Montana has strong showing at Idaho indoor track meet

Montana has strong showing at Idaho indoor track meet


After an up-and-down meet two weeks ago in Bozeman, the Montana track & field teams bounced back in a big way on Friday, with several impressive showings at the Idaho Team Challenge.

Competing against Big Sky foes Eastern Washington and Idaho, in addition to Washington State, Gonzaga and Seattle, Montana's men took second place, while the women were third.

The Grizzlies won six running events, but more impressive was the potential all across the board. Of the 15 running events, a Montana athlete finished in the top three in 11 of them. Montana finished in the upper third in all 15.

Both of Montana's sprinters in the men's 60-meter hurdles advanced to the finals, with Aidan Diggs placing third (8.19) and Chase Armstrong finishing fifth (8.52). On the women's side, the Grizzlies had three finalists, led by Olivia Ellis (9.27, third) and Ailsa Gilbert (9.32, fifth). Kip Krebsbach led Montana in the 60 meters finals, with two runners again advancing from the prelims to the finals.

Montana really showed its depth in the men's 200 and 800, however.

Paul Johnstone won the 200 meters — one of three event wins for the sophomore — but his winning time of 21.22 was closely followed by a handful of teammates, as well. Out of 22 runners in the event, five Grizzlies finished in the top eight.

 n the men's 800 meters, Montana had five of the top eight times, with all five Grizzlies placing in the 22-runner event: Jacob Lamb (1:53.20, 2nd/22); Noah Adams (1:54.61, 3rd); Noah Kells (1:55.30); Quincy Fast (1:55.86, 7th); Colton Hess (1:55.88, 8th).

Montana also had plenty of success on the women's side in the distance events. Emily Pittis had the race of her career, winning both the 1 mile (4:56.28) and 3,000 meters (9:53.79). Her 1 mile time was a PR, while her 3,000 meters time wasn't far off her all-time best. They marked her first event wins in three years.

In the 1 mile, Montana's June Eastwood (4:59.28, 2nd) and Beatrix Frissell (5:00.80, 4th) followed closely behind Pittis. It was a similar story in the 3,000 meters, with Eastwood placing third (9:59.82), Frissell finishing fourth (10:05.78) and Samantha Engebretsen coming in sixth (10:19.74).

In addition to Johnstone's win in the 200 meters, he also won the 400 meters (47.60) and was the third leg of Montana's winning 1,600-meter relay team (3:16.51).

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