(Editor’s note: MSU Billings media release)
BILLINGS – Montana State University Billing head track and field coach Jon Woehl announced the signing of three future student athletes for the 2019-20 athletic season on Friday. Those signing a letter of intent to join the Yellowjackets this fall include Ely Kraft of Laurel, Brock Smith of Billings, and Evan Pretty Weasel of Ashland. With a larger class of graduating seniors last season, the signings will add much needed depth to the men’s track and field team for next year.
“All three of these student athletes are great additions to MSUB,” said Woehl. “I am really looking forward to working with each of them.”
The trio represent the first men’s track and field athletes to sign this summer after the season ended on May 11 at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference outdoor championships.
Laurel High School
Ely Kraft earned four letters as a member of the Laurel High School Locomotives under head coach Brandi Fox. He participated in shotput and discus throws and helped his team to the 2019 class A state track and field championship. In the final event of the day, Kraft marked 150’ 5” in discus to take second place. The result lifted the Locomotives to the title.
Kraft plans to major in Business at Montana State Billings. He also played four years of football in high school and was named all-conference as a defensive end.
Coach Woehl on Kraft: “Ely is coming off a really good senior year at Laurel. It was fun to watch him compete at the State meet. He knew that he needed to get second place in discus in order for his team to have a chance at the title and he did just that. He proved he can perform under some added pressure and I’m excited for him to come and work with coach Goosman. With Forrest (Cross) and Matt (Poore), we should have a good nucleus of throwers feeding off each other and continuing to get better.”
Billings West High School
Brock Smith joins the Yellowjackets an accomplished high school athlete from Billings. Smith competed in cross country, track and field, wrestling, and football at Billings West High School and earned four letters as a sprinter. Smith was named academic all-state twice and all-state track and field once. In cross country, he was awarded runner of the year. Smith was a member of a 4×400 relay team which broke a high school and Montana state record.
Coach Woehl on Smith: “Brock will be a really good addition for us. We wanted to make sure we had a really competitive 4×400 relay team and I think adding Brock is definitely going to help us in that area and just bolster our lineup with so many seniors that graduated last spring.”
Evan Pretty Weasel
St. Labre Indian Catholic High School
6-3, Sprints/High Jump
Evan Pretty Weasel hails from Ashland, Montana, southeast of Billings and plans to compete in track and high jump events next season. A three sport athlete in high school, Pretty Weasel earned letters in basketball, cross country, and track and field.
Pretty Weasel earned a sixth place finish at the state meet in the 1600 meter relay, helping break the school record with a finals time of 3:32.86. He also broke the St. Labre Indian Catholic school record for the 400 meter dash with a time of 52.51. Last season, Pretty Weasel ran the distance medley relay which came in first place for Class B. Other notable high school statistics include the 200 meter dash (first place), 100 meter dash (second place), and high jump (second place).
Pretty Weasel plans to study Psychology at MSUB and was awarded the 2019 St. Labre Citizenship Award.
Coach Woehl on Pretty Weasel: “Evan will likely focus on the 200 and 400 for us and then we’ll have him work on high jump as well because we think he has a ton of potential in that event. He’s seen a lot of time come off in both sprinting events between junior and senior year of high school so I’m excited to add him to our roster.”
Pretty Weasel on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSU Billings because it is close to home and I liked the teacher to student ratio. I prefer smaller class sizes and my mom also graduated from MSUB. I felt really comfortable with the campus and I’ll be able to run track and continue my passion on a higher level.”