(MSUB Athletics photo)

(MSUB Athletics release)

BROOKINGS, S.D. – In their first outing against Division II competition this season, the Montana State University Billings track and field team saw standout performances in a variety of events at the South Dakota State DII Invitational. The men’s team finished the day with the third most points (15) of 20 schools, with teams earning points for top-four finishes. Minnesota State finished the day leading both the men’s (37) and women’s (44) field in points.

“It was a really good day for our team,” head coach Jonathan Woehl said. “I felt that we matched up really well with the other Division II schools here and competed throughout the day.”

Senior Jorey Egeland delivered a pair of excellent performances as he grinded out a first place finish in the 3K after setting a school record and taking second in the 5K earlier in the day. Egeland posted the first sub 15-minute 5K in MSUB history (14:51.40) eclipsing Jamon Rodrigues’ time of 15:13.66 from 2014.

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“Jorey had a great day,” Woehl added. “It is rare for a meet to have both the 3K and 5K and even more rare for someone to run both. I am really impressed with the way he ran and I am excited to see what he can do at conference.”

Tyus Mendoza took sixth in the 3K with Ronald Venema and Carson Jessop placing 14th and 18th respectively in a field of 32.

Nikki Aiken also fared well in the 3K with a personal-best time of 11:04.99 placing her in sixth as the only Yellowjacket participant.

“It was a really solid race for Nikki,” Woehl said. “She had better splits in the second half of the race and really pushed herself to finish strong. I am excited about the way she’s been running lately and I think she can keep getting better.”

Sophomore Rahkei Eyer also set a school record on Friday when he clocked a 50.82 in the 400-meter taking 12th. Eyer also led off the 4×400 relay that posted it’s best time of the season with Nathan Vanderby, Kyle McLaughlin and Drake Henson completing the race.

It was a freshman who had the top performance in the men’s 60-meter dash at the invite with Lamont Frisby leading Mason Schram and Sam Zook in the final. The Yellowjackets had three of the eight participants in the final after two rounds of qualifying. Frisby finished fourth with a time of 6.96 followed by Schram in sixth (7.00) and Zook in eighth (7.21).

“To have three guys make the final at a meet this big is a great accomplishment for our team,” said Woehl. “Lamont ran really well and Mason was extremely consistent. Sam has had better days but he still made the final and all these guys are pushing to get better every week.”

Frisby also led the way in the 200-meter finishing fifth with a season-best 22.32. Schram (22.81) and Kaelen Shay (23.67) also had strong showings in the event.

Mataia Robinson narrowly missed qualifying for the women’s 60-meter dash final with a time of 8.41, less than one tenth of a second behind the last qualifying time. Jamie Orme finished the race with a time of 8.47 while Savannah Merritt posted a 9.00.

Michaela Johnson laid down a qualifying time of 9.37 in the women’s 60-meter hurdles falling just short of making the finals and placing 13th.

Josey Smiedala was the top women’s finished in the 200 for the ‘Jackets with a time of 27.50 leading Brenna Becket and Merritt in the event. Smiedala’s day was rounded out with a 19th-place (1:02.23) in the 400 and she anchored the 4×400 (4:21.72) relay led off by Jerrica Martin, Beckett and Robinson.

Drake Henson had a breakout performance in the middle distance events highlighted by a third place finish (1:57.21) in the 800 meter. The freshman was also the best finisher in the mile (4:35.47) shaving 10 seconds off of his previous best time.

In the field, Isaiah Girard topped the field with a jump of 2.00 meters as he took the tie-breaker for reaching the height in the fewest attempts. Girard has had back-to-back 2.00 meter marks after coming up short of the height last season. He also finished 15th in the long jump with a leap of 6.20 meters.

Marcus Lindquist recorded a jump of 12.16 meters in the triple jump and finished 16th.

Shaniah Schwend and Jamie Orme cleared 1.45 meters in the high jump tying for 19th. Beckett’s mark of 4.56 led the long jump crew followed by Schwend and Halie Warren

In the weight throw, Nels Flanagan was the top performer again for the ‘Jackets finishing in ninth place at a distance of 16.93 meters. Sophomore Forrest Cross had a personal record in the event on his first throw that measured 12.78 meters.

Kassadee Kuoha place 24th in the women’s weight throw at a distance of 13.75 meters. Taylor Stringari and Hailey Steinbeisser tied for the best mark in the shot put for MSUB (10.18m) followed by Hannah Nessan.

Brady Ostermiller was the leader in the men’s shot put (13.68m) with Cross posting a throw of 12.97 meters and Beau Peaslee finishing with a toss of 12.93 meters.

Next weekend the Yellowjackets will travel to Golden, Colo. for the Colorado School of Mines Division II Invite and Multi Event. It will be the second to last meet before the GNAC Championships on Feb. 16-17.

Results for all track and field events will be posted on the Track and Field Results Reporting System following the conclusion of each meet throughout the season.

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