(Editor’s note: Story by Montana Sports Information)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sophomore shot putter Brent Yeakey got his first taste of an NCAA meet on Saturday, throwing in the NCAA West Regional. Yeakey improved his distance on all three throws, finishing with a top mark of 54-7.5.
The distance placed him 46th at the regional, and while it wasn’t enough to advance him to the NCAA Championships, it was a good opportunity for him to experience this type of meet in just his sophomore season.
“To get here as a sophomore is really impressive,” head coach Brian Schweyen said. “That’s huge, and Brent is the type of person who is a great competitor and will continue working hard.”
Yeakey placed fifth in the shot put at the Big Sky Championships earlier this month, his second time scoring in as many years. He also scored in the discus. He increased his shot put distance by more than 3 feet from his freshman season to his sophomore season, to a lifetime-best mark of 58-6.5, and will look to do that again as a junior and make a return trip to regionals.
“The experience he gained this week is something he can learn from, and I think he comes back next year and can do some fantastic things,” Schweyen said.
Overall, Montana had six participants at the NCAA West Regional, highlighted by Hana Feilzer, who on Thursday became the first Grizzly to qualify for outdoor nationals since 2015, and the first hammer thrower to ever do so. Jensen Lillquist competed at regionals for the fourth time in his career, placing 21st in the javelin. Also on Thursday, Maryn Lowry (35th in the 1,500 meters), Jane Booth (36th in the high jump) and Olivia Ellis (36th in the 400-meter hurdles) finished ahead of their seed positions. Booth and Ellis will return next year for their senior seasons.