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MSU Billings wins 5 track events, sets top-10 records at Don Holst Open

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Posted at 9:25 AM, Feb 02, 2022

(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)

CHADRON, Neb. – The Montana State University Billings indoor track team is young and two years removed from its last full indoor season. But that hasn’t stopped the team from rewriting the indoor track record books and turning in solid performances.

Saturday’s meet at Chadron State College’s Don Holst Open was no exception.

For the third-straight week, the ‘Jackets turned in a slew of top-10 times, won five events and set 33 new personal bests – not including anyone making debuts in their events.

“All PRs and season-bests by our team on the track were a little special because we were competing on a 180-meter flat track with very tight turns,” MSUB head coach Jonathan Woehl said. “It’ll be a lot different going to Pocatello in two weeks with its 200 meter, banked wood track.”

Distance runners Ase Ackerman and Kailee Stoppel led the way, both of whom won the 800 meters and the mile. Stoppel, in particular, ran new personal bests in both: Her 5:21.02 mile and her 2:23.59 800 meters both rank third in MSUB indoor track history.

“She just keeps running PRs and gaining more confidence each race,” Woehl said. “The mile and 800 double was a quick turnaround – I think there was only a 25 minutes between the two – so her 800 was even more impressive. She’s killing it.”

Ackerman, meanwhile, won with a 4:22.22; his teammate Logan Straus set a new personal best with a 4:24.88 and improved his mile standings in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Then Ackerman won the 800 with a 2:00.05, followed by Carson Jessop, who finished 22-hundredths of a second later. Both runners set new personal bests in the 800 meters and rank sixth and seventh in MSUB indoor track history, respectively.

Meanwhile in the jumps, Kendall Lynn rounded out MSUB’s wins by winning the triple jump with a mark of 10.69m (35-1). Earlier in the meet, she improved her long jump mark on the season; her 5.09m (16-8.5) mark ranks third all-time at MSUB.

“Kendall had a pretty good day, improved her long jump mark and made improvements in the triple,” Woehl said. “She has some big jumps ahead.”

The throwing team continued its streak of new personal bests. Placing eighth after making the finals, Coen Guisti broke into the program’s top-10 rankings with a weight throw of 14.85m (48-0), which ranks sixth all-time at MSUB and seventh in the GNAC. He also made the finals in the shot put with a throw of 13.04m (42-9.5), which was good for seventh place. Sophomore Brynn Jolma was the women’s weight throw leader for MSUB, placing seventh with a new personal best of 13.81m (45-3.75). Jolma’s mark ranks seventh at MSUB and eighth in the conference.

Over in the shorter distances, sprinter Bradley Graves made his debut in the 60-meter hurdles, placing second with an 8.63 that ranks seventh in the GNAC and is 12-hundredths of a second off the school record.

“Brad had a solid second meet,” Woehl said. “He’s come a long way since the start of the year. We were a little unsure if he’d be able to hurdle at all this indoor season coming back from hip surgery this summer. He’s one of our hardest working athletes and he makes everyone around him want to work hard too. I wish there had been enough guys for prelims so he’d have a chance to run it twice today, but he did great for his first time back.”

Freshman Chantel Chase broke into the MSUB top-10 all-time rankings in the 60 meters with an 8.29 in the prelims, then improved with an 8.25 in the finals to finish fourth overall. Later in the meet, Chase placed fourth in the 200 meters with a 27.70 – the fastest time by a ‘Jacket this season. Even though Saturday was her first-ever time running the 60 meters, she ranks seventh all-time at MSUB in the event.

“It was good to have Chantel back; she just loves to compete,” Woehl said. “I believe she’s getting close to her best 200 mark, had a solid leg on our 4x400 relay.”

To close the meet, the two MSUB 4x400 relay teams finished second and fourth. Madeline Severson, Annelise Clark, Chantel Chase and Skyler Taylor ran the Yellowjackets’ fastest relay of the season so far with a 4:21.77. All four runners are newcomers to the team this year.

“The two 4x400 relays for the women ran well,” Woehl said. “We tried to balance them out so they could push each other, and both were faster than our top team last week. I’m looking forward to the next couple meets for them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are near four minutes and go sub-4 by outdoor season.”