Griz in Austin for West Preliminary Round

Lynn Reynolds

Lynn Reynolds

May 23, 2012

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Seven athletes from the Montana track and field teams are currently in Austin, Texas, and will be competing Thursday through Saturday at the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Championships. The three-day meet -- which determines half of the field for nationals -- is being held at Texas's Mike A. Myers Stadium.

The East Preliminary Championships are also being held this week at Jacksonville, Fla. Athletes from that site will make up the other half of the field at nationals, which will be contested at Des Moines, Iowa, June 6-9.

The Grizzlies will be represented by seniors Richard Brumbaugh in the javelin, Katrina Drennen in the 5,000 meters and Lynn Reynolds in the steeplechase, sophomores Kourtney Danreuther in the 400 meters, Austin Emry in both the high jump and long jump and Drew Owens in the 400-meter hurdles and freshman Allie Parks in the steeplechase.

The schedule:

Thursday, May 24
10 a.m. (MT) -- Men's javelin (Brumbaugh)
Noon (MT) -- Men's long jump (Emry)
3:30 p.m. (MT) -- Men's 400-meter hurdles (Owens)
6:45 p.m. (MT) -- Women's 400 meters (Danreuther)

Friday, May 25
5:15 p.m. (MT) -- Women's 400 meters (Danreuther, if necessary)
6:30 p.m. (MT) -- Men's 400-meter hurdles (Owens, if necessary)
7:50 p.m. (MT) -- Men's steeplechase (Reynolds)
8:30 p.m. (MT) -- Women's steeplechase (Parks)

Saturday, May 26
4 p.m. (MT) -- Men's high jump (Emry)
7:45 p.m. (MT) -- Women's 5,000 meters (Drennen)

The weather: Austin is forecast to be mostly sunny all weekend, with highs in the low to mid 90s.

Live results:

What's at stake: The top 12 athletes in each event from the West Preliminary Championships will advance to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines in early June. Those athletes will be joined by the top 12 from the East Preliminary Championships to make up the 24-athlete fields at nationals.

Montana's athletes at a glance (by order of competition):

Richard Brumbaugh (senior; Libby, Mont.)

Season best: 209-4
Career best: 214-9
Region rank: 40th
Region's top athlete: Tim Glover, junior, Illinois State (266-9)
Region's 12th-ranked mark: 224-11

Outdoor regional experience: 2009 (21st place), 2010 (23rd place)

Bona fides: Third in the javelin at the Big Sky Conference outdoor championships as a sophomore, junior and senior.

To advance: Brumbaugh will be one of the first athletes in the region to compete this weekend. He'll compete in the first of three flights of the javelin in the first event being contested in Austin. The top 16 athletes through three throws of the three heats will advance to finals for three additional throws.

Coach Brian Schweyen's take: "I'm guessing it's going to take low to mid 220s to advance to nationals. You've just got to hope Richard's foot is healthy and that he doesn't plant and hurt that thing during practice or warm-ups to where he needs to be hesitant. Even still, you're looking down the barrel of potentially the final meet of your career, so you're not going to hold anything back. I think that's how Richard feels."

Austin Emry (sophomore; Homedale, Idaho)

Season best (long jump): 24-3
Career best (long jump): Same
Region rank (long jump): 45th
Region's top athlete (long jump): Raymond Higgs, sophomore, Arkansas (27-5.25)
Region's 12th-ranked mark (long jump): 25-5.25

Season best (high jump): 6-11.75
Career best (high jump): Same
Region rank (high jump): Tied for 29th
Region's top athletes (high jump): Edgar Rivera-Morales and Nick Ross, juniors, Arizona (7-4.5)
Region's 12th-ranked mark (high jump): 7-1.5

Outdoor regional experience: 2010, high jump (no height)

Bona fides: Third place in the decathlon and sixth in the long jump at the 2012 Big Sky Conference outdoor championships. ... Second in the high jump at the 2011 Big Sky indoor championships.

To advance: Emry will have a favorable schedule, with the long jump Thursday afternoon and the high jump Saturday evening. He will compete in flight 1 of 4 in the long jump. The top 16 efforts from the preliminary heats advance to finals for three additional attempts. Emry will compete in the second of two flights of the high jump Saturday evening. The high jump bar will start at 6-8, then advances to 6-10, 7-0, 7-1.5 and 7.2.75 before advancing three centimeters at a time. Two high jump areas will be utilized, and the 5-alive rule will be in place.

Coach Brian Schweyen's take: "I'd like to see Austin get back into the 24s in the long jump. If he does, he's going to finish in the top half, and that would be great to see. That would give him a lot of confidence in the long jump, which is something he'll need if he's going to have some big decathlon scores in the future. "His high jump is hit or miss, but I know he's a seven-foot jumper. If he jumps seven feet, he's going to be right in the mix."

Drew Owens (sophomore; Missoula, Mont.)

Season best: 52.16 (non-altitude-adjusted)
Career best: Same
Region rank: 48th
Region's top athlete: Amaechi Morton, senior, Stanford (48.95)
Region's 12th-ranked time: 50.75

Outdoor regional experience: 2011 (41st place)

Bona fides: Runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles at the Big Sky Conference outdoor championships as a freshman and sophomore. ... Seventh in the 400 meters at the last two Big Sky indoor championships.

To advance: Owens will be one of the first track athletes competing this week. He runs in heat 4 of 6, lane 2, in the opening running event of the championships. The top three in each of the event's six heats, plus the next nine fastest times, advance from Thursday's first round to Friday's region finals. The 27 athletes who advance to Friday will run three heats. The top three finishers in each heat, plus the next three fastest times will be the 12 moving on to Des Moines.

