(MSUB Athletics release)
MONMOUTH, Ore. – On Friday, the Montana State University Billings track and field team got off to a quick start at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Western Oregon in Monmouth.
In the first of event of the day, Jorey Egeland won the GNAC Championship for the 3,000-meter steeple chase with a time of 8:55.30. The time is a Yellowjacket record by nearly three seconds and is the seventh-best time in Division II this season. Egeland out-paced the second-place finisher, Simon Fraser’s Oliver Jorgensen (8:59.19), by three seconds on the final lap to secure the title. Freshman Carson Jessop placed 14th in the field of 20 with a time of 9:46.77.
It is Egeland’s first conference championship and he is scheduled to compete in the 5K tomorrow afternoon, an event that he leads the conference in. He joins Richie Pemberton (2008) and Robert Peterson (2016) as Yellowjacket champions in the steeplechase. Egeland is the sixth men’s outdoor champion in MSUB history. With the title, the ‘Jackets are guaranteed championships in back-to-back outdoor seasons after Sam Zook won the 100 and 200 last season. It is the first time in program history that the ‘Jackets have taken at least one title in consecutive seasons.
Nikki Aiken also scored in the steeplechase as she took eighth in the race with a time of 11:19.43. The sophomore repeats her placing from last season’s championships but set a new personal record by more than eight seconds in the race.
Brady Ostermiller earned two points for the Yellowjackets in the shot put with a seventh-place finish and a throw of 15.41 meters. The throw is a collegiate-best for the junior. Forrest Cross was just short of his collegiate-best in the event while finishing 15th with a throw of 14.15 meters.
Also getting on the board in the throws was Hannah Nessan who placed fifth in the discus. The MSUB freshman collected four points after recording a throw of 41.86 meters. While it was not her furthest throw of the season, Nessan did peak at the right time as it is only her second collegiate throw greater than 40 meters. Abbie Lohof (36.77m) took 13th in the event and Taylor Stringari (34.79m) and Kassadee Kuoha (33.34m) placed 16th and 17th.
In the long jump, sophomore Isaiah Girard picked up a seventh-place finish and two more points for the ‘Jackets with his leap of 6.57 meters. Girard will compete in the high jump for the Yellowjackets tomorrow.
Returning as the 100-meter dash champion from last season, Zook ended Friday as the top qualifier in the event with a time of 10.58. He will be joined in Saturday’s final by teammates Mason Schram and Lamont Frisby who qualified sixth and seventh with times of 10.94 and 10.99 respectively.
Zook was also the top qualifier in the 200, where he will seek to defend his other championship from last season. The junior posted a time of 21.45 to top the field. Frisby will join Zook in Saturday’s final after placing sixth with a time of 21.92.
Kaelen Shay narrowly missed the final in the 100 as he finished 12th after clocking a time of 11.16 in the race. Michaela Johnson and Jewlz Collins were also short of the qualifying times for the 100-meter final.
Collins and Rahkei Eyer were both short of the final qualifying marks in the 400-dash. Collins was 10th in her heat while Eyer placed 14th in the men’s race.
Johnson placed 11th in the 100-hurdles, missing the final by just over half a second.
Freshman Drake Henson’s personal-record in the 800 wasn’t enough to crack the finals in a deep field which featured seven qualifiers from Western Oregon. Henson ran an 8:55.78 and finished 11th in the race.
Just short of a personal-best, Hailey Steinbeisser placed 11th in the shot put while leading the ‘Jackets with a throw of 11.11 meters. Nessan finished 14th in the event with a throw of 10.88 and Stringari took 15th measuring a throw of 10.71.
In the discus, Ostermiller was the top finisher for the Yellowjackets with a mark of 43.27 meters placing 13th. Fellow ‘Jackets Nels Flanagan (42.42) and Cross (42.19) placed 18th and 19th respectively.
Jamie Orme was the top finisher for the ‘Jackets in the women’s high jump after clearing the opening height of 1.51 meters on the first attempt. Shaniah Schwend also cleared the height on her final attempt but neither could clear the next bar. Orme finished 12th and Schwend 21st.
In the final race of the day for MSUB, Ivan Colmenero placed 10th in the 10K with a time of 33:20.70. The time is a collegiate best for the junior as only 14 of the 17 competitors finished the race.
The Yellowjackets finished the first day of competition with 14 points for the men’s events and five for the women’s. With strong throwing performances, Concordia University (Ore.) leads both the men’s and women’s team-scores heading into Saturday.
Events begin tomorrow at 10 a.m. Pacific Time with the hammer throw. Live result links are posted on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference site.