FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior Lindsey Hall advanced to finals in the 100-meter hurdles and senior Kourtney Danreuther’s record-breaking career came to a close Friday as Montana competed on day two of the NCAA West Regional track and field meet.
Ranked 24th in her event, Hall was on the bubble to advance from Friday’s 48-athlete preliminaries into Saturday’s 24-athlete finals, and through seven of 10 hurdles it appeared Hall was done, but a late surge moved her up the results just enough.
She finished fourth in her heat in a time of 13.82. It wasn’t fast enough to grab one of the heat’s three automatic qualifications to the finals, but it was just quick enough to get the fifth of six at-large spots.
“And she did not run well either,” said UM coach Brian Schweyen. “Her warm-up was sluggish, and it didn’t look like she was warmed up, and that carried over to the race. Her first seven hurdles were nothing spectacular.”
Hall, in lane eight, was running next to Portland State’s Jazmin Ratcliff, the same athlete who won the Big Sky Conference hurdles title two weeks ago, edging out Hall, who finished second.
Late in the race Ratcliff, who finished third in the heat to automatically advance, stumbled, and that sparked something in Hall.
“Lindsey said after the race that that kind of triggered her, so for (hurdles) eight, nine and 10, she got aggressive and made up a lot of ground,” Schweyen said. “If she races the entire thing tomorrow like she did on eight, nine and 10 today, she can run a 13.20 or 13.30, and who knows what that does tomorrow.”
Whatever effort Hall made to lean at the tape, she ended up needing every fraction of an inch of it. Six athletes finished with times within six-hundredths of a second of Hall’s time, and only one of those athletes made the cut to the finals.
Danreuther advanced out of the preliminaries in the 400-meter hurdles on Thursday evening with a time of 58.52. Needing the race of her life on Friday to make nationals for the first time, Danreuther ran a 59.04 to finish more than a second out of qualifying.
She wrapped up her career at Montana a six-time Big Sky Conference champion, four times in individual events, twice in relays, and she holds three individual records – the indoor and outdoor 400 meters and the 400-meter hurdles, and is a member of the record-holding outdoor 1,600-meter relay team.
“You hate to see Kourtney go out without going to nationals in her career, but she’ll always be remembered as one of our absolute bests,” Schweyen said. “She’s had a fantastic career and will go down as one of our greatest athletes ever.”
The seasons of junior Lee Hardt and sophomore Sammy Evans came to an end Friday, though both should be back to regionals next spring.
Hardt no-heighted in three attempts in the high jump at the opening bar of 6-7 1/2. Hardt broke seven feet earlier this month at the Montana Open, and a jump of 7-1 on Friday would have sent him to nationals.
“For Lee it came down to his left foot,” Schweyen said. “Every meet this year his left foot has kind of bothered him, but he’s been able to come in at lower heights and work his way through it.
“He didn’t have that chance today, and the pain never went away, no matter what he tried.”
Evans finished 32nd in the triple jump with an effort of 39-5 1/4. A mark of 41-5 was needed to make the finals, and the cut to make nationals ended up being 41-7, more than a foot farther than Evans’ career best.
“Sammy was as consistent on the board today as she’s been all year, so this was a good experience for her,” Schweyen said. “She just didn’t quite have what she needed to get through all the phases of the jump, but you can’t disregard going 39-5. That’s still a great performance.”
Montana will have just two athletes competing Saturday. Junior Caitlin Caraway, ranked 28th, will compete in the hammer in the morning, and Hall will race the finals of the hurdles in the evening.
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