Coach Brian Schweyen's take: "I think it would be great if Drew finishes in the top half of his heat Thursday. With enough adrenaline and excitement, he's certainly capable of a big PR. I think he can take a second off his time. "I think last year he was probably a little overwhelmed. Now he's got some confidence."

Kourtney Danreuther (sophomore; Big Sandy, Mont.)

Season best: 53.21 (non-altitude-adjusted; Montana record)
Career best: Same
Region rank: 17th
Region's top athlete: Ashley Spencer, freshman, Illinois (51.02)
Region's 12th-ranked time: 52.92

Outdoor regional experience: 2011, 400-meter hurdles (39th place)

Bona fides: Danreuther swept the 200 and 400 meter titles at the 2012 Big Sky Conference outdoor championships, breaking the Montana and Big Sky championships record in the latter. She also ran a leg of Montana's 4x400-meter relay that broke the school and championships record. ... Danreuther was the 400 meters champion at the 2012 Big Sky indoor championships and 400-meter hurdles champion at last year's outdoor championships.

To advance: The same formula as Owens has in the hurdles. The top three in each of the event's six heats, plus the next nine fastest times advance from Thursday's first round to Friday evening's region finals. Danreuther will be running in heat 4 of 6, lane 9, in the preliminaries.

Coach Brian Schweyen's take: "A smart race for Kourtney will be one where she doesn't freak out coming out of the blocks and waste all her intensity and adrenaline in the first 150 meters. If she comes out and holds her focus and stays relaxed over the opening 150, she'll see she is right where she needs to be, because she can compete with anyone down the stretch. "Kourtney has a very legitimate shot at getting to nationals, which would be huge for her. She's harder on herself than anybody, so she needs something like a national-qualifying performance to really be able to pat herself on the back."

Lynn Reynolds (senior; Dillon, Mont.)

Season best: 8:55.60
Career best: 8:54.53
Region rank: 22nd
Region's top athlete: Alexander Brill, sophomore, Wisconsin (8:37.62)
Region's 12th-ranked time: 8:50.33

Outdoor regional experience: 2008 (14th place), 2011 (40th place)

Bona fides: Reynolds is a four-time top-six finisher in the steeplechase at the Big Sky Conference outdoor championships, including a second-place finish in 2008 as a freshman and fifth this season.

To advance: The steeplechase is only contested once in three heats. Reynolds will be competing in heat two. The top three in each heat plus the next three fastest times advance to nationals.

Coach Brian Schweyen's take: "Lynn has the talent and is certainly capable of making nationals. It just depends if Lynn shows up to compete, because he is a product of his own self. If everything is feeling great and works out, he could be a guy that gets to nationals. If one thing goes wrong or doesn't fall into place the way he expected it to, he's probably not going anywhere."

Allie Parks (freshman; Greeley, Colo.)

Season best: 10:36.98 (altitude-adjusted)
Career best: Same
Region rank: 48th
Region's top athlete: Shalaya Kipp, junior, Colorado (9:43.09)
Region's 12th-ranked time: 10:15.16

Outdoor regional experience: First appearance

Bona fides: Finished fourth at the 2012 Big Sky Conference outdoor championships by taking her (altitude-adjusted) season best from 11:06.41 down to 10:36.98. ... Also finished seventh the next day in the 5,000 meters in a season-best and altitude-adjusted 17:28.28.

To advance: Same scenario as Reynolds above. Parks will be racing in heat 3 of 3.

Coach Brian Schweyen's take: "Allie is probably one of the nicest girls on the team but also one of the toughest. She doesn't make excuses, and she doesn't give up during races. She does everything she has to do to have the best race she can on any particular day, and that's why she's in Texas. "She has 100 percent earned this trip and deserves the opportunity to compete again. I'd like to see her use this experience to really build some confidence for the future, so that she knows she belongs when she comes back next year."

Katrina Drennen (senior; Orting, Wash.)

Season best: 16:12.60 (Montana record)
Career best: Same
Region rank: 13th
Region's top athlete: Jessica Tebo, senior, Colorado (15:19.43)
Region's 12th-ranked time: 16:12.02

Outdoor regional experience: 2009, 5,000m (14th); 2010, 1,500m (7th), 2011, 1,500m (5th)

Outdoor national experience: 2010, 1,500m (16th); 2011, 1,500m (21st)

U.S.A. Track and Field Championships experience: 2011, 1,500m (25th)

Bona fides: Drennen is seeking her fifth trip to nationals while competing for Montana but her first in the 5,000 meters. She went to cross country nationals in 2009, outdoor nationals in 2010 and 2011 in the 1,500 meters and indoor nationals in the mile in 2011. Drennen ran her school-record 16:12.60 at Stanford in early April and did not run another 5,000 before her runner-up 16:57.58 (altitude-adjusted) at the Big Sky Conference outdoor championships.

To advance: Like the steeplechase, the 5,000 meters is run just once at the region level. Drennen will be competing in heat 1 of 2. The top five finishers in each heat, plus the next two fastest times advance to nationals.

Coach Brian Schweyen's take: "Katrina is someone I expect to move on, and, if you ask her, she expects to move on. I don't want this weekend to be the final step in her career. I hope her final step is to get to nationals, make a huge splash and be an all-American, then go to the Olympic Trials with some confidence. That's what she is capable of."



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