(MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Three straight weekends of competition concludes Friday and Saturday for the Montana State University Billings men’s and women’s track and field teams as they travel to Nampa, Idaho for the Jacksons Nike Boise Indoor Invite.
The Yellowjacket men finished fifth last week at the Air Force Invitational while the women came in eighth. MSUB is expected to bring close to a full squad to Nampa and try out combinations of relay teams as they continue to set up for the conference indoor championships February 15-16. Competing in Nampa will also give both teams a chance to perform at the same venue as the GNAC championships.
Other teams in line to participate include Treasure Valley Community College, University of Montana Western, Pepperdine University, Lewis and Clark College, Westminster College, Northwest Nazarene, Carroll College, Boise State University, College of Idaho, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, Eastern Oregon University, Northwest Christian University, and Idaho State University.
“I think it will be really nice for everybody to be in that venue a couple weeks before to kind of mentally prepare for the conference meet,” commented head coach Jon Woehl. “Visualizing the course in preparation for the GNAC championships is going to be easier because they know what to expect. The level of competition this weekend should be similar to our other meets up until this point.”
Last weekend, the Yellowjackets showed well at the Air Force Invitational in Colorado Springs. Drake Henson surpassed his own MSUB record in the 800 meter dash and Isaiah Girard tied the school record for high jump. Forrest Cross and Brady Ostermiller continued to improve in men’s shot put and both set personal bests in the event.
“Brady and Forrest have sort of a friendly competition each meet which is a good thing,” Woehl said. “They both want to throw really far. If one of them has a good throw, then it seems like the other one wants to respond and kind of say, check this out. So they really do a good job of pushing each other to be better. Brady is just a few centimeters off the school record in shot put.”
Both Ostermiller and Cross are expected to in men’s shot put and weight throw on Friday.
Anne Lory Chevalier began to make headway in the women’s 60 meters and she finished in 8.09 seconds at Air Force and was the top finisher in the event for MSUB.
“Anne Lory has done really well and always works hard in practice. Every week since winter break, she has been able to shave off time on her 60 meter distance. She’ll get to run on the distance medley relay this week as well.”
Ty Stanton and Isaiah Girard finished tied for fifth in men’s long jump last weekend with identical marks of 22’ 3”. Both have made steady improvements this season for MSUB.
“Ty has been particularly helpful to the other guys on the team,” Woehl said. “He is always very relaxed on meet day and focused and that rubs off on others around him. He continues to get a little bit better each week.”
The remainder of the MSUB track and field indoor schedule includes the Jacksons Nike Boise Indoor Invite (February 1-2), GNAC Indoor Championships (February 15-16), and NCAA DII Indoor National Championships (March 8-9).
Qualification for the GNAC Championships does not have limited entries in most events. However, respective teams choose who they feel deserves to compete in each event and the Jacksons Nike Boise Indoor Invite will be a measuring stick for the Yellowjackets moving forward.
“It should give our athletes confidence at the conference meet knowing that they have truly earned their spot,” said Woehl. “Competing this week in Nampa is going to give us experience mentally so our visualization prior to the GNAC Championships will be stronger. There are a lot of competitive schools at this meet and we expect a similar crowd size compared to the GNAC so it should be a good preview for the conference meet.”