Injuries hurting UM men and women
A year ago, Montana men snapped a dual track meet losing streak to Montana State at 12. It was a landmark for the Grizzlies and then third-year head coach Tom Raunig, but it didn't guarantee anything further.
Indeed, UM is decidedly an underdog Saturday when the Montana schools clash again at Dornblaser Field.
"We're going to try to do everything we can to get ourselves in position where if they have some bad luck we can hopefully get an upset," Raunig said. "But I'd definitely say we're underdogs."
Same is true, to a lesser extent, in the women's meet. MSU is healthy and coming off a strong day at the BYU Invitational last week. The Lady Cats can stretch their own streak over Montana to four.
Several Lady Griz are on a roll too, including Heather Anderson, Jamie Slyder and Renee Dunn. In the past few weeks they've, in order, gained automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships in the 10,000, shattered the school shot put record, and smashed the school long jump record.
"We've had a lot of good performances on the women's side," Raunig said. "I'm excited to see how much better they can get."
But Holly Gabbert, in normal circumstances a contender in both hurdles races Saturday, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament at last week's Pelluer Invitational in Cheney, Wash. She's out for the season. High jumper Julie Deming will miss the meet due a prior commitment in Oregon.
The Grizzly men are similarly plagued. A season-ending injury to Adam Bork means they'll field no one in pole vault. MSU has entered five vaulters. UM freshman Doug Lefler of Frenchtown continues to harbor a sore throwing elbow and won't compete in javelin until, perhaps, the Big Sky championships. He threw 196-6 early in the spring.
Calvin Coleman, Montana's school record-holder in the long jump, will make it from the final Griz football scrimmage in time to jump. But Raunig said Coleman tweaked an ankle in football practice early in the week and may not be 100 percent.
MSU's women are paced by Big Sky leaders Shannon Agee in pole vault and Teri Ketcham in javelin, as well as Lacy Hinzpeter, who burned a 12.01-second 100 at BYU.
Jason Kiser of Montana State is the only entrant in the men's meet who ranks as a conference leader for an event he'll compete in. He's tops in the 400-meter hurdles in 52.74 seconds.
Montana's Brad Treat and Anderson, league leaders in the men's and women's 5,000, respectively, will run in shorter races. Treat, of Kalispell, is entered in the 1,500, where he runs up against Bobcat senior Mike Feist, who ran nearly the equivalent of a four-minute mile last week in Utah.
UM's Anderson, the Big Sky leader in the women's 10,000, hooks up with Emily Thompson of Montana State in the 3,000. Thompson's altitude-adjusted best is a couple seconds faster than Anderson's in that race.
A scoring system instituted by the NCAA last year scores to four places (on a 5-3-2-1 basis), but awards points to no more than two entrants from a team.
There is no admission to Saturday's meet.
Montana-Montana State dual scores
Since first woman's meet in 1983
|Year||Winner, score||Winner, score|
|1999||UM, 101-100||MSU, 110-92|
|1997||MSU, 101-61||MSU, 134-26|
|1996||MSU, 89-73||UM, 89-65|
|1995||MSU, 110-33||MSU, 90-54|
|1994||MSU, 104-59||UM, 73-72|
|1993||MSU, 103Þ-58Þ||MSU, 87-59|
|1992||MSU, 98-65||UM, 83Þ-61Þ|
|1991||MSU, 116-47||MSU, 96-47|
|1990||MSU, 100Þ-53Þ||UM, 69-58|
|1989||MSU, 86-59||UM, 85-44|
|1988||MSU, 86-59||UM, 87-42|
|1987||MSU, 111-39||UM, 111-34|
|1986||UM, 96-54||UM, 86-49|
|1985||UM, 86-68||UM, 79-66|
|1984||MSU, 90-64||UM, 78-67|
|1983||MSU, 88Þ-58Þ||UM, 69-67|
(Kim Briggeman can be reached at 523-5266 or at email@example.com.)