(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics)
BILLINGS – Each winning their second-career Great Northwest Athletic Conference title on Saturday afternoon at McArthur Field, Beau Ackerman and Isaiah Girard highlighted the Montana State University Billings track and field teams’ performance at the GNAC Championships.
Ackerman’s record-breaking javelin throw carried 233-7 feet, more than 46 feet farther than the runner-up Austin Goldstein of Western Oregon. His mark broke both his own school record – which he set earlier this spring – as well as the meet record of 69.49 meters set by Franz Berghagen of Alaska Anchorage. Ackerman’s effort also earned him the GNAC Performance of the Meet honor voted on by the coaches.
Girard meanwhile successfully defended his title in the high jump, with a leap of 6-7 feet to top the field of 12 competitors. “It was a fun day, and it was really great to see our upperclassmen lead the way there,” said MSUB head coach Jonathan Woehl.
“Overall we competed, and it was good to see us in the mix. We got some season bests, competed hard, and this was a good sendoff for our seniors. We are looking forward to next year, and with our newcomers coming in I think we can continue to make strides.”
Senior Taylor Stringari was another all-conference performer on Saturday, as she took second place in the hammer throw. Stringari finished her career by breaking her own school record in the event, with a throw of 164-11 feet.
Competing in her first GNAC Championships, freshman Jordan Cookman finished eighth in the javelin at 129-2 feet to reach her season best and further the school record in the event. Fellow freshman Kendall Lynn took seventh among a field of 16 competitors in the triple jump, with a leap of 36-5.75 feet.
Senior Brenna Beckett took 11th place in the triple jump in her final collegiate meet, with a mark of 34-6.75 feet on Saturday. Senior Mason Schram finished his collegiate career taking seventh in the 100 meters at 11.02 seconds and eighth in the 200 meters at 22.65 seconds.
After setting a personal best in the steeple chase on Friday, junior Kailee Stoppel returned to the track and finished in 10th place with a time of 19:33.80 minutes in the 5,000-meters on Saturday. On the men’s side, Ase Ackerman took 13th place with a time of 15:27.07 minutes and Logan Straus finished in 17th at 15:42.59 minutes.
Bryce Olson took sixth in the triple jump at 44-5.5 feet, while Payden Lynn was close behind in seventh at 43-5.25 feet. Justin Wells also represented MSUB in the event taking ninth at 41-11.5 feet. Lynn also competed in the javelin, taking eighth place with a throw of 167-5 feet.
MSUB’s 4x100-meter relay team had a notable showing as well, taking fourth place with a time of 42.92 seconds to earn the team five points.
The men’s team finished in eighth place among the field of eight teams with 35 total points, while the women’s team also finished in eighth place with 21 total points.
THE BUZZ: Ackerman was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Athlete of the Day.
UP NEXT: Ackerman improved upon his NCAA Championship automatic qualifying mark, and is set to compete at the national championships for the second time in his career. The event is scheduled for May 27-29 in Allendale, Michigan.