The Weber State University men’s and women’s track and field teams started their 2013 indoor season on Saturday at the Idaho State Snake River Open. The meet was a duel between Idaho State University and WSU.

The Wildcat men’s team had five qualifiers for the Big Sky meet, and also recorded four marks on the school’s top-10 lists.

In the 3,000-meter run, WSU’s Mike Hardy qualified for the Big Sky Conference meet with a time of 8:23.53. His time was one of the best the school has seen in the event during the first meet of the season.

The Wildcats saw four athletes qualify for the conference championship in the field events. Dustin Martin qualified in the weight throw with a mark of 59-08.25. He won the event by more than three feet and also posted the fifth-best time in school history in the weight throw. Derek Harrebomee also qualified in the weight throw, as he finished second overall with a mark of 56-06.75.

WSU got another win in an individual event when Tyler Burns won the high jump and qualified for the Big Sky meet with a mark of 6-06.75.

WSU also secured a win in the 60-meter sprints, with two freshmen reaching the all-time top-10 lists. Darion Zimmerman won the event with a time of 7.00, which just missed qualifying for conference and now ranks as the seventh-fastest time in school history. Synjohn Lilly came in second, just behind Zimmerman, with a time of 7.02, the ninth-best all-time.

Another personal record was in the long jump, where Cylor Morgan won the event with a personal-best mark of 23-08.25, now tied for the ninth-best in WSU history.

“It was a good opening meet for us with several good performances,” said WSU men’s head coach Dan Walker. “It was nice to get five new qualifiers and add several marks to our top-10 lists.”

On the women’s side, the Wildcats had five first places and picked up four qualifiers for the Big Sky meet in their first meet of the season.

Three Wildcats qualified for conference in the 3,000-meters as they continued their strong performances in distance events. Sarah Callister, Taylor Thornley and Jamie Stokes all reached the conference standard, and Laken Hintze just missed qualifying.

The other conference-qualifier was Ashley Kealamakia, who reached the standard in the 800-meters, winning the event with a time of 2:15.66.

Freshman Alexandria Van Halder had a strong meet in her first career meet, winning the 200-meters with a time of 25.83 and finishing second in the 60-meters at 7.76. That time ranks as the eighth-best in WSU indoor history.

Katy Hufford won the long jump at 18-00.50, and Kassandra Reynolds took first place in the weight throw at 51-11.25.

Jim Blaisdell, head coach of the women’s team, said he thought it was a good opening meet for the team overall, but he can still see a lot of areas the team needs to improve on as the season goes on.

“We had some really good performances for our first meet,” Blaisdell said. “We competed and worked hard and picked up some new qualifiers, while just missing qualifying marks in some other events. We still have a lot of work to do, but it was a good start for us.”

WSU will take a break next week to host the High School Developmental meet. The next meet WSU will compete in will be Jan. 25-26 at the Boise State Invitational. The Wildcats will only have one home meet during the indoor season. On Feb. 16, they will host the Wildcat Open. The following week is the Big Sky Indoor Championships.

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