The Weber State men's track and field team finished third and the women's team was fourth at the 2017 Big Sky Outdoor Championships, held this weekend in Sacramento, California. The Wildcat men's team totaled 115 points with the women's team scoring 99 points. The Wildcats combined to win nine individual conference titles.
On the men's side the third place finish is Weber State's best since 2013. The Wildcats were picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches poll. WSU led the meet with just a few events remaining before finishing third. Sacramento State won the championship with 129.2 points with Southern Utah second at 117.
Weber State won four individual titles at the meet. The star of the day Saturday for the Wildcats was senior Alex Reece who won two events. Reece won the individual title in the 100 meter dash with a new Big Sky Championship meet record time of 10.21, which also tied his own school record. He came back later and won the title in the 200 meters, posting a time of 20.87. He became the first Big Sky athlete to win both sprint events in the same championship since Weber State's Brock Rose in 2009. Reece was also named the Co-MVP of the meet.
Freshman Luca Sinn claimed a title Friday as he won the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase. The Austria native posted a time of 8:54.95 to win the title by nearly five seconds. WSU's Jordan Cross was second at 8:59.50 with Dallin Leatham finishing fourth and Nic Demler taking sixth. The Wildcats scored 26 points in the steeplechase.
Anthony Gregory won the Big Sky title in the high jump, posting a mark of 6-11.00, for his second career Big Sky title.
Also earning All-Conference honors for the Wildcats were Josh Hartford who finished second in the 800 meters with a time of 1:51.00. In the decathlon, Reece Lafaye earned All-Big Sky honors by finishing third with a total score of 6,741 which is the eighth best total in Weber State history.
Nathan Dunivan earned All-Big Sky honors by finishing third in the discus with a mark of 173-08. Dunivan also finished eighth in the shot put with a mark of 53-00, which ranks as the ninth best in Weber State history.
The Wildcats were also third in the 400 meter relay with a time of 41.35 and third in the final event, the 1600 meter relay at 3:14.04.
Others to score points for the Wildcats were Joe Maloney who was fourth in the 1,500 meters at 3:51.68 and Tracen Warnick who finished fifth. Jordan Cross was fifth in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:25.60 and Keaton Pace finished fifth in the pole vault at 15-04.25.
The Weber State women's team scored 99 points to finish fourth overall. Northern Arizona won the meet with 125 points with Montana second at 116 and Sacramento State third at 107.
The Wildcats won five individual titles. The action got off to a great start in the first running event Friday afternoon as senior Ellie Child captured the conference title in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Child posted a time of 10:14.21 to win the title, winning the race by nine seconds. It was her third Big Sky title in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track this season. Summer Harper was fifth in the steeplechase with Maddie Cannon taking seventh.
WSU won two field events on Friday. Senior Natasha Powell improved her own school record and won her first Big Sky title as she took home the trophy in the women's shot put with a career best mark of 50-04. The mark was nearly a foot improvement on her own school record.
Sophomore Whitney Fowers won the Big Sky title in the javelin with a mark of 154-07, the sixth best mark in Weber State history. Fowers won the javelin by nearly 10 feet.
On Saturday, WSU won two more events. Senior Jamie Stokes won her third career Big Sky individual title as she captured first place in the 1,500 meters. The Ogden native set a new Big Sky Championship record with a time of 4:19.51, winning by more than five seconds. Ellie Child earned All-Conference honors by finishing third in the 1,500 meters at 4:26.69.
Junior Tawnie Moore captured the conference title in the 100 meter hurdles. Moore posted a career best time of 13.37 to win the event for her third career conference title. That time is the second fastest in Weber State history. She later followed that up by finishing seventh in the 200 meters with a time of 25.16.
Junior Hailey Whetten earned All-Big Sky honors in two events. She was second in the 10,000 meters with a time of 35:37.71 and finished third in the 5,000 meters at 16:41.38. Stokes claimed fourth place in the 5,000 meter run.
Also scoring for the Wildcats was Samantha Nicholes who finished eighth in the hammer throw with a mark of 170-11. The Wildcats were sixth in the 400 meter relay.
“Both teams performed so well and I'm really proud of their effort,” said Dan Walker, Weber State's Director of Track and Field. “That's as many first place finishes in a meet that I can remember. They were really well prepared and it was a balanced effort with a lot of great performances.”
Up next for the athletes who qualify will be the NCAA West Region Championships which will be held May 25-27 in Austin, Texas.