Courtney Kosovich went 11-11.75 in the pole vault
Jan. 21, 2012
For two years Lindsey Hall has been suppressing Griz Nation's ability to be surprised. Her results and ongoing brilliance have created a fan base immune to the idea of dropping its collective jaw.
Friday night in Bozeman she upped the idea of what's possible.
Hall broke two school records at the Montana State Dual Meet Invitational, one of her own set last winter and another that had stood since 1989.
Hall ran a time of 7.95 in the 55-meter hurdles preliminaries to take a whopping tenth of a second off her career best and -- more significantly -- two-hundredths of a second off Kris Schmitt's school record of 7.97 that had stood since 1989.
Just minutes later -- and the two efforts were admittedly and understandably linked through the adrenaline coursing through her system -- Hall soared to a long jump of 19-4.25, breaking her own indoor record of 19-2.5 set last winter at Bozeman.
Hall's marks highlighted Montana's first full-squad indoor meet of the season.
The Grizzlies produced four new Big Sky Conference qualifiers and had three performances that improved upon previous qualifications, but none of those qualifying efforts generated the amount of buzz at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse that Hall's marks did.
After taking some early long jumps, Hall lined up shortly after 6:30 p.m. for the preliminaries of the 55-meter hurdles. Hall was slotted farthest to the right. To her left were junior teammate Anika Green, then MSU's Katie Niemeir and Paige Squire.
Niemeir, from Florence, Mont., and Squire, from Corvallis, Mont., were both high school competitors of Hall's, and that rivalry has ratcheted up in intensity at the collegiate level.
"Two hours before my race, (multi-events coach Adam Bork) showed me the heat sheets, and all three names in my heat had meaning to me one way or another," Hall said.
"It was definitely a challenging group, so I knew right off the bat that it was going to be a good hurdles race."
Hall was flawless over the five hurdles and broke the eight-second barrier for the first time in her career. Hall will wake up Saturday morning the owner of the nation's 33rd-fastest hurdles time this indoor season.
Hall also pulled Green along to a raw time that took a tenth of a second off of her own personal best. Green finished in 8.09, giving Montana the top two hurdles times in the Big Sky Conference this winter.
Still flying high from her hurdles race, Hall returned to the long jump and just minutes later rode that wave of momentum to her second school record.
"This (long jump) came about a lot different than any other (low) 19-footers I've had in the past," she said.
"I started out with a scratch, scratch and 16-footer (in the preliminaries), and I didn't really see that as a building block at all.
"But I went and had my hurdles race, then came back and got a big pop on that 19-4."
Hall's efforts came among the compressed clamor of the typical indoor track and field meet. It was that environment, where dirt from the long jump pit frequently sprinkles onto the 200-meter banked track and the landing area for the throws sits hard against the pole vault pit, that triggered Hall's performances.
One person's claustrophobia is another person's chamber of motivation.
"You don't just show up to a meet and something like this happens. There is a good deal of mental preparation that goes into it and of course the time you put in at practice, but having the entire squad here had a lot to do with it," she said.
"Someone is over high jumping and comes up with a PR, and that just gives you momentum for your own event. So having that support from your teammates is huge. You feed off each other."
Three of Montana's new Big Sky qualifications came from familiar names on the women's team.
Kourtney Danreuther, last spring's Big Sky champion in the 400-meter hurdles, opened her junior indoor season with a near sub-56-second 400 meters. She ran a 56.05 to win by nearly a second and a half over the rest of the quarter-mile field.
Senior Courtney Kosovich went 11-11.75 in the pole vault to finish second in that event, and senior Kesslee Payne ran an altitude-adjusted 5:02.87 mile to finish second to Idaho State's sensational Bradi Hutchison (4:46.35) and sneak under the 5:03 qualification.
Payne was also second to ISU's Cloe Palakovich with an altitude-adjusted 800 meters time of 2:19.61 on what was a mostly forgettable night for Montana's distance runners.
Idaho State swept the 800 meters, mile and 3,000 meters in the women's races, Montana State pulled off a sweep of the men's races.
The Grizzlies' lone new qualifier on the men's team was junior Keith Webber, who won the pole vault at a height of 15-5.
Bozeman's 4,926-foot altitude and NCAA time adjustments kept a pair of Danreuther's quarter-mile teammates from posting qualifications.
Junior Melissa Jenkins and freshman Dylan Hambright posted raw splits that met their respective qualifying times of 57.50 and 49.20, but the 0.11 400-meters adjustment for running at altitude gave Jenkins a runner-up time to Danreuther of 57.58 and Hambright a runner-up time to MSU's Nick Melone of 49.24.
Glaus went 38-1.25, 10 inches off her season best but still 20 inches better than the field of her competitors.
Hardt, who jumped at Eastern Washington's Candy Cane Invitational in early December, went 6-9 for the second time this season and came achingly close on two of his three attempts at 6-11.
Montana will compete next Friday and Saturday at Washington State's Cougar Indoor in Pullman, Wash.
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