CollegeMontana Grizzlies


Whitefish native Erin Wilde breaks 30-year old high jump record at Montana

Posted at 8:07 PM, May 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-04 22:12:16-04

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

MISSOULA — It’s been a season full of broken records for the Montana track and field team in 2024, so it was only right that another fell in the final event of the regular season. Sophomore and Whitefish native Erin Wilde jumped 5 feet, 10.5 inches to win the high jump and set a new record mark for the program.

Already a two-time Big Sky Champion with titles outdoors in 2023 and indoors this season, Wilde came into the meet having been incredibly consistent. She had cleared at least 5-7 in every meet and led the Big Sky Conference coming into Saturday’s competition.

But the 5-8.75 mark still had her on the bubble for regionals. Head coach Doug Fraley and vertical jumps assistant Erica Fraley decided to jump Wilde this week with the hopes of locking up a place at the regional meet.

“We decided to go ahead and jump her today to see if we could get from 1.75 meters to 1.76,” Fraley said. “When she did that easily, we told her that she could take one attempt at the school record before we shut her down. She went right in there and popped over it on the first jump, which is just fantastic.”

Wilde cleared four bars on the day, never missing more than one attempt at any of the heights. She knew she would have just one attempt at the record and made the most of it, soaring up and barely grazing the bar. Her performance was even more special because it came in front of friends and family.

“It was super cool. I was a little nervous because Erica told me I only got one attempt at the bar, but I knew I just had to put my foot down and pop,” Wilde said. “It felt so good. I finally PR’d, it was killing me on the inside. I’m so happy and happy that my family was here to see it. It felt really good.”

The jump breaks Cathy Schwend’s 1994 record of 5-10, and is also the highest jump by a Grizzly female indoors or outdoors. Wilde joins Jaydon Green, Zane Johnson, and Evan Todd as individual outdoor record breakers this year. The men’s 400-meter relay team also broke a school record.

“School records at a place like Montana where there have been a lot of good athletes over the year are not easy to come by, and so for her to be able to go out and do that in preparation of next week is awesome,” Fraley said.

Montana has now finished the regular season and will have a quick turnaround for the Big Sky Championships in Bozeman next week. The multis will be on Wednesday and Thursday while the full meet opens on Friday, May 10.