POCATELLO, IDAHO - - The first day of competition for the University of North Dakota track and field team at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championship was highlighted by three spots on the podium and numerous broken records.
All of the throwers who competed today earned personal bests or season bests. The group was led by senior Molly Griep, who was the runner-up in the weight throw. Griep’s throw of 61 feet, 9 inches (18.82) earned her a season-best and eight points for her team.
Also in the weight throw, Jessica Drady and Lexi Stein-McAndrew both earned personal records. Drady’s throw of 52-00.00 (15.85) earned her the ninth spot in UND history. Stein-McAndrew had a mark of 51-06.25 (15.70). Drady and McAndrew were both ranked 21st in the conference heading into the meet and finished 16th and 18th, respectively.
In the shot put, Ian Collins and Matt Culhane also earned personal records. Collins finished seventh with a throw of 54-10.75 (15.23), earning his team two points. Culhane hit a mark of 49-11.75 (15.23).
“When you head into championship meets you have no expectations for field events because people can rise to the occasion or falter,” said throws coach Drew Jones. “To see every one of our throwers earn a season best or personal best today, you cannot ask for more than that.”
Kyley Foster once again broke her school record today in the pole vault. Foster finished third with a clear of 13-01.00 (3.99). Foster was out-jumped by Danielle Brandon of Sacramento State and Anadae Clark of Eastern Washington. Brandon hit a mark of 13-03.00 (4.04) while Clark cleared 13-07.00 (4.14). All three athletes were previously ranked in the Big Sky under 13 feet.
Taking second-place in the high jump was last year’s Big Sky Conference champion Nolan Hovland. Hovland made the podium with his clear of 6-10.25 (2.09). He tied with Noah Martin of Montana State, but was beaten in jumps. Hovland’s clear was a season best.
“For a guy who hasn’t competed in a few weeks, Nolan was a competitor today,” said jumps coach Joe Silvers. “To come up with second just on misses, that’s pretty impressive.”
On the track, the distance medley relay team consisting of Scott Kvidera, Jared Michel, Joseph Fenstermacher, and Connor Danielson earned the fourth-fastest time in UND history with its run of 10 minutes, 23.55 seconds.
Heather Harrower competed in the 400-meter run preliminaries and qualified for the finals after winning her heat in a time of 56.29 seconds.
James Hollister earned the eighth spot in the UND history books with his 200-meter run of 22.53 seconds.
“Overall today was pretty fantastic,” said head coach Kevin Galbraith. “We had a lot of standout performances and we are looking forward to what tomorrow has to bring.”
Competition continues tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the men’s weight throw and the women’s triple jump.