(Editor’s note: University of Montana athletics release)
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Sophomore Carly Smiedala smashed a school record in the women’s 800 meters on Friday and is the frontrunner heading into Saturday’s finals. Smiedala ran an adjusted time of 2:06.17, besting current Griz Reagan Colyer’s 2014 record by close to 3 seconds. The time was a lifetime best by 4 full seconds, and led the 16-athlete field by more than one-third of a second.
As the current leader, she will enter Saturday’s finals with the chance to earn an individual tile.
Despite being just a sophomore, the Helena, Mont., is already making a name for herself. She was part of last season’s 4×400 school-record-setting relay team and during her freshman outdoor season was an all-conference performer in the 800 meters, placing third and qualifying for NCAA Regionals.
Smiedala is joined by teammate Madeline Hamilton, who also qualified for the finals. Hamilton placed eighth with a career-best time of 2:10.09.
Junior Karsten Pease improved his 800 meters time in all five meets during the regular season, and that trend continued on Friday, posting a lifetime-best 1:51.36. He placed seventh and earned a spot in the men’s finals on Saturday.
After freshman Jansen Ziola won the women’s pentathlon on Thursday, Montana earned points on Friday from sophomore Jane Booth (women’s high jump), freshman Deszmon Humphries (men’s weight throw) and sophomore Grant Whitcutt (men’s heptathlon).
· Men’s heptathlon: Whitcutt improved from 10th place on Thursday to sixth place and scoring points for the Griz. He totaled a career-best 4,818 points, highlighted by a 14-4.75 in the pole vault – third place. Sophomore Morgan Eitel placed 13th, also with a lifetime-best 4,374 points. He had personal bests in the 60-meter hurdles (9.24), pole vault (12-1.25).
· Men’s weight throw: On his second throw of the day, Humphries reached 60 feet for the second time this season. His mark of 60-3.75 was a personal best, earning points for Montana with a fifth-place finish.
· Women’s high jump: Booth placed seventh with a mark of 5-6.5. She scored points for the Griz, but had she reached her season best could have tied for first. In her first Championship meet, freshman Abby Dodge recorded a 5-3.25 and placed 14th out of 24 jumpers.
· Men’s long jump: Freshman Jordan Stow recorded the best mark of the season by a Grizzly, placing 10th with a lifetime-best 23-0.
· Men’s pole vault: Senior Charlie Bush placed 11th with a height of 14-10.75. Bush had reached at least 15 feet in six of seven meets this season, which would have been enough to score.
· Women’s long jump: Montana had three competitors in the event: Ziola (17-5.5; 18th out of 31), Coburn (17-5; 19th) and Jenna Dukovcic (16-7; 29th).
· Women’s shot put: Sophomore Mariah Harvey fouled on her attempts; her season-best mark would have scored.
· Women’s 60-meter hurdle prelims: Jansen Ziola (9.01) and Hannah Coburn (9.12) placed 14th and 16th, respectively, out of 21 athletes.
· Men’s 60-meter hurdle prelims: Sophomore Chase Armstrong, Montana’s only competitor, was disqualified for hooking a hurdle.
· Women’s 60 meters prelims: Senior Alanna Vann placed 13th out of 25 athletes (7.78), six-hundredths of a second from qualifying for the finals.
· Men’s 60 meter prelims: Both Courtlynd Brown (7.01; 13th out of 24) and Rhett Streeter (7.13; 21st) posted lifetime bests.
· Women’s 800 meter prelims: Aside from Montana’s two qualifiers, junior Megan Franz (2:12.57; 12th) and senior Emily Cheroske (2:13.18; 14th) also competed for the Grizzlies.
· Men’s 800 meter prelims: In addition to Pease’s qualifying score, teammate Jacob Lamb just missed the cut, finishing 10th (lifetime-best 1:52.13). Sophomore Noah Adams was 23rd (2:04.16).
· Women’s 200 meter prelims: In addition to her upper-half finish in the 60 meters, Vann placed 20th out of 34 athletes in the 200 meters (lifetime-best 25.03).
· Men’s 200 meter prelims: Brown (22.43; 21st) and Streeter (22.93; 22nd) also competed in the 200 meters and both performed lifetime bests.
· Women’s 5,000 meters: Sophomore Samantha Engebretsen (17:51.93) and junior Jessica Bailey (18:04.38) placed 18th and 22nd, respectively.
· Men’s 5,000 meters: Montana senior Micah Drew (15:20.16) and sophomore Jonathan Eastwood (15:21.13) placed 27th and 28th, respectively.
· Women’s distance medley: Made up of Mijah McLeod, Cheroske, Franz and Hamilton, Montana placed ninth (12:52.16).