By MT Tech Sports Information
BILLINGS, Mont. – The Frontier Conference Championship is Montana Tech’s this year with both teams bringing the title to Butte. The Oredigger women won their second straight conference championship and second in program history by almost 90 points. The Tech men got their first title in their program’s second year edging Carroll College by five points.
Head coach Zach Kughn was named the Frontier Conference Coach of the Year.
“Today was a really special day for our program,” said head coach Zach Kughn. “All of our hard work, dedication, and focus on this championship paid off for us and we are bringing home two trophies. I couldn’t be more proud of this group. They have come together and made bonds that will last a lifetime. It makes it that much more special to share these championships as a family.”
The Tech women won four more individual championships today and finished the meet with a total of ten. The Orediggers scored 245 team points and the Saints finished in second with 143.50 points. Providence took third with 122.50 points, Rocky Mountain finished fourth with 109 points.
The Saints finished first in the 4×400 meter relay in final event of the day. The Oredigger men needed a second place finish to win the championship finishing with 248.33 points to the Saints 243.33.
The men’s team won four individual championships today finishing with eight for the meet.
“So many things go into winning a track & field championship. We had to have all four event groups clicking at the same time, we had to get through injuries, and we had to show up on the day and perform well across all the events. Our teams did just that and it truly was a full team effort. Countless athletes scored and did their part contributing to the 245 and 248 points we scored.”
Abby Clark was named the Frontier Conference Field Athlete of the Year. Along with winning the heptathlon, Clark won the high jump yesterday hitting the NAIA B Standard and finished second in the 100 meter hurdles and won the long jump today. Clark scored 38 points earning her second conference athlete of the year award.
Dom Maricelli was named the Frontier Conference Track Athlete of the Year. Marcicelli won the 100 and 200 meter dashes today and was on the winning 4×100 meter relay team yesterday adding 30 points to the Tech team score.
“I’m also so grateful for our staff. Jacob Sundberg and Becca Richtman work tirelessly trying to give our athletes a great experience and set them up for success. I really appreciate Drew Blubaugh for helping with throws this semester, that group was huge for us this year. Our Athletic Trainer, Nicole Blubaugh, also deserves a lot of credit keeping our athletes healthy and able to compete. The Coach of the Year Awards really belong to all of them.”
Hailey Nielson won her second individual medal today taking first in the 5000 meter run. Nielson also won the 10000 meter race yesterday.
Nielson and Kipainoi defeated Rocky’s dominant pair of Sydney Little Light and Jackson Wilson who have been a dominant factor in distance events in the Frontier.
Olleca Severson followed her 100 meter hurdle victory winning the 400 meter hurdles today.
Freshman Morgan McClernan won his first individual medal in the 400 meter hurdles for the men. McClernan took second in the 110 meter hurdles yesterday.
Jesse Mecham finished second in the shot put missing first by .05 meters. Mecham threw 16.01 meters and hit the NAIA A standard.
Cade VanVleet took third in the shot put with a 15.29 meter mark. VanVleet also took third in the discus. He won the hammer throw yesterday for his first individual title.
“We are excited to get back to Butte, we are grateful for our Tech and Butte communities for supporting us and we want to share our success with them as well.”
“We have five athletes qualified for nationals right now and we are still hoping for a couple more over the next two weeks.”