seasonal bests," said Walker. "We are excited for our home meet next week."
WSU will host the Wildcat Indoor Invitational this week, with the field events taking place on Thursday and the track events set for Saturday on campus.
* WILDCATS DROP A PAIR: The Weber State tennis team opened up a three-match road trip to Las Vegas with a pair of losses against stiff competition. The Wildcats dropped a 6-1 match against Pacific in the first match of the day, and then fell to New Mexico State 5-2 in the afternoon match.
The Wildcats started the day in fine fashion, taking the No. 1 and 2 doubles matches against Pacific for the doubles point and a 1-0 lead. Kristi Elmer and Thais Kurer won their third-straight doubles match with a 8-4 win over Iveta Masarova and Hana Ritterova in the No. 1 spot in the lineup. Ashley Tanner and Michelle Warwick finished off the point for WSU, grinding out a tough 8-7 (7-4) tiebreak win at No. 2.
"Our doubles play has really been coming together," said WSU assistant coach Markay Mullen. "We're really pleased with the way each of our pairings are playing together. They played extremely hard today, and we managed to get the doubles point off of a very good Pacific team. Today's play is proof of how well they are competing."
In singles, the Wildcats did not fare as well against the Tigers. Pacific took five of the six matches in straight sets. Ashley Tanner took a 6-3 first set win against Masarova in the No. 1 match before falling in the final two sets 6-0, 6-2.
In the team's second match of the day, New Mexico State took charge in doubles, winning at No. 1 and 2 for the point. Elmer and Kurer saw their winning streak come to a close as Jodie Williams and Denise Van Der Ben took an 8-2 win for the Aggies.
The Wildcats did manage to grab two singles points off NMSU with wins at No. 1 and No. 6. Tanner again took the first set, pulling out a 7-5 decision against Williams, and then went up 1-0 in the second set. Tanner was awarded the point when her opponent retired from the match after the opening game of the second set.
Annika Karlsen won her third singles match in four outings, and her third-straight in the No. 6 spot in the lineup, as she downed Lisa Roslanova 6-3, 6-4.