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WSU finishes fourth and fifth in Big Sky Championship

The Weber State University men’s team finished fourth and the women’s team took fifth place at the Big Sky Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Bozeman, Mont.

The Wildcat men’s team totaled 73.5 points to finish fourth overall. Northern Arizona University won the meet with 143.5 points, followed by Montana State University and California State University, Sacramento.

Matt White shone for the Wildcats at the meet. White won first place in the 400 meters with a career-best time of 47.57 seconds. That time is the fourth-best in the event in WSU indoor history. White also finished second in the 200 meters at 21.69 seconds, totaling 18 points for the Wildcats.

WSU men’s head coach Dan Walker said he was proud of the team and was especially happy with White’s performance.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with our performance this weekend,” Walker said. “Matt White was terrific today, and we had lots of other guys step up and score in other events.”

White was also a part of the WSU 4-by-400-meter relay team that finished second overall at 3:13.52. Josh Peterson, Isaac Akers and Dustin Durfee were also part of the team.

WSU freshman Synjohn Lilly earned All-Conference honors by finishing third overall in the 55 meters with a time of 6.41 seconds.

Mike Hardy finished fourth in the mile run at 4:09.09 and sixth in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:32.35. John Coyle was seventh in the 3,000 meters.

Many athletes for WSU who have performed well during the season couldn’t break into the top positions on Saturday. Durfee was seventh and Peterson finished eighth in the 400 meters. Trevor Ricks finished eighth in the mile run and Stetson Smith took eighth in the 800 meters. Derek Harrebomee also finished eighth in the weight throw.

On Friday, WSU senior Cylor Morgan won the long jump with a career-best mark of 24-09.75, the second-best indoor mark in WSU history.

The women’s team struggled on Saturday after sitting in second place at the end of Friday. The team totaled 70 points to finish fifth overall. CSUS won the conference title with 107 points, followed by Portland State University, Idaho State University and MSU.

Women’s coach Jim Blaisdell said the team had highs and lows throughout the meet. He said some things could have gone better for the Wildcats.

“It was another one of those up-and-down meets,” he said. “This one might have had a few more downs than we would have liked.”

The best event of the day for the Wildcats was the mile run, which WSU finished in second and third, picking up 14 points. Freshman Jamie Stokes finished second overall with a time of 4:52.61, and senior Laken Hintze was third at 4:57.65, both earning All-Conference honors.

Sarah Callister was second in the 3,000 meters, posting a time of 9:43.00. Callister won the 5,000 meters on Friday night, repeating as conference champion in the event.

Ashley Kealamakia also earned All-Conference honors by finishing third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:12.21.

Jerica Wilson finished eighth in the 400 meters and Taylor Thornley finished eighth in the 3,000 meters. Andi McBride was eighth in the high jump, and WSU was also fourth in the 4-by-400-meter relay.

Blaisdell said that, despite the drop in position from Friday to Saturday, he saw some good things and feels the team learned a lot from the experience.

“We have a very young team, but still did have some really good performances and had some athletes step up for us. It was a good learning opportunity for us, and we will get better and look forward to the outdoor season.”

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