(MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – The Yellowjackets will head to Bozeman, Mont. for their second meet of the season on Friday after the Montana State University Billings track and field team recorded record-breaking performances at the Bobcat Preview. The Montana State University Invitational will be MSUB’s first meet in over a month after starting their season on Dec. 2.
“A lot of times our second meets can turn into our second first-meet, but I don’t feel like that is the case this year,” head coach Jonathan Woehl said. “We had a long break but everyone came back in great shape and I think we can really build going forward.”
Including host Montana State, the ‘Jackets are scheduled to compete against Carroll College, Rocky Mountain College, University of Providence, University of Montana-Western and the University of Montana.
In their first outing, the ‘Jackets got off to a great start with record-breaking performances from Sam Zook and Nels Flanagan. Zook posted a school record 6.78 in the 60-meter enroute to being named GNAC Track Athlete of the Week. The time is tied for the second fastest mark in conference history and is the third fastest time in all of Division II this season.
Flanagan also notched a strong start as the senior powered his way to a 54’-8” mark in the weight throw. The distance topped the Big Timber native’s previous school-record of 54’-5.5”.
Michaela Johnson was also named GNAC Athlete of the Week for her performances in the 60-meter hurdles and 200-meter. The sophomore took third with a time of 9.37 in the hurdles finishing close behind a pair of Montana State runners.
Jewelz Collins posted bests in both the 60 and 200-meter in her first meet as a sophomore while junior Josey Smiedala clocked her best collegiate-time in the 60. Collins’ time of 8.45 in the 60 ranks second in the GNAC while Smiedala has the fourth best time in the conference at 8.56.
Overall, the final results were filled with personal bests from 10 Yellowjacket athletes to start the season.
Brady Ostermiller and Beau Peaslee will look to build on personal-records from the first outing of the season as they will compete in the shot put and weight throw along with Forrest Cross.
For the women’s throwing group Kassadee Kuoha will look to lead the way in the weight throw again with fellow sophomore Taylor Stringari looking to rebound in both throwing events. Haylee Koon, Hailey Steinbeisser, Abbie Lohof and Hannah Nessan will round out a deep field of ‘Jacket throwers.
Shaniah Schwend will make her debut in the high jump joining Halie Warren and Jamie Orme in the event. Schwend will also compete in her typical events, the long and triple jump, along with teammate Brenna Beckett.
While the meet will not have a race in the mile, the invitational will feature a distance medley relay consisting of 1-200-meter first leg followed by a 400-meter, an 800-meter and anchored with a mile. The men will be led off by Tyus Mendoza with Rahkei Eyer, Drake Henson and Jorey Egeland to follow while the women will run Kateri Bridges, Rachel Hiner, Catrina Schuchard and Nikki Aiken in the event.
Eyer, who will run the 400-meter leg of the medley relay, currently holds the best time in the conference in the 400 by over four seconds. Nate Vanderby will run the 400 for the men after running the 60 and 200-meter in the first meet of the season. Miranda Livingston along with Smiedala will compete in the 400 for the women.
All four members of the women’s distance medley relay will race the 800-meter joined by Ella McKenzie. Egeland will take on the 800 along with Mendoza, Henson, Mark Hovland, Ronald Venema, Carson Jessop and Jack Pickell. The ‘Jackets sole representative in the longest event of the day will be Ivan Colmenero as the junior looks to improve his mark in the 5K.
Isaiah Girard will get his first opportunity of the season in both the long and high jump after having a great freshman year for the ‘Jackets last season. Fellow sophomore Marcus Lindquist is primed for good showings in the long and triple jump after setting a personal best of 13.42-meters in the triple jump during the first meet of the season.
Mataia Robinson will make her track and field debut after making the switch from volleyball which she played her first three years at MSUB. The senior will run the 60 and 200-meter as well as the third leg of the 4×400-meter relay.
The ‘Jackets will make one more trip to Bozeman on Feb. 2 for their final tune up before the GNAC Indoor Championships on Feb. 16-17.
Results for all track and field events will be posted on the Track and Field Results Reporting System following the conclusion of each meet throughout the season.