Weber State track team hosts outdoor meet

Saturday , April 12, 2014 - 5:38 PM

Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN --The Weber State track and field team hosted the Wildcat Outdoor Open on Saturday after competing at the Utah Invitational the night before. It was a very successful weekend for the Wildcats who picked up eight total Big Sky Conference qualifiers.

The men’s team had four qualifiers while the women had two.

Jason Kearns ran a time in the 5,000-meter run at Utah Friday night that will qualify him for the 10,000-meter run in the Big Sky.

Stetson Smith, Joe Maloney and Brett Lechtenberg all qualified at Utah in the 800-meter run. Lechtenberg and Maloney also qualified in the 1,500-meter run.

The Wildcats had three runners in the 100-meter dash run qualifying times before the altitude-adjustments, so they do not yet qualify in the event. Those runners were Christian Weidle, Jesse Krey and Darion Zimmerman. Freshman Seth Fortin placed third in the event with a time of 10.76 but he has already qualified in the 100-meter dash.

“We just keep chipping away at qualifying marks,” men’s head coach Dan Walker said. “It’s like we’ve been saying all year, we’re young, but we’re getting better every week. It is still very early in the outdoor season, so we are headed in the direction we want to be.”

Freshman Anthony Gregory was another strong performer for the Wildcats, winning the high jump event on Saturday with a mark of 6-08.75.

For the women, Kayla Blackford and Jamie Stokes qualified for the conference meet. Blackford ran a time of 18:02.85 in the 5,000-meter run to qualify for the BigSky meet.

Meanwhile, Stokes clocked in at 2:11.94 in the 800-meter run to qualify. Both Stokes and Blackford placed third in their respective events.

Freshman Tawnie Moore ran well in the hurdles, placing fifth in the 100-meter hurdles at Utah and second in the same event at Weber State with a time of 14.30 on Saturday.

Coming off of a knee injury, Summer Harper performed very well in her first meet back, placing fifth in the 1,500-meter run on Saturday.

The 4x100-meter relay team ran a full second faster at Utah than they had all year.

Tiffany Hellstrom won the javelin event at Weber State on Saturday with a mark of 153-04. She has already qualified in the event this season.

“We just keep getting better every week it seems like,” women’s head coach Jim Blaisdell said. “I’m very happy with how we keep cutting time off times that have already qualified. It’s early in the year and we have some great meets ahead of us. We’re sitting in a great position right now, we just have to keep moving forward every week.”

The Wildcat Open is hosted at Stewart Stadium every year, and both coaches were very pleased with how the meet went.

“I’m really grateful for all the officials who came to help out,” Walker said. “It take a mini-army to run an event like this. Everyone on the coaching staff does their part of conducting the meet too. Putting on a meet like this takes a lot of effort and it went off without a hitch.”

The Wildcats will have some runners in Long Beach, Calif. this weekend while most runners will be at the Mt. Sac Relays in Los Angeles.

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