Hana Feilzer, who was named the Big Sky Conference Athlete of the Week for women’s field events on Monday, threw the weight at three meets as a freshman during the 2015 indoor track and field season. She went 47 feet, 47 feet, foul.
She spent most of that indoor season training and competing in the high jump, which she’d done at Missoula’s Big Sky High School, and the shot put. The weight felt more experimental and forced.
“It was a new event for her, and I don’t think she wanted to be considered a thrower,” says UM track and field coach Brian Schweyen. “She didn’t want any part of the weight.”
On Friday evening, at the Mountain States Games at Pocatello, Idaho, Feilzer threw the weight 62 feet, 10.75 inches to add more than two feet to her school record and move up to second on the Big Sky performance list.
Feilzer, who finished second in the hammer throw last May at the Big Sky outdoor championships, has embraced her inner thrower.
“She has a natural ability that she’s just starting to tap into,” says UM throws coach David Paul. “She didn’t throw much weight as a freshman, so last year was mostly an introductory year.
“A lot of the credit goes to her for working hard in the event. She realizes she’s going to be able to throw pretty far.”
Feilzer was in the mid-50s in the weight last winter and ended her season setting a new school record of 57-11.75 while finishing eighth at the Big Sky championships.
She smashed that record in December at the season-opening Candy Cane Invitational at Eastern Washington, going 60-3. She went 60-6 at the Washington Invitational last month and 60-3 again at the Idaho Duals two weeks ago.
On Friday night at ISU’s Holt Arena, a new breakthrough: 62-10.75.
“Hana has long arms, and her athleticism is pretty good,” says Paul. “She threw the discus and high jumped in high school, so her body awareness is pretty good.
“The physical ability is there. The parts are there. She just needs to keep refining what she needs to do.”
Feilzer, a two-time Big Sky Conference Athlete of the Week last spring during the outdoor season, ranks second on this week’s performance list behind Northern Arizona’s Brooke Andersen, who threw 68-5.75 two weeks ago.
Andersen placed third at the Big Sky Championships last winter, throwing 63-4.25. North Dakota’s Molli Detloff was the event winner at 65-0.5.