BOZEMAN — Montana competed at the MSU Dual Meet on Friday evening, in many ways a prep for the Big Sky Championships, which will take place in less than two weeks in the same venue.
The Grizzlies went head to head with several familiar opponents, going against Eastern Washington, Idaho State, Montana State and Weber State.
A week after Montana's women beat three Big Sky schools and a Pac-12 foe in Moscow and the men took second, wins and personal bests were harder to come by this week.
Some of that was to be expected. Montana is starting to hit the point where the focus is more on later this month than it is on the present, and several top athletes did not compete. In total, the Grizzlies did not have participants in the women's 400 meters, men's 3,000 meters, men's weight throw or either of the relay teams. Other events, Montana had just one or two participants.
While there were fewer top performances overall, Montana did have several highlights:
• Erika McLeod won the women's 200 meters (season-best 24.82). The time is the third-best in the Big Sky this season. She also placed third in the 60-meter hurdles (8.80).
• Montana took the first four spots in the women's 800 meters, led by school-record-holder Carly Smiedala (2:15.12). Madeline Hamilton (2:16.14), Megan Franz (2:17.62) and Mijah McLeod (2:21.22) each finished ahead of the other seven runners.
• Of the seven runners to advance to the women's 60-meter hurdles, Montana had three of them, led by winner Morgan Sulser (season-best 8.65). The time is the third-best this season by a Big Sky athlete. Erika McLeod was third (8.80) and Jansen Ziola was fifth (8.83). Sulser and McLeod both improved upon their prelims time.
• Hana Feilzer, once again, won the women's weight throw. The two-time Big Sky Athlete of the Week is the favorite to win a conference title in the event, as she again was the only thrower to reach 60 feet. In addition to Feilzer, Kayla Holmes placed fourth in the weight throw (56-10.25) and sixth in the shot put (42-8.75). Both marks were season bests.
• Jane Booth placed third in the women's high jump, getting within a half-inch of her season-best jump, which ranks No. 2 in the Big Sky.
On the men's side, the biggest strength was the 60-meter hurdles, in which four Grizzlies advanced to the eight-runner finals. Freshmen Aidan Diggs (8.38) and Jaydon Green (8.38) led the group, followed by Chase Armstrong (8.44) and Callum Macnab (8.53).
Other top-eight finishes included Paul Johnstone (49.84 in the 400 meters, fourth); Kip Krebsbach (22.57 in the 200 meters, seventh); Alex Mustard (22.59 in the 200 meters, eighth); Karsten Pease (1:57.92 in the 800 meters, seventh); Colton Hess(2:00.88 in the 800 meters, eighth); Ben Vanderbosch (4:28.79 in the 1 mile, seventh); Josh Riley (21-10.75 in the long jump, eighth); and Oliver Grajeda (46-4 in the shot put, seventh).