EDITOR’S NOTE: CARROLL COLLEGE ATHLETICS PRESS RELEASE
HELENA – The Carroll College track and field team competes at the NAIA National Championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama, this weekend, but Tuesday, head coach Harry Clark announced the bulk of his 2018 recruiting class.
The class to date includes 20 student-athletes, including nine Montanans.
“As we continue to build a competitive team in every aspect of the program, this class is going to bring a lot of success and make an immediate impact,” Clark said. “There are more than one in this class that would be making the trip to Gulf Shores with us if they were on the team this year and that is exciting to think about. We are thrilled to see what this group can accomplish during their time here.”
The Carroll coaching staff continues to focus on Montana as its primary focus in recruiting. It has paid off in the short history of the program.
“We have 21 athletes that are going to nationals this week and 17 of the 21 were recruited from Montana High Schools,” Clark said. “We’ve got kids from the biggest high schools in Montana like Bozeman and Billings West and some the smallest like Hinsdale and Bainville. This is our bread and butter and when you watch the state meets next weekend, you will see a bunch of the names on our list competing at a high level.”
On the women’s side, the Saints picked up a big commitment from Granite Falls, Washington, pole vaulter Kelsey Bassett. She is a two-time All-State honoree in the pole vault with a personal best of 12-foot-7, over a foot better than the national qualifying mark of 11-foot-6.
“We are really excited about Kelsey, she is going have an immediate impact on our team and we are excited to have her jump with veteran jumpers like Mika Robinson and Shae Helterbran to learn from and work with,” Clark said.
The Saints also picked up a pair of signees from the Missoula area. Loyola standout Kenna Guenther brings a triple jump PR of 35-foot-1 and a long jump of 16-feet-10. Megan Pendergast, sister of Carroll runner Daniel Pendergast, will compete in the multi-events for the Saints.
“We’ve done very well in the Missoula and Bitterroot Valley,” Clark said. “These two are going to add to that legacy. We think Kenna will add some great competition to the long and triple jump and Megan will compete at a national level early in her career.”
Anne Hockett from Oaksdale, Washington, brings a strong resume in the sprints and hurdles with a personal best of 58.30 in the 400-meter dash and 65.02 in the 400 hurdles.
“Anne is going to compete for a spot on our relay teams right away,” Clark said. “The more competition you have on those teams, the better it is for everyone so I am thrilled to see where we go.”
On the men’s side, the Saints picked up a pair of competitors in the distance ranks in Noah Majerus and Spencer Swaim.
Swaim, from Spokane, Washington, will contribute in the distance and cross country program. He has a 15:55 in the 5K and a 9:27 in the 3,200-meter run.
“Spencer comes in with a storied high school career and times that rival any recruit Carroll Cross Country and Distance has ever signed,” Clark said. “We expect him and look for him to lead our cross country team early in his career.”
In the sprints, Carroll adds a pair of highlight athletes from Billings in Micah Ans, from Billings Senior and Bryan Brensdal from Billings Skyview.
Ans ran a PR time of 49.65 in the 400-meters and a 22.29 in the 200-meter dash. Brensdal ran a personal best of 15.21 in the 110 hurdles and 40.62 in the 300 hurdles.
“Micah is one of the top 400 and 200-meter runners in the state and Bryan is an exciting hurdler,” Clark said. “We look for him to compete for a spot on our relay teams as freshmen.”
The entire list of the first group of the class is below. The coaching staff will look to add more in the coming weeks.
Kelsey Bassett – Granite Falls Wash. – Granite Falls High School
Pole Vault, PR 12-7
Anne Hockett – Oaksdale Wash. – Oaksdale High School
100-meter hurdles 15.70
300-meter hurdles 45.39
Kenna Guenther – Missoula Mont. – Loyola Sacred Heart High School
Triple Jump 35-1
Long Jump 16-10
Megan Pendergast – Stevensville Mont. – Stevensville High School
100 hurdles 15.92
High jump 5-3
Long Jump 15-7
Triple Jump 33-1
Paige Baxstresser – San Louis Obispo – Mission College Prep Catholic High School
100 meter 12.47
200 Meter 25.82
Gabrielle Hagen – Great Falls Mont. – C.M. Russell High School
Shot Put 35-2
Emma Perry – Oaksdale Wash. – Oaksdale High School
High Jump 5-0
Taylor Leistiko – Missoula Mont.- Sentinel High School
Hannah Mikesell – Missoula Mont. – Hellgate High School
Micah Ans – Billings Mont. – Billings Senior High
Noah Majerus Lewistown Mont. – Fergus County High School
Bryan Brensdal – Billings Mont. – Skyview High School
110-meter hurdles 15.21
Spencer Swaim – Spokane, Wash. – Lewis and Clark High School
5k cross country 15.55
Evan Childears Spokane, Wash. – Mead High School
Pole Vault 13-6
Joe Hagengruber – Clancy, Mont. – Helena Capital High School
100 meter 11.49
Michael Schwan – Portland, Ore. – Jesuit High School
300 Hurdles 42.28
Broder Thurston – Fallon Nev. – Churchill County High
Jake Smith – Moscow Idaho – Moscow High School
Ryan Olson – Portland Ore. – Sunset High School
6a All-State 4×100 42.67
Kristian Bartel – Federal Way, Wash. – Todd Beamer High School