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Feb 3, 2013 8:39 PM by Q2 Sports

MSUB Track and Field excels in final regular season meet

BILLINGS - The Montana State University Billings' women's and men's track and field teams had some breakout performances in their final meet before the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships at the Mountain State Games Saturday.

A day after provisionally-qualifying for the NCAA Div. II National Championships as a member of the Yellowjackets' distance medley relay team, Tyson Vanderby hit another NCAA Div. II National Championships provisional-qualifying mark in the mile. The senior ran a 4:18.39, which adjusted puts him at 4:12. It is the second best time currently in the GNAC, and two seconds under the NCAA provisional requirement. Vanderby is currently in the top 20 nationally in the event.

In the women's 3,000 meters, Mary Owen finished first with a time of 10:57.09. That time is a personal record for her, and nearly a school record. In the men's 3,000 meters, Robert Peterson broke his own school record crossing the line at 8:47.68. He entered the meet fourth in the conference in the event.

Montana State Billings' men's 4x400-meter relay team of Lewis Polkow, Brett Weidler, Rory Bauer, and Adam Prevost finished sixth with a time of 3:25.02. That is a top five mark in the GNAC currently.

Tanner Rottrup had a top toss of 50 feet, 9.5 inches (15.48 meters), finishing fifth in the men's shot put. The senior already hit a NCAA Div. II provisional-qualifying mark this season at 52 feet, one inch. He remains the lone student-athlete in the conference with a throw over 50 feet this season.

"Another great meet for us this week," MSUB Head Coach Dave Coppock said. "The level of competition there with the NCAA Div. I schools really helped motivate everyone to perform well. Obviously the men's distance medley relay and Tyson's mile were a couple of the highlights this weekend. Robert Peterson breaking his own 3,000-meter record and Mary's win in the 3,000 really gave us a lift in this afternoon's events. I don't want to overlook Leah's outstanding performance in the pentathlon. That puts her number one in the conference which should give her some good momentum heading into the championships.

"It was good to see our men's 4x4 finally come through with a good, competitive mark as well. I really can't say enough as how well the team stepped at this meet and improve their GNAC standings. We'll finally get a week off from competition and will be able to rest up a bit and do some quality workouts to prepare for conference in two weeks."

The Yellowjackets have a week off, before traveling to Nampa, Idaho, for the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Fans may now purchase tickets online at a discounted price on GNACSports.com. The two-day event featuring some of the top collegiate track and field athletes in the Pacific Northwest will be held at the Jacksons Indoor Complex, which is located at the Idaho Center in Nampa. Live results will be available on MSUBSports.com.

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