AUSTIN, Texas — It was a quiet start for the Montana track and field teams as the NCAA West Regional opened on Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
No Grizzlies advanced to Friday’s races on the track and nobody competing in the field events had a top-20 finish.
The team’s best chance, on paper, to advance to nationals at this week’s meet was junior Hana Feilzer, who ranked 10th in the region in the women’s hammer throw.
Needing a top-12 finish to advance to Eugene, Ore., which will host the NCAA Championships in two weeks, Feilzer had a top throw of 193-0 to place 21st.
Three times this spring Feilzer landed beyond 204 feet, including a throw of 206-3 two weeks ago to win the Big Sky Conference title.
A similar throw would have put the Missoula native Feilzer in ninth place on Thursday and extended her season by two weeks.
The 12th-place cut to make nationals was 199-11, by Minnesota’s Angie Guenther. Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen won the event with a throw of 232-3.
The Big Sky will be well represented at nationals in the event. Northern Arizona’s Brooke Andersen, who fouled on three throws at the Big Sky championships, opening the door for Feilzer, finished second at 220-1. North Dakota’s Molli Detloff placed fifth at 213-2.
Montana had four athletes competing in the men’s and women’s javelin. The top finishes were 38th, by freshman Kyle Morris on the men’s side and freshman Darby Henthorn on the women’s.
Morris went 190-11 on his third and final attempt. Henthorn threw 136-6 on her first. Neither approached their PR, but both finished higher than their pre-meet ranking.
Redshirt freshman Brady Coffman, who fouled on two of his three attempts, had a throw of 177-0 to finish 46th. Senior Daniel Jones did not record a mark, fouling all three of his throws.
Utah State’s Sindri Gudmundsson won the men’s javelin with a throw of 249-11. The 12th-place cut for the men was 217-8.
Texas A&M’s Madalaine Stulce won the women’s javelin at 172-5. The cut to nationals was 157-11.
In Thursday night’s women’s 800 meters, freshman Carly Smiedala ran a time of 2:11.66, junior Emily Cheroske a 2:13.25. Smiedala’s time was the event’s 39th fastest, Cheroske’s ranked 45th.
Twenty-four of the 48th athletes in the 800 meters advanced to Friday’s region finals.
Smiedala and Cheroske both ran times slower than their season bests but both placed higher than projected. Cheroske was ranked 46th, Smiedala was 48th entering the meet.
The event’s top time of 2:06.94 was turned in by Oregon’s Raevyn Rogers. Twenty-three of the 48 athletes clocked times faster than 2:10.
The meet continues on Friday when freshman Jane Booth competes in the high jump at 3:30 p.m. Mountain and junior Jessica Bailey races the steeplechase at 7:20 p.m.