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Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Booth, Diggs among Grizzlies who shine in Seattle Montana Sports Information
SEATTLE, Wash. – Competing in a qualifying meet against some of the world's top athletes, Montana held its own and produced several scoring performances during this weekend's UW Invitational.
Montana had 19 upper-half finishes, but unlike a year ago, when the Grizzlies placed in the top 10 just twice, this year, there were a dozen such marks.
The top result came from junior Jane Booth, who placed second in the competitive high-jump filed with a height of 5-8.5. The jump was a quarter-inch shy of Booth's personal best. She finished ahead of 18 athletes – including six from the Pac-12 – and essentially tied the winner, Rachel Reichenbach of Stanford, who also recorded 5-8.5.
This meet has become a strong one for the Corvallis, Mont., native. As a freshman she placed sixth (5-3) before finishing third (5-7) as a sophomore and again increasing her height and place in 2019.
On the men's side, Montana made its presence felt in the shot put. Brent Yeakey (52-1.25, fifth), Shawn Humphries (51-7, sixth) and Noah Ramirez (50-10, eighth) all placed in the top eight. Just one other school had two athletes finish in the top 16, let alone three in the top eight.
For Yeakey, the distance was more than a foot farther than he threw at last year's Big Sky Championships. Humphries and Ramirez, just a freshman, recorded personal bests. Humphries also competed in the top flight of the men's weight throw, placing eighth (58-2).
In the women's pentathlon, both Erika McLeod (3,697, sixth out of 24) and Jansen Ziola (3,579, 10th) finished in the top half of the field. McLeod placed third in the high jump, while Ziola was in the top seven in four of the five events. McLeod was also seventh out of 34 athletes in the long jump (18-4.25).
On the men's side of the multis, in the heptathlon, freshman Aidan Diggs had a memorable performance. He placed seventh out of 23 athletes with a score of 5,018, placing third in the 60-meter hurdles (8.49) and fifth in the 60 meters (7.11) and long jump (22-4.5). It was the best heptathlon performance by a Grizzly in two seasons. Josh Riley finished 13th overall (4,807), led by top-seven finishes in the 1,000 meters (2:42.72) and high jump (5-11.5).
Coming off her school-record performance in the women's weight throw, Hana Feilzer placed fourth in the women's weight throw (61-6.75), competing in the highest flight. Other highlights on the men's side included Matt Quist, who placed seventh in the high jump (6-6), and Sterling Reneau, who was in the top third of both the 200 meters (22.51) and 400 meters (49.12).
This weekend's results become even more impressive considering athletes needed to reach qualifying standards in order to compete, and some of the world's top athletes were on hand, including national contenders and Olympic participants.
Up next, Montana will travel to Moscow, Idaho (Friday).