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Montana State Bobcats sign Damien Nelson, Maisee Brown to track and field program

Posted: 2:49 PM, Jun 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-24 17:00:33-04

(Editor’s note: Montana State University media release)

BOZEMAN – The Montana State track and field program announced the addition of four student-athletes to the men’s and women’s teams for the 2019-20 season. MSU director Lyle Weese confirmed the previous signings of Evelyn Adams, Will Prettyman and Maisee Brown, while Weese also announced on Monday that Damien Nelson will be joining the Bobcats next season.

Nelson and Prettyman will both join the Bobcat men’s squad’s sprints group. Adams will compete in a variety of areas for the MSU women’s team and Brown will pole vault for the Bobcat women.

“These four additions to the Bobcat Family continue the building of a particularly strong group of newcomers,” Weese said. “The men’s recruiting class is loaded with individuals possessing the ability to make a substantial immediate impact. The class is only strengthened and its quality exemplified by the ability and performance level Will and Damien demonstrated in their high school careers. On the women’s side, Evelyn and Maisee have the ability to make substantial and immediate contributions.

“With these additions, we are nearing completion of men’s and women’s recruiting classes that has the coaching staff excited about the future.”

Evelyn Adams | Edina, Minn. | Edina HS | Hurdles/Jumps

Evelyn Adams capped her prep career for the Edina Hornets this month with a standout performance at the MSHSL State Track and Field Championships. Adams earned gold in the Class AA 100-meter hurdles finals behind a personal-best time of 14.39 seconds and claimed bronze in the 300 hurdles (44.00). Adams won section and conference titles in both events as both a junior and senior, while she finished in the top six individually in the long jump at the section championship back-to-back years. As a junior, Adams took fourth in the 100 hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles at the MSHSL Class AA Championships.

Adams set personal bests as a Hornet in the 100 hurdles (14.39), 300 hurdles (43.81) and the long jump (17-08). She made her first contributions to the Edina track and field squad when she finished in the top eight in both hurdle events at the Lake Conference championships as a freshman. She improved her cause at Edina’s conference meet as a sophomore when she finished first in the 100 hurdles, second in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the long jump. After placing as high as fifth in the 100 hurdles at the team’s sectional meet as a freshman, Adams improved to finish second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles her sophomore season. Adams’s brother, Henry, is currently a member of the Montana State men’s track and field team.

“I think we will start her out in the multis and see where she’s at,” assistant coach Tom Eitel [msubobcats.com] said. “She’s competed in the long jump and hurdle events and she’s got a lot of ability in those areas. She hasn’t trained year-long for track, so her upside is really good. I think she’s got a chance to place in three different areas at the Big Sky Conference level.”

Maisee Brown | Billings, Mont. | Billings Senior HS | Jumps

Maisee Brown capped her prep career by earning an MHSA Class AA State championship. Brown made four state meet appearances competing for Billings Senior High. The pole vaulter finished eighth as a freshman and seventh as a sophomore before earning silver in the event as a junior. Brown took second at the 2018 state championship by clearing a personal-best height of 12 feet.

Brown reached a height of 11-09 to win the Class AA title as a senior. She earned first place at Eastern AA Divisionals back-to-back years in the pole vault while crossing over 11 feet eight times over her final two seasons for the Broncs. Brown has experience running the 100 and 200 for Billings Senior, including running on Senior’s 4×100 relay at the state meet.

Brown lettered five times in track and field for the Broncs. She was a member of National Honor Society, STEM Society and the Platinum Program. She previously competed in gymnastics and has earned a variety of team awards. She plans to major in biochemistry at Montana State.

“She’ll fit in really well with what we have,” Eitel said. “We have a lot of good jumpers coming back. I think with her height and speed, she’ll be a really great addition in the pole vault. We’ve got a few vaulters from Billings Senior before and they do a great job with that group.”

Damien Nelson | Great Falls, Mont. | C.M. Russell HS | Sprints | MSU-Northern

Damien Nelson has confirmed his intent to transfer to Montana State after attending MSU-Northern for one year and playing for the Lights’ football team.

