(MSU Billings release)
MISSOULA – Behind the strength of their men’s and women’s sprinting groups, the Montana State University Billings track and field team earned 16 top-3 finished at the Montana Open on Saturday. The Yellowjackets competed against athletes from Montana State University, University of Montana, Rocky Mountain College and Carrol College in Missoula.
“It was a great day for us,” head coach Jonathan Woehl said after the meet. “Sam (Zook) had his best day so far this season, Michaela (Johnson) broke her own school record in the 100-hurdles. It was great opportunity for our team to compete in good weather and we took advantage of it. We were able to expand the number of events that our athletes were in today and that should help us as we go forward.”
Sam Zook earned first place finishes in the 100 and 200-meter dash on Saturday while teammate Lamont Frisby placed in the top-5 in both events. Zook post season-bests in both sprints with a time of 10.73 in the 100 and 21.75 in the 200. Zook now leads the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in the 200-meter and is third in the 100.
Mason Schram (10.91) took third in the 100, just ahead of Frisby (10.93) in fourth. Rahkei Eyer debuted in both of the sprints and placed sixth (22.55) in the 200 and 11th (11.24) in the 100.
Frisby, Schram, Kaelen Shay and Zook combined to break their 4×100 relay record for the second time this season as they posted a 41.37 in the event. They have held the top spot in the conference all season long.
Michaela Johnson earned a second place finish in the 100-meter hurdles while she broke her own MSUB-record in the event with a time of 14.61. The time converts to the second fastest in the GNAC this season. Johnson also improved on her 100-meter dash time (12.73) and cracked the GNAC top-10 in the event.
Another record breaker, Jorey Egeland continued his fantastic senior season with an MSUB-record time of 14:48.78 in the 5K on Saturday. Last week, Egeland was named the GNAC Athlete of the week for his outstanding performance in the steeplechase. Egeland’s time converts to 10 seconds better than anyone else in the conference this season.
Tyus Mendozan and Ivan Colmenero placed sixth and 10th in the 5K. Both of them ran in the event for the first time this season with Mendoza finishing the race in 15:57.13 and Colmenero clocking a 16:10.44.
Nikki Aiken and Carson Jessop each claimed first-place in the 3,000 steeplechase. Jessop won his final with a time of 10:11.36 while Aiken completed the race in 11:38.54.
Nels Flanagan earned the first first-place finish of the weekend with his victory in the hammer throw on Friday. The senior topped the field with a toss of 174’ 4” (53.15m) while breaking his own Yellowjacket record. Beau Peaslee took fifth in the hammer (144’ 2”). On Saturday, Flanagan took third in the discus (138’ 10”) and sixth in the javelin (164’ 9”)
The javelin continues to be Beau Ackerman’s strength as the junior launched his third throw of over 200-feet this season. His distance of 207’ 10” (63.36) finished second at the Montana Open and was Ackerman’s second-best mark of the season.
Brady Ostermiller led the ‘Jackets in the shot put with a mark of 47’ 3.75” (14.42m) finishing third at the meet. Forrest Cross finished sixth in the event with a throw of 42’ 9.75” (13.05m).
With another strong performance, Hannah Nessan continues to lead the women’s throwers. Nessan finished fifth in both the shot put (36’ 7.5”) and the discus (128’ 6”) on Saturday and led the ‘Jackets with a sixth-place finish (129’ 5”) in the hammer throw on Friday. Taylor Stringari placed sixth in the shot (36’ 3.5”) and seventh in the discus (113’).
Hailey Steinbeisser took seventh in Friday’s hammer throw with a mark of 121’ 9” (37.11m).
Marcus Lindquist and Isaiah Girard were each the top jumpers in their respective events. Lindquist won the triple jump with a distance of 41’ 7.75” (12.69m) while Girard landed a high jump of 6’ 6” (1.98) to overcome the field. The sophomores each rank fourth in the conference in their respective events.
In the women’s high jump, Shaniah Schwend took third with a height of 4’ 11.75” (1.52m) just ahead of teammate Jamie Orme (4’ 9”). Schwend (33’ 7.25”) finished sixth in the triple jump behind Brenna Beckett (33’ 8.5”) and Janessa Williams (33’ 10”). Beckett (15’ 9.75”), Schwend (15’ 4.75”) and Orme (14’ 1.25”) finished seventh eighth and ninth in the long jump competition.
Beckett and Williams were each part of the 4×400 relay that set a new season best with a time of 4:20.78 on Saturday. Jewlz Collins led off the race followed by Beckett, Mataia Robinson and Williams. The men’s 4×400 also set a new season-best with Eyer, Drake Henson, Kyle McLaughlin and Girard completing the race in a time of 3:27.19.
Henson set an outdoor best in the 800 where he ran a 1:56.72 placing eighth. McLaughlin (1:59.65) and Ronald Venema (2:05.22) placed 12th and 19th in a deep field. Venema also ran in the 1,500, finishing in a time of 4:15.22 behind teammate Mark Hovland (4:07.31) who took seventh.
Next Friday, the Yellowjackets will be on the road as they travel to the Blue Hawk Games hosted by Dickinson State in Dickinson, N.D.
All official results are posted via the Track and Field Results Reporting System.