Las Vegas, Nev.--The Weber State track and field team had a great start to its 2014 outdoor season, picking up a total of 20 Big Sky Conference qualifiers in the UNLV Invitational on Saturday.
The men’s team earned five qualifiers while the women’s team picked up 15.
“I don’t remember ever having that many qualifiers in the first meet of the season,” women’s head coach Jim Blaisdell said. “So it was a very good weekend. It was ideal conditions and our team took big-time advantage of that.”
The women were led by Jazmin Porter who qualified in three throwing events, setting a school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 180-03.00. Porter also qualified in the shot put and the discus.
It was a strong throwing weekend for the Wildcat women who had seven total qualifying marks in the throws. Including Porter’s three marks, Natasha Powell and Kassandra Reynolds qualified in the hammer, Tiffany Hellstrom qualified in the javelin throw and Britlie Silvester qualified in the shot put.
Freshman Tawnie Moore set a career-best time of 14.20 in the 100-meter hurdles. That is good enough for ninth on the Weber State all-time list in the event.
Jamie Stokes clocked in at 17:03.71 in the 5,000-meter run to qualify for the conference meet.
Katherine Wishmeyer qualified in the 400-meter run with a time of 56:42. Katy Hufford qualified in the long jump while Kiersten Watkins qualified in the 400-meter hurdles, and Alice Keller and Ellie Child both qualified in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
“I could not be more pleased with the way we started the season,” Blaisdell said. “That is a very, very good meet for us to start the outdoor season.”
As expected, the men’s team was led by freshmen not acting like freshmen.
Freshman Seth Fortin qualified in both the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.
Freshman Anthony Gregory qualified in the high jump with a mark of 6-08.00. Senior teammate Tyler Burns set the same qualifying mark in the event.
Meanwhile junior Jonathan McUne qualified in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.30, which puts him in seventh place all-time at Weber State in the event.
“It was a really great way to start the outdoor season,” men’s head coach Dan Walker said. “We are going to live and die with our freshmen this season and today they did very well.”
The Wildcats will compete next on Friday and Utah Valley University in the Utah Valley Collegiate.
“We really put down some good marks this weekend,” Walker said, “now we’ll go down to Orem next week and see how many of them we can break.”