MISSOULA — Several Montana athletes will have their track & field seasons extended, as six Grizzlies qualified for the NCAA West Regional in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Montana's throwing unit will be heavily represented, with five of the six qualifiers coming in those events: Matthew Hockett (men's javelin), Tanessa Morris (women's hammer), Evan Todd (men's javelin), Matt Ward (men's hammer) and Brent Yeakey (men's discus). Additionally, Joel Mendez qualified in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The group is a strong mixture of experience and youth, with three Grizzlies making repeat trips to NCAA Regionals (Morris, Todd, Yeakey). Additionally, three of Montana's qualifiers are just sophomores (Hockett, Todd, Ward).
In order to qualify, an athlete must rank in the top 48 in their region, which for Montana consists of the western half of the United States. Montana's top-ranked athletes are Todd (10th), Mendez (17th) and Morris (17th).
Montana's NCAA Regionals qualifiers will compete next week (Wednesday through Saturday) on the campus of the University of Arkansas. From there, the top 12 athletes from the West Region – along with the top dozen from the East Region – will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
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—UM sports information