CollegeMontana Grizzlies


Montana Grizzlies' Evan Todd breaks program javelin record

Posted at 7:57 PM, Apr 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-19 21:57:48-04

(Editor's note: University of Montana news release)

MISSOULA — There has been a sense for a few years now that the Montana men’s javelin school record was not safe. Evan Todd, the two-time defending Big Sky Conference champion in the event, has had it in his sights since arriving on campus.

Last week, Todd hit 70 meters for the first time in his career, but came up inches short of Jensen Lillquist’s 2019 record of 232-6. On Friday afternoon, in what may be his final event at his home venue and in blistering winds, Todd made history.

His second throw of the day carried 71.45 meters, or 234 feet and 5 inches, to set a new program record.

“It felt great. It was a long time coming, I’ve been waiting on that throw for a while,” Todd said.

The crowd at Dornblaser provided him with a clap as he made his approach. The first throw of the day had power, but was turned a bit sideways in the wind and came down quickly. He had no such problems with the second attempt.

He dove to the ground on release. When he looked up and saw the flight, he shouted “get out there,” and his javelin listened. When the distance was announced, Todd, his teammates and coaches, and all those watching erupted into cheers.

There were hugs all around, including to Todd’s family who had traveled down from Kalispell to watch him compete at home one final time.

“It was awesome. I’m so glad they were able to make it,” Todd said. “During the week, I was talking with my coach and thinking whether it was smart for me to throw or not. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to throw at my last home meet so I wanted to give it one last hurrah. It’s super fulfilling to finally get that, and crazy to do it in my last meet here.”

He had a sense that it would be a new record when he saw it land, but still had to wait for the official word. He stood off to the side and waited for the official measurement. 71.45 meters.

“Once I heard 71, I knew it was a record,” Todd said. “I threw it, looked up, and could see that it was still fishtailing up there so I knew it had some serious power. I knew it was a big one.”

The senior has been a leader on Montana’s team for several years now and had checked off nearly every box possible in his javelin career. Now, he gets to add yet another accolade to his impressive resume.

“Great things happen to great guys, and he’s one of the great guys,” head coach Doug Fraley said. “He’s a tremendous leader on our team and I’m just really proud of him for breaking that school record here in what will likely be his last meet at Dornblaser. To see his parents come up and give him a hug as soon as the distance came up on the board, that’s a really special thing for a family.”

Todd was one of three Grizzlies to win an event on the first day of competition of the Montana Open. The men’s and women’s hammer and javelin events were contested on a cool, windy afternoon in Missoula.

Ariel Clark opened up the day with a dominant win in the women’s hammer. Clark threw 184-10 to win, and freshman Morgan Thomas finished fourth with a PR throw of 152-8. Freshmen Scout Nadeau and Mary Mickelson also had season-best throws in the hammer.

In the women’s javelin, Lea Moose topped a 15-athlete field with a throw of 142-7. In the same stiff headwind that Todd faced, Moose missed out on her personal record by just two inches. It’s a season best for Moose and moves her into the top 80 in the West qualifying region.

Ashley Carroll had a PR in the event with a throw of 131-5.

Walker McDonald had a big throw in the men’s hammer to finish second in the field. McDonald set a new PR with a mark of 184-11, and had two throws that beat his previous career best mark.

Todd provided the big highlight of the day in the final competition, but Everett Fred also finished fourth with a throw of 189-1. Porter Coffield, who is training for the decathlon at the Big Sky Championships, set a new PR with a throw of 163-1.

“It was really a fine day for our throws crew in both the hammer and javelin. Coach Kolb is doing a really good job bringing that crew along and we got off to a really good start to our Montana open today.”

The bulk of the meet will be on Saturday with field events starting at 11:00 a.m. and track events beginning at 11:20 a.m.

Men’s Javelin- Evan Todd (234-5^, 1st), Everett Fred (189-1, 4th), Porter Coffield (163-1, 8th)

Men’s Hammer- Walker McDonald (184-11*, 2nd), Wade Rykal (151-11, 5th), Alex Shields (139-6, 9th)

Women’s Hammer- Ariel Clark (184-10, 1st), Morgan Thomas (152-8*, 4th), Scout Nadeau (147-6*, 6th), Mary Mickelson (145-4*, 7th), Molly O’Dell (139-0, 9th)

Women’s Javelin- Lea Moose (142-7, 1st), Ashley Carroll (131-5*, 5th), Tatum McNamara (108-2, 11th), Brooke Stayner (79-9, 15th)

^School Record