Given the choice between an instate rival that provides little resistance and one that challenges his program every time the schools get together on the track, it’s clear which option Montana coach Brian Schweyen prefers.
“I think we bring out the best in each other, so I enjoy this meet,” he said after his teams split competitive matchups with Montana State on Saturday at the annual Griz-Cat Dual at sunny Dornblaser Field in Missoula.
“They have standout athletes who are phenomenal individuals, just like we do. Both have athletes who are great representatives of their programs and state, so it’s always fun getting together.”
In the most competitive Griz-Cat Dual since 2008, Montana won the women’s matchup by a score of 102-98. The Montana State men won 102-96.
Three meet records were set, one by the Bobcats, two by the Grizzlies.
Hana Feilzer, who also won the discus on Saturday with a seven-foot PR, won the hammer on Friday afternoon with a throw of 204-6. It came up just short of her school record of 205-11, but it broke the meet record of 199-6 set by MSU’s Jen Allen in 2004.
Montana State’s record also came in the throws when Kyle Douglass went 59-8.25 to break Blake Jackson’s record of 59-2.25. The former Bobcat set the previous record in 2004.
The other meet record came on the track, where Montana’s Sterling Reneau improved his Big Sky-leading time with a lap of 47.10. He took down former MSU standout Dan Johnson’s meet record of 47.14.
“The 400 is one of those races that is borderline insanity the whole time,” he said, “but I’m pretty dialed in on that race. It’s a lot of trusting your body and trusting the training you’ve done and the work you’ve put in and just going for it.”
Reneau, who went to regionals last spring in the quarter mile, has run faster than 47.3 in each of his three attempts at the distance this spring.
The Big Sky indoor champion has a career best of 46.84, which he ran at conference last spring at Greeley, Colo., to place second, two weeks before finishing with the 41st-fastest time at NCAA regionals in Lawrence, Kan.
“I’ve been running the 400 since I was 6 years old, so it’s second nature at this point,” he said. “Right now I’m running between five- and eight-tenths faster than I was at this point last year.
“Consistency is very, very important in this event. Once you get that time consistent, you know one is going to pop out there soon. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can put one out there and position myself to do a lot better at regionals this year.”
The Montana women, who only won three events on the track, used a strong showing in the field events to pull out the dual win.
Feilzer swept the hammer and discus, an event in which Montana claimed the top four spots with four throws of more than 150 feet, and Sammy Evans won both the long and triple jumps, the former at 18-10.75, the latter at 41-8, five inches from breaking her own meet and school record.
Emily Cheroske ran a 2:10.98 to win the 800 meters and come within three-hundredths of a second of another meet record, and Nicole Strootcrushed her PR of 14.47 with a winning time in the 100-meter hurdles of 14.19.
Samantha Hodgson won the shot put at 44-11.5, and only Leslie Gappa’s two-centimeter win over Montana’s Darby Henthorn in the javelin kept the Grizzlies from a sweep of the throws. Gappa threw 146-11, Henthorn landed at 146-10.
For the Montana men, Reneau wasn’t the only standout on the track. Alex Mustard swept the 100 and 200 meters in times of 10.78 and 21.73, the latter a season best, with Dominique Bobo finishing within a tenth of a second in both to place second.
Dylan Reynolds won the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 53.44, and Callum Macnab joined Reneau, Mustard and Bobo for a win in the 4×100 relay and Bobo, Reneau and Reynolds for an easy win in the 4×400 relay.
Douglass, who came within a few feet of also breaking the meet record in the discus with a winning distance of 186-0, was the thrower of the meet, but Montana’s Brady Coffman wasn’t far behind.
Coffman, a year removed from elbow surgery, won the javelin with a PR of 205-5 to beat teammate Daniel Jones, the Big Sky leader, who went 202-4. Coffman now sits third in the Big Sky.
Bobo won the long jump at 23-5.25, Matt Quist took the high jump at 6-8.75, edging out teammate Josh Riley, who went 6-6.75, and Kyle Morris, a freshman, had an outdoor PR in the shot put of 54-3.75 to finish second to Douglass and a nine-foot PR of 155-7 to place third in the discus.
The Grizzlies will host the three-day Montana Open at Dornblaser Field on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
There will be a heptathlon and decathlon on Thursday and Friday, with the hammer throws also taking place on Friday. The rest of the meet will be on Saturday.