CHENEY, Wash. — Montana recorded several encouraging results on Saturday, during the second day of the Candy Cane X. The dual meet vs. Eastern Washington also included athletes from Central Washington and Multnomah.
"It was a great day overall," Montana head coach Brian Schweyen said. "We had some really good performances and saw a lot of really great, exciting things from a young group."
Griz sophomore Carly Smiedala set a school record in the 600 meters with a time of 1:33.06. It broke Emily Eickholt's 2011 record by more than 2 full seconds.
"That's not an event typically run, but I was really proud of Carly," Schweyen said. "What a performance by her, setting a school record."
Behind Smiedala's school-record time in the 600 meters, Emily Cheroske (1:36.61) placed third – more than 3 seconds faster than her season best a year ago – and freshman Mijah McLeod (1:41.34) was fourth. On the men's side, freshmen Trevor Henry (1:24.70) and Colton Hess (1:25.95) finished second and third, respectively.
"That was a gutsy race for a freshman," Schweyen said of Henry, who had never run the 600 meters before.
On the men's side, Eastern Washington defeated Montana, 61-42, while the women were narrowly edged, 49-47, in a meet that came down to the final event.
Some of Montana's best performances came in the shot put and high jump. Sophomore Mariah Harvey won the women's shot put (43-8.5) while freshman Brent Yeakey was the champion on the men's side (52-10).
In the high jump, sophomore Jane Booth (5-8.75) and Matt Quist (7-0.5) won their events with lifetime bests and near school records. Freshmen Jansen Ziola and Abby Dodge tied for third (5-1), while on the men's side Parker Spadt (6-2.75) finished in third place and Charlie Bush (5-10.75) placed fourth.
Ziola had a strong first collegiate meet, also winning the long jump (18-325) and placing third in the pentathlon on Friday.
The Grizzlies had plenty of success in the men's heptathlon, with sophomore Grant Whitcutt coming from behind to win (4,709 points). On Friday, he won the high jump and placed second in the shot put, and on Saturday he finished third in the 55-meter hurdles (8.36) and pole vault (13-3.5).
"That was a huge lifetime best for Grant and a great performance for him," Schweyen said. "It's great to see what he's been doing."
Teammate Jordan Stow finished third while Morgan Eitel placed fourth and Noah Adams was fifth. Adams, a sophomore, won the 1000 meters (2:46.96) – the final event of the heptathlon.
Other highlights included Hannah Coburn placing second in the women's 55-meter hurdles (8.56), Chase Armstrong finishing second in the men's 55-meter hurdles (7.80), Humphries placing second in the weight throw (52-8.25) and Alanna Vann finishing third in the 55 meters (7.24).
The Grizzlies also sent 14 athletes to compete in Bozeman on Saturday, competing against Carroll, Montana State and MSU-Western. Out of three events on the men's side, Montana had two champions.
Freshman Andrea Baratte (1.58.99) won the 1 mile while junior Jonathan Eastwood (15:14.15) won the 5,000 meters by more than 13 seconds.
On the women's side, Madeline Hamilton finished second in the 1 mile (5:20.75). In the 5,000 meters, Samantha Engebretsen took more than a minute off of her personal best.
Montana got an early start to the indoor track & field season, with most teams not beginning until January. The Grizzlies will next be in action Jan. 8-9 in Bozeman.
On Friday, Montana opened the meet with a freshman standing out in her first collegiate meet. Ziola Jansen finished third in the women's pentathlon.
Ziola had an all-time best in the 55-meter hurdles, finishing in first place with a time of 8.33. Head coach Brian Schweyen was also impressed with her 800 meters time of 2:26.22, which was second.
"Going into warmups, she was pretty nervous, but she settled down quickly," he said. "All of us coaches thought she had an incredible 800 run."
While Jansen finished third (3,450 points), she earned five points by finishing first out of UM and EWU athletes. Hannah Coburn (3,175) also scored points for the Grizzlies, finishing fifth (third among UM and EWU athletes).
"Coburn had a great meet," Schweyen said. "She had life-time bests in nearly every category."
The sophomore was UM's top performer in the shot put (10.27 meters) and finished second overall in the 55-meter hurdles (8.49 seconds). Senior Jenna Dukovcic, despite battling shin problems throughout the fall, had her second-best multi-event performance ever (3,156 points; sixth place) and freshman Jaree Mane showed potential even though she was competing in many of the events for the first time (2,838, seventh).
Sophomore Grant Whitcutt won the high jump, reaching 1.96 meters, and had the second-best shot put mark, reaching 11.38 meters on his first throw.
"Grant had a great day across the board," assistant coach Adam Bork said. "Several of his marks were way better than where he was at last year. He's a lot stronger and more mature than a year ago."
Bork praised all of his athletes, saying it was a competitive day throughout.
"I thought they all competed really well and were ready to go," he said. "A couple of those guys had never done a multi before. Our training this fall carried over to today."
Freshman Nathan Graves (11.21 meters) and sophomore Morgan Eitel (10.86) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the shot put — with basic technique that will be expanded throughout the season.