SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Despite scoring 75 points on Saturday and winning a pair of individual titles, the Montana women’s track and field team came up short in its quest to win the team trophy at the Big Sky Conference championships. Results
The Grizzlies totaled 116 points for the meet, their second-highest total in Big Sky outdoor championships history, but nemesis Northern Arizona checked in at 125, handing Montana another close second-place finish.
The Lumberjacks got the better of the Grizzlies at the indoor championships as well.
“I’m not disappointed at all, because we performed great, but my heart aches for the athletes. To work so hard and be that close, I have an ache in my soul for them,” said coach Brian Schweyen.
Sammy Evans wrapped up her championships career by winning her sixth Big Sky title, going 42-1.25 to comfortably win the triple jump.
Hana Feilzer got Montana off to a good start on Saturday morning, winning the hammer with a school-record throw of 206-3 to earn the meet’s Outstanding Performer honors.
Later in the afternoon, she was part of a dominant discus crew that placed four in the top seven as the Grizzlies made a late push to catch Northern Arizona.
Kayla Holmes placed third at 155-10, Feilzer was fourth at 154-0, Samantha Hodgson came in fifth at 152-7, and Holly Houston was seventh at 147-11, making it a 17-point event for Montana.
But in the end it wasn’t enough.
“I’m proud of every kid on the team, men’s and women’s. We had great performances, and everyone came and gave their all,” said Schweyen.
“Some performances were absolutely spectacular and came out of nowhere, and that’s why we were in the race and had a chance to win. We had kids scoring everywhere.”
The men’s team finished seventh, scoring 64 points, 61 of which came on Saturday.
The best event for Montana was the javelin, with Daniel Jones winning his first Big Sky title with a career-best throw of 215-8. Kyle Morris, a freshman, finished second, throwing a career-best 202-3.
And that was only two of Montana’s scorers in the event. Brady Coffman, at 197-8, finished fifth, Luke Hilmes, at 190-9, came in seventh. The javelin accounted for 24 of Montana’s points on Saturday.
Runner-up finishes from the men’s team came from Matt Quist, who cleared 6-9.75 in the high jump, and the 4×100-meter relay team of Callum Macnab, Sterling Reneau, Alex Mustard and Dominique Bobo.
Evans, Feilzer and Holmes were three of the women’s team’s five All-Big Sky performers, an honor that requires a top-three finish. The other two came from a pair of surging underclassmen.
Emily Pittis came in second in the 5,000 meters, an event that went 33 athletes deep. Her time of 16:39.46 was an 11-second PR. In the 800 meters, freshman Carly Smiedala placed third in a strong field in a collegiate-best time of 2:08.89.
Other top-five finishes came from Olivia Ellis, fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:00.58, and both of Montana’s relay teams.
Keyera Gaulden, Ellis, Erika McLeod and Alanna Vann finished fourth in the 4×100, Ellis, Smiedala, Emily Cheroske and McLeod came in fourth in the 4×400.
Other points on Saturday came from Reagan Colyer, sixth in the 1,500 meters, Nicole Stroot, seventh in the 100-meter hurdles, Cheroske, seventh in the 800 meters, Vann, eighth in the 200 meters, and Jessica Bailey, eighth in the 5,000 meters, one day after running to a third-place finish in the steeplechase.
Just as a hamstring issue kept Brendan Thurber-Blaser from winning the decathlon on Thursday, the same fickle muscle cost Montana points on Saturday as well.
Reneau, the favorite in the 400 meters, had to take an eighth-place finish after pulling a hamstring early in the race.
And Alex Mustard tweaked his hamstring as well at the finish of the 100 meters, after finishing third in a career-best time of 10.41. That forced him to sit out the 200 meters, a race in which Bobo finished sixth in a time of 21.77.
Dylan Reynolds finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in 53.64, Chase Armstrong was sixth in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.92, Brett Dringman placed seventh in the pole vault, clearing 15-0.25, and Karsten Pease came in eighth in the 800 meters in a time of 1:56.98.
Next up for Montana will be the NCAA West Regional, to be held May 25-27 at Austin, Texas. The announcement of who makes the cut to regionals will come next week.
Women’s team scores
- Northern Arizona … 125
- Montana … 116
- Sacramento State … 107
- Weber State … 99
- Montana State … 93
- North Dakota … 63
- Idaho … 49
- Eastern Washington … 44
- Northern Colorado … 43
- Portland State … 39
- Idaho State … 25
- Southern Utah … 16
Montana’s point scorers
10, Sammy Evans, 1st, triple jump
10, Hana Feilzer, 1st, hammer
8, Emily Pittis, 2nd, 5,000 meters
6, Nicole Stroot, 3rd, heptathlon
6, Carly Smiedala, 3rd, 800 meters
6, Jessica Bailey, 3rd, steeplechase
6, Sammy Evans, 3rd, long jump
6, Jane Booth, 3rd, high jump
6, Kayla Holmes, 3rd, discus
5, Olivia Ellis, 4th, 400-meter hurdles
5, 4×100-meter relay, 4th (Gaulden, Ellis, McLeod, Vann)
5, 4×400-meter relay, 4th (Ellis, Smiedala, Cheroske, McLeod)
5, Hana Feilzer, 4th, discus
5, Darby Henthorn, 4th, javelin
4, Carrie Jacka, 5th, pole vault
4, Samantha Hodgson, 5th, discus
3, Reagan Colyer, 6th, 1,500 meters
3, Nicole Stroot, 6th, long jump
2, Nicole Stroot, 7th, 100-meter hurdles
2, Emily Cheroske, 7th, 800 meters
2, Lauryn Wate, 7th, 10,000 meters
2, Holly Houston, 7th, discus
1, Jenna Dukovcic, 8th, heptathlon
1, Alanna Vann, 8th, 200 meters
1, Jessica Bailey, 8th, 5,000 meters
1, Erika McLeod, 8th, long jump
1, Kimberly Earhart, 8th, javelin
Men’s team scores
- Sacramento State … 131.2
- Southern Utah … 119
- Weber State … 115
- Northern Arizona … 97.6
- Montana State … 87.2
- Idaho … 77
- Montana … 64
- Idaho State … 42
- North Dakota … 33
- Portland State … 22
- Northern Colorado … 15
- Eastern Washington … 14
Montana’s point scorers
10, Daniel Jones, 1st, javelin
8, 4×100-meter relay, 2nd (Macnab, Reneau, Mustard, Bobo)
8, Matt Quist, 2nd, high jump
8, Kyle Morris, 2nd, javelin
6, Alex Mustard, 3rd, 100 meters
5, Dylan Reynolds, 4th, 400-meter hurdles
4, Brady Coffman, 5th, javelin
3, Josh Riley, 6th, decathlon
3, Chase Armstrong, 6th, 110-meter hurdles
3, Dominique Bobo, 6th, 200 meters
2, Brett Dringman, 7th, pole vault
2, Luke Hilmes, 7th, javelin
1, Sterling Reneau, 8th, 400 meters
1, Karsten Pease, 8th, 800 meters
— Montana Sports Information