(Editor’s note: Carroll College Athletics release)
HELENA — Chad Hemsley knew it as he crossed the finish line.
“‘Bama baby!” he screamed, celebrating after a strong race in the 400-meter hurdles. “Let’s gooooo!”
The freshman hurdler was one of four NAIA national qualifiers for the Carroll College Fighting Saints track and field team on Friday at the Trudnowski Open at Vigilante Stadium.
Carroll also dominated the team scores with 102 points on the women’s side and 105 points on the men’s side. Rocky came in second in both women’s and men’s with 40 and 33 points, respectively.
Hemsley, Josh Malone, Kelsey Bassett and Shae Helterbran all hit qualifying standards to join a growing contingent of Saints headed to Gulf Shores, Alabama, for the NAIA Track and Field Championships in late May. Carroll now has 10 qualified.
“Three is good for a day like today,” Saints coach Harry Clark said. “We’ll take that anytime.”
Hemsley, a freshman from Kalispell, claimed the NAIA B-Standard after finishing in a time of 54.48 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles.
Bassett, a freshman from Granite Falls, Washington, went over the NAIA A-Standard in the pole vault at 3.70 meters (12-feet, 1.5 inches).
Helterbran, a sophomore from Billings, Montana, earned the NAIA A-Standard in the pole vault with a jump of 3.60 meters (11-feet, 9.75 inches).
Nikki Krueger extended her school record in the shot put with a toss of 13.86 meters (45-feet, 5.75 inches). That mark puts her in the Top 10 in the NAIA.
“She’ll be in the mix for a national championship,” Carroll throws coach Jimmy Stanton said.
Garrett Kocab hit a personal record, furthering his NAIA A-Standard toss. He threw 49.71 meters (163-feet, 1 inch) in the discus on Friday.
Prior to the track meet Friday afternoon, Carroll held a decathlon and heptathlon.
Sophomore Josh Malone came out the big winner with 6,439 points. That mark puts him at No. 6 in the NAIA and makes him a qualifier for nationals. His marks in the long and high jump also qualify him in the events individually.
“He’s ranked No. 6 in the country,” Clark said. “That’s kind of a big deal.”
Ky Burch finished with 5,741 points. Rocky Mountain’s Nicolas Moore had 5,131 and Jake Smith finished with 4,736.
Ember Drivdahl and Megan Pendergast competed in the heptathlon for Carroll. Drivdahl finished with 3,626 points while Pendergast finished with 3,277.
Many Saints were just shy of cracking qualifying standards, too, while others set personal records on the day (full results attached above and below). They have one more opportunity next weekend to punch a ticket to Alabama.
“We always say every day to keep doing your best,” Clark said.
Men’s National Qualifiers
Noah Majerus, 800 meters, 1:51.51 (No. 4 NAIA)
Josh Malone, decathlon, 6,439 points (No. 6 NAIA)
Shamrock Campbell, triple jump, 14.69 meters (48’2.5″) [No. 6 NAIA]
Josh Malone, long jump, 7.25 meters (23’9.5″) [No. 9 NAIA]
Josh Malone, high jump, 2.02 meters (6’7.5″) [No. 19 NAIA]
Brady Keaton, pole vault, 4.65 meters (15’3″) [No. 16 NAIA]
Garrett Kocab, discus, 49.15 meters (161’3″) [No. 16 NAIA]
Chad Hemsley, 400-meter hurdles, 54.48 (No. 17 NAIA)
Women’s National Qualifiers
Kelsey Bassett, pole vault, 3.70 meters (12’1.5″) [No. 6 NAIA]
Nikki Krueger, shot put, 13.86 meters (45’5.75″) [No. 8 NAIA]
Shae Helterbran, pole vault, 3.60 meters (11’9.75″) [No. 9 NAIA]
Hope Welhaven, javelin, 40.51 meters (132’11”) [No. 13 NAIA]