Wildcats wrap up regular season at Twilight track meet

May 3, 2012

OGDEN — Weber State’s outdoor track and field teams, concluded the 2012 regular season with the annual WSU May Twilight Meet, held Wednesday night at Stewart Stadium.

Athletes from BYU, Idaho State, Utah, Weber State and Westminster College gathered at Chick Hislop Track, looking for a last chance to get qualifying marks and times for their respective conference outdoor track and field championships. Men’s coach Dan Walker was looking to get three more qualified for next week’s meet, but settled for two. Braden Perry qualified in the 5,000 meters with a time of 15-4.90. Alex Sorensen posted a time of 15:22.43 in the same race, but actually qualified for the 10,000 meters based on his 5,000 altitude adjusted time.

“That was a good season ending meet for us,” Walker said. “Getting two more qualifiers really helps us. Everyone looked relaxed and poised, but focused on getting ready for next week.”

The WSU men captured four first-place events. Besides Perry’s victory in the 5,000 meters, Chris Struckman won the 100 meters (10.79). Tyler McBee captured the 110-meter hurdles in 14.76. Zach Parry won the hammer throw with a toss of 196-5, and the 4×400 meter relay team of Christian Barbiero, Dustin Durfee, McBee and Matt White, won in a season best time of 3;13.37, edging BYU at the tape (3:13.47).

The men now have 19 athletes qualified in 32 events for next week’s Big Sky Conference meet.

On the women’s side, Coach Jim Blaisdell got two more qualifiers for the conference meet. Kiersten Watkins ran a personal best time of 1:04.67 in the 400-meter hurdles. Audrey Smith continued her late season improvements, qualifying in the long jump with a career best leap of 18-3.

Dottie Vea, who has also been on a tear the last two weeks, broke the WSU record in the women’s hammer throw with a toss of 177-1, breaking the old mark of 176-11.00 set last season by Alex Filiaga.

Vea threw a career best of 171-3 just 10 days ago.

The only first-place winner for the women during the evening was senior Kristin Billings in the 100 meters. She won in a time of 12.14. The ‘Cats also won the 4×400-meter relay in 3:58.39 by the team of Lindsey McFarland, Elisa Isakson, Caitlin Paulsen and Ashley Kealamakia.

“We accomplished what we needed to tonight,” said Blaisdell. “We kind of let everyone relax and run what they wanted to this evening, and we rested all of our strong distance runners saving them for next week. It was nice to see Audrey Smith end her home career with a personal best jump. She’s might be the most improved athlete on our squad this season, especially the last two or three meets. We have some good momentum heading into next week.”

The Big Sky meet is set for next week (May 9-12) in Bozeman, Mont.