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UM's Tanessa Morris repeats as Big Sky women's hammer throw champ; Todd wins men's javelin

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MISSOULA — Make it two years as a Grizzly, and two years at the top of the Big Sky Conference women's hammer throw for Tanessa Morris.

Morris defended her Big Sky outdoor track and field hammer throw title Friday at Idaho State in Pocatello, Idaho, winning gold with a toss of 196 feet and 10 inches — a week after she broke the UM women's hammer throw record at the Tom Gage Classic. 

Morris's winning toss came on her fifth attempt — her second in the finals — as she improved her throws from attempt two through five. She fouled on attempts one and six. 

Elsewhere for Montana, Evan Todd flung himself to the track after letting loose a javelin toss. Once it stuck in the ground, he celebrated as his final throw went for 224 feet and 10 inches to win the Big Sky title. Brent Yeakey scored at the outdoor title meet for the fourth season in the shot put, placing fifth with a season-best throw of 56 feet and 1 inch while teammate Noah Ramirez finished 10th.

Also in the women's hammer, Kaitlyn Gallo set a new personal best with a throw of 183 feet and 6 inches to place fourth in the event in her first outdoor title meet. Ariel Clark finished ninth and Savana Ramirez took 16th in the hammer.

In the distance events, Montana men's runners Ellis McKean, Joel Mendez and August Eckmann went seventh, ninth and 18th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. 

Over in the women's high jump, UM's Morgan Radtke finished 13th with a jump of 1.57 meters. Jansen Ziola finished third in the women's long jump with a mark of 5.90 meters — a lifetime best as part of her dominant day — while Ailsa Gilbert jumped 5.38 for 14th.

As for the qualifiers from Friday's prelims, UM soccer player turned sprinter Catie Buck earned a spot in Saturday's 100 finals with an 11.80 time good for fifth and a new Montana women's record as she snapped a mark that stood for 33 years. Ziola finished third in the 100 hurdles with a time of 13.82 to move on. Holly Sudol (1:02.65) and Ziola (1:02.92) qualified for the women's 400 finals with seventh and eighth place finishes.

On the men's side, Jaydon Green finished fourth 110 hurdles with a 14.45 time to set a new PR and advance in the event. Paul Johnstone finished eighth to move on in the 400 with a 48.84 mark. Jason Upton finished sixth in the long jump with a new PR, 23 feet, 6 inches. 

Zane Johnson finished fourth in the pole vault at 4.82 meters, setting a new PR, and Carson Weeden went for 4.52 in 11th. Quincy Fast lived up to his last name with a fourth-place finish (1:50.97) in the 800 to move on to Saturday.

The meet continues Saturday.

Lance Hartzler covers Griz men's basketball and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter at @lance_hartz or shoot him an email at


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