(Story by Griz Communications)
MISSOULA – Montana’s Hana Feilzer had high expectations going into her senior season, and early on, she’s on pace to reach or exceed many of her goals.
The Missoula native, who redshirted a year ago in order to set herself up for a big senior season, was named the Big Sky Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Week on Monday. Including the indoor season, it is Feilzer’s third honor of the year and sixth of her career.
Of course Feilzer has higher aspirations than weekly honors. The decorated athlete won a Big Sky title in the women’s weight throw in February, during the indoor season, also breaking her own school record in the event. She’s arguably better in the outdoor version, the hammer throw, however, which helped earn her Monday’s accolade.
Competing at UCLA’s Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational, Feilzer held her own against athletes from UCLA, Oklahoma and more. The senior took second place in the hammer throw (season-best 200-8) and fourth in the discus (season-best 153-10). In the hammer, all five of her marked throws went at least 183 feet; just one other athlete reached that mark even once. The distance was a season best by more than 10 feet and was within six feet of her school record. Her discus throw was one inch from third place and 13 inches from second.
Feilzer is currently the league’s top thrower in the hammer throw, with no one within 16 feet of her distance from Saturday. She also ranks fifth in the discus and is fully capable of reaching the podium in both events next month at the Big Sky Championships in Missoula.
Even broader, on a national scale, Feilzer ranks in the top 40 in the hammer throw, including 15th in the NCAA West Region. She’s qualified for NCAA Regionals twice before, including in 2017 when she set the school record and won a conference title. That year, she also finished fourth in the discus and was named the meet’s outstanding performer.
The Grizzlies earned three Big Sky Conference Athlete of the Week honors during the indoor season, tied for the most ever, and have now earned back-to-back nods during the outdoor season, with Maryn Lowry being named the Big Sky Conference Women’s Track Athlete of the Week last Mond