(MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – A busy track and field season continues for the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets this Friday as they travel to Dickinson, N.D. for the Blue Hawk Games hosted by Dickinson State. The ‘Jackets competed at Dickinson State last season for the Dickinson State Last Chance Invite, a meet they added to their schedule for this season.
SCHEDULE CHANGES: The Yellowjackets have added three meets to their remaining schedule this season after having to cancel a trip to the University of Providence in Great Falls, Mont. due to the track surface not being ready. Next week the ‘Jackets will send their 4×100 relay team of Sam Zook, Lamont Frisby, Mason Schram and Kaelen Schay along with Beau Ackerman and Jorey Egeland to the Drake Relays from April 26-28 in Des Moines, Iowa. The meet is one of the most prestigious in the nation and has been drawing some of the best competitors in the world since 1910. Egeland will run in the 3,000-meter steeple chase while Ackerman competes in the javelin. Zook will run in the 100 and 200-meter dash in addition to his part in the 4×100 relay.
The rest of the Yellowjackets will compete at the Carroll College Open on April 27. The ‘Jackets competed in Helena last outdoor season at the Trudnowski Open. The ‘Jackets’ final meet before the GNAC Championships will be the Dickinson State Last Chance Invite, the same venue as this weekend’s competition, on May 4.
CONFERENCE LEADERS: The Yellowjackets have six athletes ranking in the top 3 in their events in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. An additional 14 top-10 marks have been posted by the ‘Jackets this season.
Beau Ackerman has posted the only Division II provisional performance so far for MSUB with a throw of 209’ 7” ranking third in the conference and 11th in the nation. Beau Peaslee is 10th amongst GNAC javelin throwers with a mark of 171’ 5”.
Zook has two marks inside the top 3 as he leads the ‘Jackets in the 100 and 200-meter dash. He leads the league with a 200 time of 21.82 and is third in the 100 (10.76). Fellow sprinter Mason Schram ranks ninth in the 100 (10.94) and Lamont Frisby is eighth in the 200 (22.20). In addition, the three sprinters make up three of the four legs of MSUB’s conference-leading 4×100 relay (41.49) with Kaelen Shay.
In the women’s sprints, Michaela Johnson is second in the conference with a 100-meter hurdles time of 14.65. She also ranks 10th in the conference with a 100-meter dash mark of 12.73.
Egeland is at the top of the league with a 14:37.19 time in the 5K and is fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:19.96). He also ranks ninth in the 1,500-meter with a time of 3:57.40. Nikki Aiken is eighth in the steeplechase after posting an 11:30.20 at the Montana Open last weekend. Ivan Colmenero is also in the top-10 among distance runners with his 10K ranking 10th 33:04.84.
In the jumps, Isaiah Girard is fourth in the league with a high jump of 6’ 6” and Marcus Lindquist is fifth with a triple jump of 45’ 3”. Janessa Williams ranks eighth in the triple jump at a distance of 35’ 3.75”.
In the throws, Nels Flanagan is sixth in the league in the hammer throw with his MSUB-record distance of 174’ 4”. Hannah Nessan’s throw of 129’ 1” in the discus is ninth in the league and Brady Ostermiller is 10th in the shot put (48’ 10”).
BLUE HAWK PREVIEW: The Yellowjackets will take a full squad on the four hour bus ride to Dickinson Friday morning. The team will not run a men’s 4×100-meter relay as they lighten the workload in preparation for the Drake Relays the following week. The women’s relay team will get the unique opportunity to run a 4×800-meter relay which is a staple of NAIA meets and much less common in Division II. The ‘Jackets will run Rachel Hiner, Miranda Livingston, Ella McKenzie and Catrina Schuchard in the race.
Kassadee Kuoha will have a full schedule as she throws discus, hammer and shot put after missing time with an injury. Nessan, Taylor Stringari, Hailey Steinbeisser and Abbie Lohof will also compete in the full slate of throws. Halie Warren will be the teams’ sole representative in the javelin.
Forrest Cross will join Ostermiller, Flanagan and Peaslee in the men’s throws. Ackerman will take the week off from javelin while Dillon Gongliewski makes his Yellowjacket debut in the event.
Girard will do both the long jump and the high jump while Lindquist will add the 100-dash to his triple jumping regimen. Willimas will triple jump with Brenna Beckett and Shaniah Schwend. Schwend will continue her routine of taking on all three jumps as she long jumps with Beckett, Warren and Jamie Orme and high jumps with Orme and Warren.
The sprints will be filled with Yellowjackets as the men run Zook, Frisby, Schram, Shay, Lindquist and Rahkei Eyer in the 100. Kyle McLaughlin will run the 200 with everyone except Lindquist.
McLaughlin will run two 400’s this weekend as he races as an individual and as part of the 4×400 relay. Eyer, Girard and Drake Henson will run the other three legs of the relay.
Running the 800 and 1,500, Henson will put in extra work this weekend as he takes on a season-high three events. Fellow freshman Carson Jessop will also run the 800 and 1,500 with Henson. Mark Hovland and Tyus Mendoza will run the 800 with Mendoza adding the 3,000 steeplechase to his workload.
Jack Pickell and Ronald Veneman will enter the 5K for MSUB.
Johnson will run in both her specialties on Friday as she runs the 100-dash and 100-hurdles. Anne Lory Chevalier will run the 100 and the 200 with Beckett and Myhia Metzenberg joining her in the longer sprint. Metzenberg will be in the 400 as well.
The Yellowjackets will have the most entries in the 800 with Aiken, Hiner, Livingston, McKenzie and Schuchard slated to compete. Aiken will also compete in the 1,500.