Drennen delivers: Distance runner returns with style

2012-03-31T21:45:00Z 2012-04-01T06:13:14Z Drennen delivers: Distance runner returns with styleBy BILL SPELTZ of the Missoulian Ravalli Republic
March 31, 2012 9:45 pm  • 

A funny feeling came over Katrina Drennen as she awoke Saturday morning.

“So many things go through your head,” said the Montana distance runner, who was slated to race for the first time in nine months that afternoon. “You’re like, ‘Aw man, well it’s not too late. Maybe I won’t race. I need to make sure I can still do this.’

“But then you’re also very excited to see where all your training has been taking you. I was just holding back the horses, ready to get going.”

The senior used her long sabbatical to prepare with the methodology of a pro. And when the starting gun went off for the women’s 1,500-meter run at sunny Dornblaser Field, it was as if Drennen never missed a beat.

Not only did she claim Al Manuel Invitational gold, she ran a 63.00 split on the final 400 meters and clocked in at 4:29.68.

“To be able to finish with a 63.00 any time is amazing,” UM distance coach Courtney Babcock said. “The biggest thing with her is when she goes, she just doesn’t look back. That race mentality, it’s amazing how it just comes back pretty easily for her.”

Saturday never would have happened for the Orting, Wash., native without a stroke of bad luck five years ago. She slipped on ice outside her dorm room as a freshman, injured her ankle and had to redshirt for the outdoor season.

Recognized as one of the finest distance runners in UM history, Drennen can look back at the incident and smile today.

“I’m thankful,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to time this just right for this summer being the Olympic Trial summer.

“In the end I’ll be happy with however I do because ultimately I’m doing everything I can do. But I hope to get there for the trials.”

Lost in the fanfare of her dynamite finishing lap and first-place finish was the fact Drennen smoked Montana State distance star Heather Haug. She finished in second place, more than three seconds behind Drennen at 4:32.94.

“They’ve been back and forth for years, so it was nice to have two of the top women in the country racing in Montana,” Babcock said. “(Katrina) is just so mentally strong.”

Drennen hasn’t decided whether to focus on the 1,500, 5,000 or both. She’ll have a better idea after next week when she runs the 5,000 at the high-level Stanford Invitational.

On the opposite end of the spectrum for the Grizzlies on Saturday was Morgan Braby. Competing in her first collegiate meet as a true freshman, the Missoula Big Sky product delivered a winning time of 11.92.

Afterwards, she talked about what it means to be competing in her hometown after spending a semester at the University of Utah.

“It was really tough in high school trying to decide between Montana and Utah,” she said. “I wanted to try something different, and then about halfway into (indoor) training with them I realized the team I wanted to run for was here. Maroon is prettier than red.”

Joining Drennen and Braby on the list of UM women’s champions in running events were Annika Green in the 100 hurdles (14.48), Kourtney Danreuther in the 400 hurdles (1:00.05) and Allie Parks in the 3,000 steeplechase (11:20.20). In field events, Montana winners were Courtney Kosovich in the pole vault (12 feet, 1.5 inches), Kellee Glaus in the triple jump (37-08) and Nicole Ennen in the discus (155-01).

Montana’s 1,600 relay team also took first. Big Sky grad Melissa Jenkins combined with Danreuther, Brittany Schroeder and Emily Eickholt for a time of 3:44.61.

The meet was scored as a three-way dual for Montana, MSU and Eastern Washington. The UM women beat the Eagles, 97-72, but lost to the Cats, 104-88.

The Montana men lost to Montana State, 110-86, and Eastern, 112-84. But the Grizzlies did have their moments.

Garden City product Drew Owens delivered in the 400 hurdles with a winning mark of 53.63.

“It’s kind of what I was hoping to do, run in the 53s,” Owens said. “I’m happy I was able to reach that mark because last year I was up around 55 seconds at this point.”

Other winners for the Montana men were Lee Hardt in the high jump (6-08.75), Christian Segota in the triple jump (44-11) and Brandon Forson in the discus (152-08).

Al Manuel Invitational

Participating teams – Carroll College, Montana, Montana State, Eastern Washington, Montana State-Billings, University of Great Falls, Rocky Mountain.

WOMEN

Dual team results – Montana 97, EWU 72; Montana State 124, EWU 71; Montana State 104, Montana 88.

100 – 1, Morgan Braby, UM, 11.92. 2, Chantel Jaeger, MSU, 12.06. 3, Anika Green, UM, 12.08.

200 – 1, Jaeger, MSU, 24.84. 2, Whitney Leavitt, EWU, 25.02. 3, Green, UM, 25.38.

400 – 1, Sonia Antar, MSU, 55.69. 2, Melissa Jenkins, UM, 56.62. 3, Angelica Rodriguez, EWU, 57.14.

800 – 1, Heather Haug, MSU, 2:16.39. 2, Lierin Flanagan, MSU, 2:19.89. 3, Jenyffer Ortega, UGF, 2:25.74.

1,500 – 1, Katrina Drennen, UM, 4:29.68. 2, Haug, MSU, 4:32.94. 3, Carly Wilczynski, UM, 4:49.75.

5,000 – 1, Emily Garneau, MSU, 18:49.36. 2, Katie Gilboy, Carroll, 19:09.04. 3, Ariel Murtagh, Carroll, 19:13.97.

100 hurdles – 1, Green, UM, 14.48. 2, Katie Niemeir, MSU, 14.53. 3, Carley McCutchen, MSU, 14.97.

