Over the weekend, Pocatello, Idaho, was the site of the Big Sky Conference Championships for indoor track and field. The Weber State University track and field teams sent a contingent of runners who had qualified throughout the season.
The women’s team came in second place, while the men finished in fifth. The teams from Northern Arizona University won both of the titles.
After analyzing the performances of their athletes throughout the season, the coaches said they had a good chance to compete in certain areas. Both teams exceeded expectations, especially the women, who put in some of their best performances together when they needed to.
“Going in, I thought that if we scored in the 75-point range I’d be very happy,” said WSU women’s head coach Jim Blaisdell. “Scoring 93 was very good for our girls. I really can’t say enough about how well they performed this weekend.”
The storied career of Amber Henry came to a close as well. She ended up winning three titles. Henry rolled to victories in the mile, nearly breaking her own school record by three seconds, and the 3,000-meter run, which brought her individual titles to 11.
Henry was also the anchor leg for the distance medley team that entered the last handoff behind the leader by 50 meters, but Henry left no doubt who would be walking off the track as the winners of the event.
“It can’t be understated how much we are going to miss her,” Blaisdell said. “Amber has been an outstanding runner for us and an even more outstanding individual for the program.”
Another distance runner who performed well was Jamie Stokes. She placed second in the mile run. She also had a pair of third-place finishes in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs.
Britlie Silvester continued her impressive season by setting a school record of her own in the weight throw. Her mark of 59 feet, 8 inches was good enough for third place. She also placed fourth in the shot put.
On the men’s side, the young team showed spurts of excellence as it competed against some of the best in the country.
“I told myself that I would be ecstatic with anything close to 50 points,” said WSU men’s head coach Dan Walker. “To score 56 was outstanding, and I could not be more pleased.”
Isaac Akers set two personal bests in the 400-meter dash, those times coming on back-to-back runs. He ran faster each time he took the track. His time of 47.99 won second place in that event. Seth Fortin continued to build on a successful freshman season with a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash, also taking sixth in the 60-meter dash.
Trevor Ricks, one of the more experienced runners, almost pulled off one of the bigger upsets of the weekend in the mile run. He placed second with a time 4:11.09, finishing in between two athletes from NAU. In a photo finish, Ricks came up just short of getting the victory.
“Trevor ran a really good race,” Walker said. “It was really exciting to watch him hold his pace while some of the other runners got out in front but lagged as the race wore on.”
The conference championships marked the end of the indoor season. The Wildcats will return to action on March 22 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Invitational, their first meet of the outdoor season.