Dennehy, Abbott help Griz top Cats

MISSOULA — It was a rough day for the Bobcats. In a dual meet, already showing a rough battle ahead, the Montana State track and field team did not quite close the deal, with both teams falling to Montana in the annual scored meet. The women fell 104-92, while the men were nipped, 101-99, coming down to the final running event. (Men’s Results | Women’s Results)
Former Butte High Bulldogs Keli Dennehy and Gwenn Abbott had a big day to help lead the Grizzly women.

Abbott cleared 5 feet, 7 inches to win the high jump, while Dennehy won the 1,500-meter race in 4 minutes, 35.98 seconds.

Despite the less-desired outcome, there were bright moments for the ‘Cats at Dornblaser Field.

Butte Central graduate Sean “Diesel” Ferriter placed second in the hammer throw (184-4) and took sixth in the discus (146-4).

Deer Lodge’s David Phillips kicked the meet off with a new program record and lifetime best in the hammer throw when he unleashed a throw of 64.49m (211-07) to win the event. The previous record was set back in 2006 when Josh Henigman threw 211-03. Phillips’ mark also set a new meet record, besting the previous distance of 204-00 set by Zach Jones of Montana State back in 2001.

Phillips, a familiar name with the  successful group of Bobcat throwers, also earned two silver medals with a lifetime best throw in the discus (49.75m/163-03) and a season-best in the shot put (15.82m/51-11). In that same shot put event, Trevor Gilreath won the shot with a hurl of 15.88m (52-01.25).

Phillips’ second place finish in the discus was supplemented by a third place performance from Calv in Root (48.64m/159-07) to earn points for the Blue and Gold.

The middle-distance events, much like the throws, were also one of the highlights of the day. MSU finished 1-2 in the 800, 1,500 and 5,000 men’s races, continuing an impressive season of dominance. Matt Tex and Grant Grosvenor placed first and second, respectively, in the 800 with times of 1:51.96 and 1:53.83 to take eight points from the Griz. Grosvenor also competed in the 1,500 and won with a time of 3:57.98. The Mill Creek, Wash. native got the add-on points from Michael Asay in second place, crossing the line in 3:59.45.

The same results yielded in the 5,000 when Trevor Polson finished first in 15:13.62, with Zachary Kughn on his heels in second in 15:19.17.

In the 3,000 steeplechase, Jacob Kirk took the win in 9:11.45 in windy conditions. Joel Estelle picked up two points for himself, coming in third with a time of 9:46.52.

MSU also picked up an impressive win in the 4×100 with a season-best time of 41.59.

After all was said and done, the Bobcats and the Grizzlies were tied at 96 apiece going into the final running event, the 4×400 relay. Due to a plethora of injuries over the course of the meet, MSU was without a few of their primary 400 runners and Montana ultimately sealed the win with a 3:15.83 finish to MSU’s 3:19.92.

In the women’s competition, Chantel Jaeger led the way with wins in both the 100 and 200 and put forth a solid effort in the 4×100, almost closing the gap with Montana

MSU’s quartet of runners posted a time of 47.18, just missing first place by .17 seconds. Jaeger also anchored the 4×400 and clocked in with a split of 55.20. Jaeger was joined by Iris Hardarson, Kaylee Schmitz and Katie Niemeir, who all put together a solid effort in the race, despite running it alone as Montana disqualified.

Like the men, the women’s 800 produced a solid 1-2 finish for the Bobcats. Lierin Flanagan crossed the line in first in 2:13.37, followed by Hardarson in second. Hardarson’s time of 2:14.43 earns her an automatic qualifier for the Big Sky Championship meet in May.

Several of the women’s field events also yielded success. In the shot put, Kristi VandeBergh threw a lifetime best throw of 14.64m (48-00.50) for the win. She followed up with a second place finish in the discus with 43.40m (142-05), which was also a personal best for the sophomore.

In the javelin, Dawn Blevins punched her ticket to the Big Sky meet when she threw 41.98m (137-09) for a third place finish. Casey Teska earned her fist collegiate win when she launched herself to a height of 3.75m (12-03.50) in the pole vault.

“We need to cut our losses and regroup,” said head coach Dale Kennedy. “Some of what happened out there today may have been out of our hands so we need to focus on what we can do and focus on the positives from today. We need to use this meet to drive us up, not down as we retune for the Tom Gage Classic next week.”

Montana State will host their final home meet of the 2013 season on Friday, May 3, when they host the Tom Gage Classic. The meet is slated for a 3 p.m. start with the field events and 4:30 p.m. on the track.

— MSU Sports Information