400 hurdles – 1, Kourtney Danreuther, UM, 1:00.05. 2, Niemeir, MSU, 1:01.04. 3, Madeline Fuchs, MSU, 1:01.70.

3,000 steeplechase – 1, Allie Parks, UM, 11:20.20. 2, ReBecca Sorenson, MSU, 11:31.64. 3, Taylor Rather, MSU, 12:19.80.

400 relay – 1, EWU, 47.83. 2, UM, 48.02. 3, MSU, 48.58.

1,600 relay – 1, UM, 3:44.61. 2, MSU, 3:49.00. 3, EWU, 3:55.30.

High Jump – 1, Amber Amsbaugh, MSU, 5-08. 2, Stacey Pitt, MSU-Billings, 5-03. 3, Adessa Durglo, MSU, 5-01.

Pole Vault – 1, Courtney Kosovich, UM, 12-01.50. 2, Robin Taylor, EWU, 12-01.50. 3, Hannah Swift, UM, 11-07.75.

Long Jump – 1, Shene Davis, EWU, 17-10.75. 2, Jessica Leslie, UM, 17-07.50. 3, Sarah McGree, MSU, 17-04.

Triple Jump – 1, Kellee Glaus, UM, 37-08.75. 2, Shene Davis, EWU, 36-02.75. 3, Durglo, MSU, 35-02.

Shot Put – 1, Amanda Murphy, MSU, 46-03.50. 2, Mari Bingham, EWU, 44-08.75. 3, Kristi VandeBergh, MSU, 42-11.

Discus – 1, Nicole Ennen, UM, 155-01. 2, Bingham, EWU, 142-05. 3, Caitlin Caraway, UM, 132-04.

Hammer – 1, Amanda Murphy, MSU, 188-08. 2, Kiandra Rajala, UM, 168-10. 3, Nicole Ennen, UM, 153-04.

Javelin – 1, Emily Tyrrell, MSU, 160-08. 2, Michelle Coombs, EWU, 144-06. 3, Haley Tank, EWU, 138-07.

MEN

Dual team results – EWU 112, Montana 84; Montana State 113, EWU 85; Montana State 110, Montana 86.

100 – 1, Chris Wilson, MSU, 10.76. 2, Michael Okoro, EWU, 11.01. 3, Nick Melone, MSU, 11.27.

200 – 1, Okoro, EWU, 21.72. 2, Chris Wilson, MSU, 21.85. 3, Benjamin Cutler, Carroll, 22.05.

400 – 1, Brad Michael, EWU, 48.18. 2, Hambright, Dylan, UM, 48.47. 3, Price, Travis, UGF, 49.06.

800 – 1, Grant Grosvenor, MSU, 1:51.68. 2, Tim Pettit, EWU, 1:52.38. 3, Jordan Curnutt, EWU, 1:53.40.

1,500 – 1, Cesar Mireles, Rocky Mountain, 3:57.71. 2, Daniel Jackson, MSU, 3:58.20. 3, Michael Asay, MSU, 3:58.59.

5,000 – 1, Carl Nystuen, MSU, 14:57.34. 2, Rigoberto Jimenez, UGF, 15:35.07. 3, Seth Grossman, MSU, 15:35.11.

110 hurdles – 1, Steven Warner, EWU, 14.80. 2, Tim Armstrong, EWU, 15.25. 3, Jacob Leininger, UM, 15.32.

400 hurdles – 1, Drew Owens, UM, 53.63. 2, Nick Melone, MSU, 54.89. 3, Kramer Green, EWU, 55.24.

3,000 steeplechase – 1, Jake Turner, MSU, 9:15.40. 2, Lynn Reynolds, UM, 9:28.59. 3, Chris Hammer, Unatt,, 9:33.61.

400 relay – 1, MSU, 41.48. 2, EWU, 43.01. 3, UM, 43.55.

1,600 relay – 1, EWU, 3:18.30. 2, MSU, 3:18.34. 3, UM, 3:18.88.

High Jump – 1, Lee Hardt, UM, 6-08.75. 2, Cody Fishel, EWU, 6-04.75. 3, Austin Emry, UM, 6-02.75.

Pole Vault – 1, Easton Padden, Carroll, 15-11. 2, Kaleb Horlick, UM, 15-05. 3, Jeff Mohl, MSU, 14-11.

Long Jump – 1, Mohl, MSU, 22-05. 2, Taylor Firestone, MSU-Billings, 22-03.50. 3, Kersee Lind, EWU, 21-11.75.

Triple Jump – 1, Christian Segota, UM, 44-11. 2, Terrell Boyes, UM, 44-06.75. 3, Jourdain Allou, MSU, 44-06.25.

Shot Put – 1, David Phillips, MSU, 54-00.50. 2, Trevor Gilreath, MSU, 53-05.50. 3, Jon Buchanan, EWU, 51-05.

Discus – 1, Brandon Forson, UM, 152-08. 2, Zach Nielsen, EWU, 151-08. 3, Richard Brumbaugh, UM, 148-07.

Hammer – 1, David Phillips, MSU, 195-05. 2, Jon Buchanan, EWU, 172-10. 3, Zach Nielsen, EWU, 170-04.

Javelin – 1, Aaron Mettler, Unatt., 197-00. 2, Willie Sullivan, MSU, 189-11. 3, Max Pratt, EWU, 188-08.

Copyright 2015 Ravalli Republic. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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