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Glasgow's Benji Phillips places 5th at NCAA West prelims, advances to NCAA Championships

Benji Phillips
Posted at 6:11 PM, May 26, 2021

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Benji Phillips is heading to nationals.

The Glasgow native now throwing javelin at North Dakota State placed fifth at the NCAA West preliminary competition on Wednesday. Phillips, who won the Summit League championship with a personal-best throw of 246 feet, 11 inches earlier this month, marked a throw of 228-6 on Wednesday.

Logan Wolfley of Kansas State won the javelin at the West prelim with a throw of 237-6. BYU's Cameron Bates (233-4), Iowa State's Scott Fuchs (230-2) and Stephen F. Austin's Cord Neal (229-7) slotted into the second, third and fourth places.

The men's javelin also included two throwers from both Montana and Montana State. Bobcat Cantor Coverdell finished the best of those four, just missing a berth at the NCAA national championships with a 13th-place finish. Coverdell marked a throw of 211-4 on Wednesday. The top 12 places qualified for the national meet.

Montana's Evan Todd (201-11) placed 26th, fellow Grizzly Dylan Kipp (184-3) was 40th, and MSU's Cooper Hoffman (174-8) was 46th.

The Treasure State also had two competitors in the men's pole vault in Sidney's Garrison Hughes and Helena's Chase Smith. Smith, a sixth-year senior at the University of Washington, entered the meet coming off his first Pac-12 Conference championship but struggled on Wednesday, clearing 16-10.75 to finish tied for 30th. Branson Ellis of Stephen F. Austin won the pole vault, clearing 17-10.5.

Hughes, meanwhile, set his collegiate personal-best height. The junior at Nebraska cleared 17-6.5, which placed him 16th, just two inches behind the 12th and final qualifying spot.

Hughes' younger brother, Carter, is a redshirt freshman at Minnesota, and he too was at the NCAA West prelim. Carter Hughes placed 36th in the men's hammer throw, marking a throw of 192-8. Gleb Dudarev of Kansas won the hammer with a throw of 234-8.

Alec Nehring, a Montana State junior, finished 26th in the shot put with a throw of 58-8.75. Arizona State's Turner Washington marked a throw of 68-0.5 to win.

On the track, Montana State's Derrick Olsen ran in the first round of the men's 110-meter hurdles on Wednesday, placing 41st with a time of 14.26 seconds. Jaylan McConico of Iowa won the event in 13.34.

Bobcat Drake Schneider also competed in the 400 hurdles, placing 34th with a time of 51.72 seconds. Leonardo Ledgister of Texas A&M - Corpus Christi won with a time of 49.68.

Collin Buck also ran for the Bobcats on Wednesday, placing 25th in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 30:09.23. Iowa State's Wesley Kiptoo crossed the finish line in 28:50.11 for first.

Montana's Jacob Lamb ran to a 30th-place finish in the 800 with a time of 1:50.60. Festus Lagat of Iowa State finished in 1:46.99 to place first.

Lamb's UM teammate, Cade Johnstone, who set the Grizzlies' program record in the 400 earlier this month, did not finish in Wednesday's prelim.

Dawson LaRance, a Billings Senior alum now running at Colorado State, was 40th in the 1,500-meter run on Wednesday, finishing in 3:51.28. Jack Anstey of Illinois State won the event with a time of 3:43.34.

At the NCAA East prelim in Jacksonville, Florida, Manhattan Christian graduate Lincoln Young placed 28th in the men's pole vault. Young, now at Kentucky, cleared 16-4.75. Alabama's Ryan Lipe cleared 17-6.5 to win.

Marshall Beatty, a Missoula Sentinel graduate running at Army West Point, finished in 38th place in the 10,000 meters. He crossed the finish line in 30:42.82. First-place finisher Alex Masai of Hofstra recorded a time of 28:29.97.

The prelims continue on Thursday with women's events.