(Editor’s note: Story has been updated to reflect the updated pole vault time on Thursday)
AUSTIN, Texas — Four Montanans are set to compete in the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which get under way Wednesday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Former Helena High Bengal Chase Smith will be the first to see action. Now a junior at the University of Washington, Smith will compete in the men’s pole vault, which starts at 5:30 p.m. (MDT) Wednesday. Smith cleared 17 feet, 7 inches to place seventh at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Sacramento, Calif. on May 23. Smith was one of eight vaulters to clear 17-7 at the preliminary meet, and that’s the top seed mark going into the national championships.
Smith is the Montana high school state record holder in the event, having cleared 16-4 at the 2015 Class AA state track and field meet. (State records can only be set at state meets.)
Three Montana women will compete on Thursday: Missoula Big Sky High School alum Hana Feilzer, Corvallis High alum Sadi Henderson and Bigfork High alum Makena Morley.
Feilzer is a senior at the University of Montana and will compete in the hammer throw after a ninth-place finish at the West Prelims. Feilzer is the first Grizzly to advance to the national championships since 2015 and the first hammer thrower to do so in program history. She already owns the school record of 206 feet, 3 inches and will take a seed mark of 203-01 (61.9 meters) into the national championships. Feilzer is set to compete in the first flight, which is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (MDT) Thursday.
Henderson, in her graduate season at the University of San Francisco after a standout career at Boise State, will run in the women’s 800-meter preliminaries run at 7:44 p.m. (MDT) Thursday. After earning all-American recognition four times at Boise State, Henderson will carry a seed time of 2 minutes, 3.31 seconds, the third-fastest mark in the field, into Thursday’s 800 prelims. She’ll run in the third heat, with the top two from each heat plus the next two fastest times, advancing to Saturday’s final, which is slated for 5:44 p.m. (MDT).
Morley will run in the first of her two events with the women’s 10,000-meter run at 8:38 p.m. (MDT) Thursday. The University of Colorado junior will then compete in the women’s 5,000-meter run at 6:25 p.m. (MDT) Saturday.
It’ll be the third consecutive June that Morley has run the 10k at the NCAA championships. She finished 17th in 2017 and 11th in 2018, which earned her second-team all-American honors. Morley was ninth at the NCAA West Prelims with a time of 33 minutes, 44.72 seconds.
Morley will be running the 5,000 meters at the NCAA championships for the first time after finishing sixth in her heat at the NCAA West Prelims with a time of 15:42.55.
The NCAA championships start with the first event of the men’s decathlon at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and will be broadcast on ESPN’s family of networks. For the complete broadcast schedule, please click here. The schedule of events for the four Montanans is below.
NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field National Championships
June 5-8 at Mike A. Myers Stadium, Austin Texas
Wednesday, June 5
Men’s pole vault, finals, 3:30 p.m. (MDT) — Chase Smith, Washington (ESPN3)
Thursday, June 6
Women’s hammer throw, finals, 3:30 p.m. (MDT) — Hana Feilzer, Montana (ESPN3)
Women’s 800, prelims, 7:44 p.m. (MDT) — Sadi Henderson, San Francisco (ESPN2)
Women’s 10K, finals, 8:38 p.m. (MDT) — Makena Morley, Colorado (ESPN2)
Saturday, June 8
Women’s 800, finals, 5:44 (MDT) — Final (ESPN2)
Women’s 5K, finals, 6:25 p.m. (MDT) — Makena Morley, Colorado (ESPN2)