The Weber State University indoor track and field teams put up solid figures in their meets last weekend and took place at the Jackson Invitational in Nampa, Idaho and the University of Washington Husky Invitational in Seattle, Wash.
For a number of Wildcat runners, it was a record-setting weekend in Idaho at the Jackson Invitational on Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday the 28. More than 20 athletes posted seasonal best times for the women’s team, eight of which were good enough to qualify for the national championships that will be held back at Jackson Arena in Idaho on Mar. 9.
The Wildcat women’s team had previously qualified nine other athletes for the championships in its performance two weeks ago at the Snake River Open in Pocatello, Idaho.
Three of the Wildcat women chose to forgo the Jackson Invitation, however, and went to Seattle to participate in the Husky Invitational. Amber Henry, a junior from Wyoming, Sarah Callister, a junior from Ogden, and Taylor Thornley, a junior from Logan, were the three that went to Seattle to compete in multiple distance events.
Callister ran a personal best time of 16 minutes 29.25 seconds in the 5,000-meter, which is an unrivaled mark by any competitor in NCAA Division 1 indoor track this season. Callister’s teammate Thornley was only a fraction of a second behind, running a time of 16:29.66 in the same event. These times are the second and third fastest times in WSU’s history for the 5,000 event.
Head Coach Jim Blaisedell said he is pleased with the performance of Callister, Henry and Thornley this season.
“They have set a high standard for themselves and the rest of the conference to chase the rest of the year,” Blaisedell said.
On Saturday, Henry broke the school record in the 3,000 event, running a time of 9:12.65 and breaking the old record by nine seconds.
Henry, who competes in the mile, 3,000 and 5,000 races, has recently set another personal best time of 4:42 in the mile run, which is only a split second off the school record that has stood for more than 15 years. She said she feels very confident about that ‘Cat’s chances as a team this year.
“I’m very excited about the opening events of the season, and we hope to keep it up,” Henry said. “We all want to do well as a team and everyone is extremely committed to their events. They are showing up and running their best every single day, so hopefully we can all come together in the end and win a championship as a team.”
Henry, along with many others on the women’s indoor team, said she looks to fare well and hopefully set more records this weekend at the Mountain State Games in Pocatello, Idaho.
For those on the team who took part in the cross country team championship this past November, this is a unique opportunity to bring another championship back to WSU in only a matter of a few months.
The NCAA Indoor Championships will be back in Nampa, Idaho on Friday, Mar. 9 to Saturday, Mar. 10.
The ‘Cats will then jump right into the outdoor track and field season the following week by going to San Diego for the Aztec Invitational on Friday, Mar. 16.