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MSU Billings triathletes close in North Carolina; tracksters strong in Idaho

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Posted at 8:11 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 15:34:08-04

(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)

ROXBORO, N.C. – Competing in its second and final meet of the 2021 season on Saturday morning at Person-Caswell Recreation Park, the Montana State University Billings women’s triathlon team had a successful showing at the Hyco Lake Triathlon.

Madisan Chavez took 28th place and Journey Erickson was close behind in 30th among the field of 45 triathletes.

“I was really pleased with how well both Madi and Journey competed,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Bjerke. “They did a great job of working together in a small bike pack to keep an honest pace after coming out of the water pretty close together. Both swam well as Madi rebounded with a much better swim than in Florida last month. The run was tough with some pretty steep climbs that had to be repeated on the three-lap course, but running is their strong suit and they pushed through it quite well.”

Chavez completed the course in a time of 1:14:43 to lead the way for the Yellowjacket tandem on Saturday. The sophomore posted a swim time of 13:30.9 minutes in the 750-meter swim, 39:30.2 minutes in the 20k bike ride, and 21:09.8 minutes in the three-lap, 5k run.

Competing in her second collegiate meet, Erickson posted a total time of 1:15:15 as she crossed the finish line just over 30 seconds behind Chavez. Erickson notched marks of 12:49.5 minutes in the swim, 40:14.1 minutes in the bike, and 21:25.4 minutes in the run.

Saturday’s field of triathletes consisted of participants from all three NCAA levels, with MSUB’s placings based on the combined field of NCAA Division I and Division II competitors. Sam McInnes of Queens University of Charlotte was the top finisher, completing the course in a time of 1:03:14 to hold off her second-place teammate Natalie Bash by nearly one full minute.

A handful of personal-best marks from the Montana State University Billings men’s and women’s track and field teams highlighted the Idaho State University Bengal Invitational, which concluded on Saturday afternoon at Davis Field.

Kailee Stoppel cruised to a time of 11:53.78 seconds in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, blowing away her previous PR by more than 43 seconds. Stoppel was also just two seconds off her PR in the 1,500 meters, with a mark of 4:58.45 minutes.

On the men’s distance side, a personal-best time of 15:26.10 minutes in the 5k for Ase Ackerman highlighted the day as he finished eighth among a field of 19 competitors. Logan Straus also ran a personal best in the race, taking 10th in 15:32.73 minutes. Ackerman and Straus also finished in the middle of the pack of 35 runners in the 1,500 meters, with Ackerman posting a time of 4:05.96 minutes and Straus following in 4:09.65 minutes.

Carson Jessop narrowly missed his PR in the 3,000-meter steeple chase, crossing the line in 9:34.77 minutes which was less than a second off his collegiate best. Jessop also ran the 800-meters on Saturday, posting a PR time of 2:02.81 minutes. Nick Redgrave was three seconds off his PR at 2:05.20 in the race, while Jackson Bailey was close behind in a personal-best time of 2:07.87 minutes.

“This was another solid meet, and again we had a good showing by the distance crew,” said MSUB head coach Jonathan Woehl. “Kailee had a huge PR in the steeple chase, and Carson also competed well just off his personal best time. Ase and Logan also had huge PRs in the 5k, and I think they can keep dropping time. It will be fun to see them compete at our conference meet.”

Mason Schram and Rahkei Eyer represented the Yellowjackets in the 100-meters, with the former posting a time of 11.10 seconds and Eyer crossing the line in 11.36 seconds. The duo also had a solid showing in the 200-meters, with Schram running a 22.71 second time and Eyer close behind in 23.03 seconds. The quartet of Schram, Eyer, Bryce Olson, and Payden Lynn ran its second-best 4x100-meter time of the season, posting a mark of 42.98 seconds.

Olson won the triple jump with a season-best mark of 43-7 feet, while Lynn took seventh in the long jump at 21-10.75 feet. Justin Wells notched season bests in both the long jump at 20-1 feet and the triple jump at 41-2.5 feet.

Kendall Lynn had a season-best mark of 36-7.5 feet in the triple jump, while also posting a mark of 16-8.75 feet in the long jump. “Those were solid efforts in the 100 and 200 from Mason and Rahkei, and Payden had a better day long jumping and is starting to dial in his approach,” Woehl said. “Kendall was very close to her best triple jump, and it is good to see her being consistent. Bryce has been consistent in the triple jump, and Justin continues to improve each week with PRs in both jumps.”

Isaiah Girard took fourth place in the high jump, clearing a mark of 6-6.25 feet and narrowly missing three attempts at the ensuing height.

For the men’s throws crew, Braden Anderson had a season-best in the discus at 102-1 feet, while Jordan Lahi’s toss of 36-4 feet in the shot put was his season long. Lynn led the way in the javelin at 170-8 feet, while Caden Venters followed at 161-2 feet and Grady Venters had a toss of 159-5 feet.

Taylor Stringari led the women’s throwers in the hammer with a toss of 148-9 feet, while Grace Jones and Jordan Cookman each had a season-best mark in the hammer at 122-8 feet and 117-0 feet, respectively.