(Editor’s note: University of Montana media release)
AUSTIN, Texas – Montana’s Hana Feilzer was one foot away from becoming an All-American on Thursday. The senior hammer thrower reached a top distance of 203-6 at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, placing 17th.
Competing alongside the top 23 hammer throwers in the country, Feilzer’s performance was admirable, just one spot and a single foot from becoming an All-American. Making the result even more heartbreaking, her top distance of 203-6 would have been good enough for All-America recognition every year over the past decade, including first-team honors four times. A season ago, it would have ranked 12th.
Feilzer, a native of Big Sky High School in Missoula, was the first Montana athlete to compete at nationals since 2015, and the first ever to qualify in the hammer throw.
“Hana is a great hometown girl who wore the Grizzly uniform and colors with pride,” head coach Brian Schweyen said. “She was incredible for our program and Missoula as a student-athlete who achieved at the highest level. I couldn’t be more proud of her and her accomplishments, and she will truly be missed.
“Hana had an incredible career and completed like a champion today.”
Feilzer finished her Griz career as a three-time Big Sky champion – twice in the hammer throw and once in the weight throw – and holds school records for both events. She qualified for NCAA Regionals three times, was named the Big Sky Athlete of the Week a school-record seven times, and earned Academic All-Big Sky honors every semester of her career.
After a lightning delay of nearly two hours, Feilzer came out Thursday ready to go, throwing her top distance on her first attempt. Following a mark of 203-6, the senior followed that up with throws of 203-2 and 200-11. Washington’s Onyie Chibuogwu fouled twice, but her only marked throw – on her second attempt – went 204-6. With a 17th-place finish, Feilzer placed higher than her seeded position and earned honorable mention All-America recognition.
To get to this point, Feilzer placed ninth last month at the NCAA West Regional. Her top performance of the season came at the Big Sky Championships, where she set a school record and won an individual title with a distance of 209-10.