OGDEN — In her second career marathon race, former Weber State University track and field standout Sarah Callister Sellers finished second in the Boston Marathon on Monday, despite extremely windy and rainy conditions.
Sellers posted a time of 2:44.04 to finish second to Desiree Linden, according to a Weber State University news release.
It was the first time two Americans have finished first and second in Boston since 1979, said the news release. Linden’s victory is the first for an American woman since 1985.
Her finish is the best ever by a native of Utah at the Boston Marathon, said her coach, Paul Pilkington. She also qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials.
“I think I’m going to wake up and this will be a dream,” Sellers said in a Weber State news release. “It was a like a hurricane out there.”
“I won the hypothermic bowl,” Pilkington, said she texted him, referring to conditions in the race. Pilkington described the conditions as “by far, the worst ever.”
Sellers won $75,000 for her top finish, Pilkington said.
She finished ahead of Olympic champions, including two Olympic silver medalists and a woman who won the New York City Marathon last year, Pilkington said.
The Boston Marathon was Sellers’ second marathon, Pilkington told the Standard-Examiner. She was the winner last September of the Huntsville Marathon, a qualifier for Boston.
A 2009 graduate of Ogden High School, Sellers attended Weber State where she was a nine-time Big Sky champion from 2009-12, according to the news release.
Sellers is a full-time nurse working in anesthesiology at Banner Health Center in Arizona, her husband, Blake Sellers, told The Boston Globe in an interview Monday.
Pilkington said Sellers has been running at 4 a.m. to fit her training in with her work schedule.
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Ogden High School track and field coach Don Hall, spoke highly of his former student.
“She had a saying, ‘Hard work will beat talent when talent fails to work.’” Hall said. “That is Sarah.”
In high school, as an individual, Hall said Sellers was named the 3A state cross country girls champion in 2008. The next year, he said she was the winner at the state track meet for 1,600 meter and 3,200 meter races.
That year, the girls team won the 3A state championships, he said.
As far as the marathon goes, Hall said training while having a full-time job was a “real credit” to Sellers’ character.
“She’s not a sponsored runner,” Hall said. “She paid her entry fee. All that came out of her own pocket. She’s quite a person. ... Ogden High School is so proud of her. She has earned everything she gets.”
While at WSU, Sellers won the 5,000 meters and 10,000-meter title three times each at the Big Sky outdoor championships and won the 5,000 meters twice and the 3,000 meters once at the indoor championships. She also currently holds six places in the Weber State career top 10 list and earned Big Sky All-Conference honors 15 times in track and field and cross country, the news release said.
Her achievements also extended to the classroom. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA in nursing.
She was awarded the prestigious NCAA Elite 89 award at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships. She also was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, the only athlete in WSU history to earn Academic All-America honors three times. She twice was named as the Weber State Female Athlete of the Year.
Sellers now lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband.
“This is a game changer for Sarah, in just her second marathon,” Pilkington said in the news release. “This was one of the best fields they have ever had and was really tough conditions. I knew she was in good shape because her workouts were going so well. She has persevered through injuries, graduate school and has a full-time job, and still able to train in world-class conditions.”