AUSTIN, Texas -- Two Weber State distance runners qualified for the NCAA track and field championships late Friday and early Saturday morning at the NCAA West Preliminary Meet in Austin, Texas.
Amber Henry and John Coyle both qualified in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and will now compete at the NCAA Championships June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.
After a four-hour delay rain and lightning delay the steeplechase didn't begin until late Friday and went into early Saturday morning.
Henry won her heat in the women's race and finished second overall with a time of 9:57.75. She won her heat by more than six seconds to easily qualify for the national meet for the second-straight season. Henry earned All-American honors in the steeplechase at last year's national championships.
The Mountain View, Wyo., native has already had an outstanding outdoor season, winning three titles at the Big Sky Championships and earning conference MVP honors. She will enter the national meet ranked third in the country in the event.
WSU senior Laken Hintze finished 36th overall in the event at the preliminary meet with a time of 10:40.47.
The Wildcats had three runners on the men's side in the steeplechase. Coyle, a senior from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, finished 11th overall in the event to qualify for the national meet. He posted a career best time of 8:41.64 to earn the spot. That time ranks as the 10th best in Weber State history.
WSU senior Mike Hardy narrowly missed qualifying for the second straight year. He posted a time of 8:46.07 and missed earning a spot to the national meet by 0.03 seconds.
Junior Trevor Ricks, the Big Sky champion in the steeplechase, finished 19th overall at 8:50.87.
Also at the NCAA preliminary meet, Isaac Akers advanced to the quarterfinals of the 400 meter hurdles but failed to qualify for the NCAA Championships. He finished 24th overall in the quarterfinals of the event with a time of 53.03. Dustin Durfee failed to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the long jump on Thursday, senior Cylor Morgan, who won the Big Sky title in the event at the indoor and outdoor championships, finished 20th overall with a mark of 24-03.50.
On Saturday, WSU junior Tiffany Hellstrom competed in the javelin and just missed qualifying for the meet. She finished 15th overall with a throw of 154-00.
In the last event of the meet the WSU 4x400 meter relay team finished 21st overall with a time of 3:12.24. The team consisted of Isaac Akers, Josh Peterson, Dustin Durfee and Matt White.
Southern Utah came out of the first round with one NCAA Nationals qualifier in Nate Jewkes who will appear in the men's 10k after fishing sixth in his race on Thursday.
Utah State track and field finished with senior sprinter Will Henry and sophomore high jumper Chari Hawkins advancing to the NCAA Finals.
Henry finished 12th in the 100-meter dash finals with a time of 10.60, while Hawkins tied for third-place in the high jump, clearing a height of 1.79m (5-10.50), a mark that ranks tied for second all-time in school history. Hawkins had already qualified for the finals in the heptathlon.
Two members of the BYU women's track and field team earn a trip to the NCAA Championships.
Natalie Stewart turned in a career performance to qualify for nationals in the 400 meters. Stewart ran the race in a personal record time of 52.97 seconds and finished fourth in her heat, just missing automatic qualification by one quarter of a second. She claimed her spot at the NCAA Championships by turning in the best time among non-automatic qualifiers.
After winning her heat and clocking the third-best time in the 800 meters on day one, Kelsey Brown turning in another strong performance to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Brown took second in her heat with a time of 2:05.57 to qualify.
After a 6 hour and 15 minute rain delay, Ryan Waite and Curtis Carr claimed spots at the starting line for the 2013 NCAA Championships.
Waite, a senior, is returning to the NCAA Championships for the third time in his career after taking third in his 800 meter heat with a time of 1:48.55.
Carr, a junior, was the final qualifier in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Carr took fifth in his heat -- the top three advance automatically -- but had the third-fastest time among non-automatic qualifiers to claim the 12th and final ticket to nationals.