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Bound for NCAA championships and Olympic Trials, Montana's Evan Todd putting bow on 'full circle' final season

Evan Todd
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 04, 2024

MISSOULA — Evan Todd made sure to save his best for last for the Montana Grizzlies, and thanks to that, the UM senior and Kalispell native is headed to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week in Eugene, Oregon.

The first Grizzly to make the national championships since 2019, Todd entered as one of the top throwers in the region, but the meet was off to a rough start with throws of 198 feet, 5 inches and 201-10 on his first two attempts.

"My first throw felt really good, everything came together good and just was a little heavy on my block," Todd explained. "And it slipped about a foot and just took all the power out of my throw, that kind of took the wind out of my sails a little bit."

With the second throw not going much better, and feeling worse, Todd took a moment for himself, using positive motivation to settle back in.

"Sort of just reflecting on what I've accomplished already this season," Todd said. "Just like I got to go back to square one. I know what I'm capable of. I know what I can do and I just got to trust it."

After calming down, Todd leaned on trusting his abilities, and his third and final throw proved to be the difference as he went 227-0 and placed ninth, locking up his spot at the national championships.

"Just felt like everything left my body, just a lot of weight off my shoulders," Todd said. "Just like that's that's been something I've been dreaming about the last four years."

Now a three-time Big Sky Conference champ, a four-time regional qualifier and a school and conference meet record holder, Todd can add nationals qualifier and future All-American to that list, something he'd been building toward for years, and a moment that was special to see for his coach, John Kolb.

"Knowing that Evan's been capable of it, you know, probably for the last four years he's been here," Kolb said. "He's been capable of breaking that record, being an NCAA finalist and Olympic Trials qualifier, all those things. And so you know, being able to just see him get it done on the right day really means a lot and he did such a good job."

It won't end here for Todd, who will head back to Eugene later this month for the U.S. Olympic Trials as a qualifier there too thanks to his throw of 75.13 meters (246-6) at the Big Sky Conference championships.

Those who throw 75 meters or better automatically qualify for the Olympics Trials which will be held in Eugene June 21-30, extending what's been a dream final run for the Grizzly senior.

"This last season, it just feels so good to go out on such a high note," Todd said. "I've really been through it all with this program, the ups, the downs. Super, super special. Very, very rewarding. Been working towards that for a long time. It was just really awesome to be to be able to represent the Grizzlies on a national stage. It's just really exciting. It's gonna be awesome."