McLeod, Griz track team picks up pace on Friday

Montana Grizzly sophomore Erika McLeod is shown here during her legendary career at Butte High. (ButteSports file photo)

MISSOULA — The Montana track and field teams will compete for the first time this indoor season with a full complement of athletes when the Grizzlies travel to Bozeman Friday for the Montana State Open at MSU’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

The meet will include athletes from Montana, Montana State, MSU Billings, Carroll and Rocky Mountain. Field events begin at 4 p.m. with the women’s long jump and men’s high jump, pole vault and weight throw. Track events start at 5 p.m. with the women’s distance medley relay

Montana opened its season in early December at Cheney, Washington, at the Eastern Washington Candy Cane VIII, a meet with a full schedule of field events but only the 55 meters and 55-meter hurdles (plus 600 meters) on the track.

The Grizzlies picked up eight event victories and came away with seven Big Sky Conference qualifications.

Montana’s multi-event athletes kicked off 2016 with a combined events meet at Bozeman Jan. 4-5. Sophomore Erika McLeod, a Butte High graduate, was the top finisher in the pentathlon, placing fourth with 3,285 points. Freshman Jess Beaman was runner-up in the heptathlon, scoring 4,176 points.

Four athletes will be redshirting this indoor season: Nick Jackson and Dylan Reynolds from the men’s team, Reagan Colyer and Sammy Evans from the women’s team.

Jackson placed sixth in the shot put at last winter’s indoor championships, Colyer was the 2014 Big Sky indoor champion in the 800 meters, and Evans is a three-time Big Sky triple jump champion.

That leaves just four athletes who will be competing this indoor season who have had All-Big Sky Conference individual finishes in their careers.

Senior Nicole Anskaitis was the Big Sky indoor pole vault champion last winter in her first season competing for Montana. She followed that up with a third-place finish at last spring’s outdoor championships.

Redshirt junior Samantha Hodgson has been All-Big Sky the last three championships at which she’s competed, placing third in the shot put at the 2014 indoor and outdoor championships, and last year’s outdoor championships.

Junior Dominique Bobo is coming off a breakout outdoor season. He placed second in the 200, fourth in the long jump and sixth in the 100, and anchored both the 4×100- and 4×400-meter relays to third-place finishes last May at Cheney.

Senior Cody Curtis placed third in the 800 meters at the 2014 indoor championships.

The Montana women finished eighth at the 2015 indoor championships, ninth at the outdoor championships. The Griz men were 10th at the indoor meet, seventh at the outdoor championships.

Montana will compete at Montana State again next Friday before traveling to Seattle for the Washington Invitational the final weekend of January.

The Grizzlies will be back in Bozeman the first three Fridays of February, then back at MSU the last week of the month for the three-day Big Sky indoor championships.

Montana Sports Information

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