(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – Montana State seniors Kyle Douglass and Amanda Jaynes earned trips to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, May 25, with their performances in the NCAA West Preliminary Round at Hornet Stadium.
Douglass was the first Bobcat to qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene from June 6-9.
The Missoula, Mont., native competed in the third heat of the men’s discus. Douglass’s top throw came on his second attempt and his toss of 182 feet, 5 inches (55.56m) was his fifth farthest as a Bobcat. Douglass placed among the top 12 competitors in ninth overall, advancing him to the national meet for the first time in his collegiate career.
“That was really special to watch,” Montana State head coach Dale Kennedy said. “It was nerve wracking. He fouled on his first throw, then got a pretty good second throw of 182-05. He sat in sixth for awhile and started to move down the list, but it got down to three throwers left and we realized he’s going no matter what they do. That was a great way to kick the day off.”
Douglass is the first MSU discus thrower to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships since 2005 when Josh Henigman finished 14th. He’s the third Bobcat to advance to the meet in the discus with Lance Deal the first to do so in 1984 when he placed eighth.
“(Throws coach) Jennifer Allen really prepared Kyle for a difficult situation in the field events,” Kennedy said. “Coming in, you know you only get three throws instead of six like most meets. They rehearsed this scenario coming into the meet and it really paid off.”
Jaynes continued a big day for the Bobcats on the track.
The Missoula Sentinel High graduate began her day with a 39th-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, but followed it with her quarterfinal appearance in the third heat of the 400 hurdles.
“Amanda had a tough situation starting off her day,” Kennedy said. “A runner ended up in her lane during the 100 hurdles and it was chaos. She was shaken, but she showed up and as the typical Amanda, she’s just so competitive and didn’t give up.”
Needing to either finish top three in her heat or top a non-automatic qualifying time of 58.32 seconds, Jaynes took fifth in her heat by crossing the line in 58.22 seconds. Jaynes’s mark was the third and final time to qualify for the NCAA Championships outside of the automatic heat qualifiers as she placed 10th overall.
“She battled her way through the race,” Kennedy said. “It wasn’t pretty technically throughout, but she got it figured out and was able to advance. It’s exciting to have her move on. It’s been a dream of hers to get to the NCAA Championships and she made it happen.”
Jaynes is the 10th Montana State female to qualify for the NCAA outdoor meet and the second to advance to Eugene in the 400 hurdles. Paige Squire took 18th in the event in 2015.
The Bobcats have two runners still scheduled to race Friday evening. Trisha Carlson and Anna French will compete in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase which is set to start at 10 a.m. MDT.
Montana State is slated to have three student-athletes participate in the NCAA West Preliminaries on Saturday. Noah Martin is slated to compete in the high jump, Kyle Douglass appears again in the shot put and Diego Leon makes his debut in the 5,000.