Eleven athletes from the Montana track and field teams will have an opportunity to extend their outdoor season next week at the NCAA West Regional at Austin, Texas.
The NCAA announced the qualifiers — 48 deep in each individual event — on Thursday. The meet will be held at Mike A. Myers Stadium next Thursday through Saturday.
That total equals the high-water mark for the program under ninth-year coach Brian Schweyen, who also took 11 athletes to Austin in 2013.
Seven of the athletes who will be competing next week will be going to regionals for the first time. Five of the 11 are freshmen.
Making her third trip to regionals will be senior Sammy Evans, who ranks 18th in the triple jump. Evans finished 14th last year at Lawrence, Kan., missing a trip to nationals by two places.
Junior Hana Feilzer, who ranks 10th in the hammer, is making her second trip to regionals, as are junior Matt Quist, who is tied for 39th in the high jump, and senior Daniel Jones, who will enter the meet ranked 31st in the javelin.
The javelin was a good event for the Grizzlies, accounting for four of the team’s qualifiers. Joining Jones will be three true or redshirt freshmen.
The other four qualifiers are all first-timers from the women’s team.
Junior Alex Mustard, who went to regionals last spring in the 200 meters, and sophomore Olivia Ellis had hard-luck misses. Mustard missed the cut in the 100 meters by one spot. Ellis was two spots out in the 400-meter hurdles.