WSU Women Win 2012 Big Sky Indoor Track&Field Title
Courtesy: Weber State  
Release: Monday 02/25/2012
Courtesy: Weber State
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          Weber State’s women’s indoor track and field team literally “went the distance” on Saturday afternoon to win the 2012 Big Sky Conference championship in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was WSU’s ninth women’s indoor conference championship in 25 years and the first since the 2007 season.
      Coach Jim Blaisdell relied the legs of juniors Sarah Callister and Amber Henry to capture the title by one points (132-131) over two-time defending champion Sacramento State.   Callister, the two-time Big Sky Conference defending champion in the outdoor 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs, captured the long distance double in the 5,000 and 3,000 meter runs and added a second place finish in mile run to finish with 28 points. 
     Callister was named the Female Track Athlete of the Meet.  Callister won the 5,000 meter run on Friday night in a time of 16:58.65, then came back on Saturday to post a time of 4:53.87 in the mile, and less than two hours later, ran 9:45.05 to win the 3,000 meters.
      Henry won the 800 meters in a time of 2;11.26, then won the mile in 4:52.66.  Henry, who set the WSU school record in the 3,000 meter run earlier this season, finished fourth in the 3,000 in a time of 10:16.57.
     “Those were two gritty performances by Sarah and Amber, especially at high altitude,” said WSU head coach Jim Blaisdell.  “Those were both very difficult triples, especially Amber who had to run all three races within a three hour time span. We needed every point today and we came through. I am really thrilled with our performance today.”
     Blaisdell’s reference to every point was literal. In the women’s pole vault, WSU freshman Elisa Isakson ended up in a three-way tie at 11-05.75, but with fewer misses, Isakson finished eighth, garnering one point.
     Even then, the Wildcats had to sit around and wait for the completion of the Triple Jump which was the last event.  Sac State needed a 1-2-3-4 from their group to tie the Wildcats, but they went 1-2-3-5 and were closed out.
     Blaisdell got a tremendous performance from senior sprinter Kristin Billings in the 60 and 200 meter dashes.  Billings finished third in the 60 meter dash in a personal best time of 7.50 and ran a personal best of 24.44 finishing second in the 200 meter dash.  Her 60 meter time is the second fastest time in WSU school history, as was her 200 meter time.
     “I am so happy for Kristin,” said Blaisdell. “She has worked tremendously hard this season and finished strong.”
     The Wildcats finished 1-3-6 in the 800 meters, 1-2-3 in the mile, 1-3-4-5 in the 3,000 meters and 1-3-5-8 in the 5,000 meters using their depth to hold off the Hornets.
Freshmen Ashley Kealamakia (2:13.61) and Caitlyn Paulsen (2:16.03) were third and seventh, respectively in the 800 meters.    Suzanna Sorensen was seventh in the mile (5:18.26).   Taylor Thornley had a pair of third place finishes in the 5,000 meters (17:28.75) and the 3,000 (10:02.11).   Kayla Blackford was sixth in the 5,000 (18:34.21) and Jenna Deelstra was eighth (18:40.14).
     The Wildcats also won both relays. On Friday night the captured the Distance Medley Relay in a time of 12:20.45. It was the only time this year they have run that event. That squad was made up of Loren Story (1,200 meters), Audrey Smith (800 meters), Lindsey McFarland (800 meters) and Laken Hintze (1,600 meters).  Hintze also placed third in the mile run (4:57.92).
       The 4x400 Relay team of Amanda Alston, Kristin Billings, Elisa Isakson and Audrey Smith turned in solid time of 3;45.98.   Alston also had a third place finish in the 400 meters in a personal best time of 55.26. That is the fourth fastest time in WSU women’s indoor track and field history.   Every athlete who finished first, second or third earned All-Big Sky Conference honors.
 1. WEBER STATE  132
 2. Sacramento State  131
 3. Portland State    90
 4. Northern Arizona    85
 5. Montana     60
 6. Idaho State     57
 7. Montana State    56
 8. Eastern Washington   45
 9. Northern Colorado      6 

     Coach Dan Walker’s men finished fifth with 45 points, one point ahead of Idaho State.
Northern Arizona won the title scoring a meet record 215 points.
     Zach Parry had the highest place finish for the WSU men with a second place showing in the 35-pound weight throw on Friday night. Parry had a season-best toss of 60-002.00. Derek Harrebomee was fourth (59-07.00).   Parry was fifth (51-07-75) in the shot put on Saturday and Harrebomee finished seventh (50-08.00).
     “We finished right where I had us on paper before the meet,” said Walker. “ We competed hard and gave everything we had with our small band of brothers.”
     Mike Hardy was fifth in the mile (4;17,72) and sixth in the 3,000 (8:40.51). Dustin Durfee was sixth in the 400 meters (48.46) after running a personal best on Friday night in the trials (48.43). Kurt Ward was fifth (1:56.10) in the 800 meters and Matt White was seventh in the 200 meters (21.88).
     Both men’s relay teams finished fourth. The Distance Medley team of Kurt Ward (1,200 meters), Christian Barbiero (400 meters), Brett Lechtenberg (800 meters) and Mike Hardy (1,600 meters) posted a time of 10:26.95.    The 4x400 meter relay team of Dustin Durfee, Christian Barbiero, Josh Peterson and Matt White came in at 3:14.83 which is a season best.
 1. Northern Arizona  215
 2. Montana State  122
 3. Eastern Washington   88
 4. Sacramento State    65
 5. WEBER STATE    45
 6. Idaho State     44
 7. Montana     42
 8. Northern Colorado    30
 9. Portland State      8

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