SEATTLE -- A day that began quietly in the women’s pentathlon ended on a high note, as Montana's Hana Feilzer broke her own school record in the weight throw Friday evening on the opening day of the Washington Invitational indoor track meet.
Feilzer became the first Montana athlete to break 60 feet when she threw the weight 60-3 at the Candy Cane Invitational last month at Eastern Washington. She went 60-6 on her first attempt on Friday to set a record and was unable to surpass that in her next five throws.
She finished third in a field of 47. California’s Destiny Parker won the event, throwing 64-1.25. Stanford’s Valarie Allman was second at 63-1.5.
Feilzer became the storyline after a mostly quiet day by her teammates as just a handful of Grizzlies competed.
Senior Nicole Stroot and junior Erika McLeod, who were eyeing scores north of 4,000 points in the pentathlon, both pulled out and settled for DNFs after getting off to slow starts, and Montana’s three heptathletes all sit outside the top 10 through four of seven events.
Olivia Ellis’s time of 25.70 in the 200 meters was the only other PR on the day.
Much of Friday’s pre-meet focus was on McLeod and Stroot, who rank first and second in the Big Sky Conference in the pentathlon and in the top 10 nationally in the early-season rankings.
Both were shooting for scores of 4,100 or better on Friday, the minimum needed for a chance to qualify for nationals in March in College Station, Texas. Neither had cracked 3,900 in their careers, so PRs were needed from start to finish. It wasn’t to be.
Stroot had the fifth-fastest time in the 60-meter hurdles in the 31-athlete field of 8.83, but it was off her career best, as was McLeod’s 11th-place time of 9.25.
Both went just 5-1 in the high jump, inches below their PRs, and neither approached her PR in the shot put.
With nothing left to gain and only the long jump and 800 meters remaining, both put an end to their day.
In the heptathlon, Josh Riley is in 11th place, Dylan Reynolds is sitting 12th, and Grant Whitcutt is in 15th out of 17 competitors.
Riley had a season-best mark of 34-0.75 in the shot put, Whitcutt matched his season best in the high jump at 6-4.
In Friday’s distance events, Jessica Bailey ran a 17:40.46 to finish 30th in the 5,000 meters. Nathan Wellington was 31st in the men’s race, running a 15:10.22, five seconds off his PR.
In the men’s 3,000 meters, Paden Alexander placed 14th in a time of 8:48.10.
In the women’s distance medley relay, Rosa Hardarson (1,200 meters), Carly Smiedala (400 meters), Emily Cheroske (800 meters) and Reagan Colyer (1,600 meters) won their section by six seconds in a time of 11:49.39 to rank sixth overall.
In the women’s 200 meters, which was done in 21 different races, Ellis won her section and placed 38th overall. Alanna Vann finished 54th in a time of 26.32.
In the men’s 200 meters, Sterling Reneau clocked a 22.56 to finish 22nd.
Samantha Hodgson joined Feilzer in the weight throw and went 50-8 to place 18th.