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Two Montana natives picked up a pair of top-20 finishes during the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Wednesday in Austin, Texas.

With his tie for 15th place, Helena High grad Chase Smith earned second-team All-America honors in the pole vault. It's the University of Washington junior's his first career outdoor All-America honor. 

Smith missed on all three attempts to clear the bar at 18 feet, 1/2 inch. He cleared 17 feet, 3/4 inch on his first attempt and 17 feet, 6 1/2 inches on his second jump.

Billings West grad Simon Petsch helped the Navy 1,600-relay team finish in 20th place in the prelims. Only the top eight advanced to the finals.

Petsch, a sophomore, ran the second leg as the team finished in 3 minutes, 9.97 seconds. The lowest qualifying time for the finals was 3:03.98.

Montanans will continue competing at the championships on Thursday. Montana Grizzly and Big Sky grad Hana Feilzer will participate in the hammer throw, Corvallis grad and San Francisco senior Sadi Henderson will race in the 800 prelims, and Bigfork grad and Colorado junior Makena Morley will run the 10,000.

Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at Frank.Gogola@406mtsports.com.

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