Nelson holds Montana’s All-Class Boys State record in the 100 with a time of 10.50 seconds that he set as a senior at C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls. Nelson capped his track and field career for the Rustlers in the spring of 2018 by completing a three-peat at the MHSA AA Track and Field Meet in the 100 with his lifetime best in the event. He also had a personal best at the state championship of 21.61 in the 200 which earned him a gold medal. His personal best in the 100 would rank him in the top three in MSU history and his 200 would put him into the Bobcats’ all-time top 10.

The CMR standout accumulated three gold medals, a silver medal as a junior in the 200 and a bronze as a senior on the Rustlers’ 4×100 relay as their anchor leg at the AA State Meet. Nelson finished first in all but one race he competed in individually as a senior. He took first in the 100 in all nine races he appeared in as a junior and earned seven fastest showings in the event as a sophomore.

Nelson played nine games as a defensive back in the fall of 2018 for MSU Northern’s football team.

“He’s a kid that stands out obviously as an all class record holder here in Montana,” MSU assistant coach Jay Turner [msubobcats.com] said. “He’s somebody that we didn’t think we had a chance to get. He wanted to make a change and I think he’s a game changer for us. We’re very excited to add him to what we already have coming in. He’s another member of this stellar freshman class.”

Will Prettyman | Salt Lake City, Utah | East HS | Sprints/Jumps

Will Prettyman made an impact for Salt Lake City’s East High School in track and field throughout his prep career. Prettyman earned his first trip to the UHSAA State Championships as a freshman, earning fifth in the 100, seventh in the 200 and sixth in the long jump at the 4A meet. He made his move up the podium as a sophomore. He claimed a regional title in the 100 and finished among the top three in the long jump and the 200. Prettyman would top his efforts at the state championships, earning gold medals in all three events. He also took first in the events over the summer at the USATF Utah and Region 11 Junior Olympic Championships.

Prettyman’s best prep season came during his junior year. He finished first over 20 times during his high school’s season. He took region championship titles in both sprint events and placed third in the long jump. He repeated his first-place showings in the 100 and 200 as the Leopards moved up in state classification to the 5A level and he also placed second in the long jump. During the summer, Prettyman advanced to the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Championships and took 14th in the 100 and 17th in the 200 competing among the best prep track and field athletes in the nation. By the end of his junior year, he established personal bests of 10.61 seconds in the 100 and 21.34 seconds in the 200. Both of those marks would be among the top three all-time in MSU program history.

The Salt Lake City native also owns a personal best of over 23 feet in the long jump. Prettyman recently completed his senior season. Despite having to miss several meets during the 2019 outdoor season, Prettyman placed seventh in the 100 and 14th in the 200 at the State Championships.

“Will Prettyman is one of the fastest sprinters in America,” Turner said. “He was also one of the top 25 returners in both the 100 and 200 heading into his senior year in the 2019 class. He’s a long jumper that can go over 23 feet, so he will be a tremendous asset in the horizontal jumps going forward. Signing Will put a cherry on top of our already very impressive freshman class.”

Montana State Track & Field 2019-20 Additions (up to June 24, 2019)

Men

Bradley Graves | Worden, Mont. | Huntley Project HS | Sprints/Hurdles
Casey Gunlikson | Big Timber, Mont. | Sweet Grass County HS | Sprints/Hurdles
Lucan Jepsen | Albuquerque, N.M. | Albuquerque Academy | Jumps
Damien Nelson | Great Falls, Mont. | C.M. Russell HS | MSU Northern | Sprints
Ben Perrin | Kalispell, Mont. | Flathead HS | Distance
Will Prettyman | Salt Lake City, Utah | East HS | Sprints
Levi Taylor | Laurel, Mont. | Laurel HS | Distance

Women

Evelyn Adams | Edina, Minn. | Edina HS | Hurdles/Jumps
Maisee Brown | Billings, Mont. | Billings Senior HS | Jumps
Rebekah Miller | Salem, Ore. | North Salem HS | Sprints
Lauren Schulz | Whitefish, Mont. | Whitefish HS | Mid-Distance
Ashlyn Ventimiglia | Colorado Springs, Colo. | Cheyenne Mountain HS | Mid-Distance
Macy White | Woodstock, Ga. | River Ridge HS | Sprints