The Montana Tech women’s track and field program finished third in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) Program of the Year list released Tuesday.
The USTFCCCA Program of the Year Award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year determined by where the institution finishes in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NAIA Championships. Scoring is based on the team's finish at each championship with the lowest score determining the winner.
Tech finished 11th at the NAIA Cross Country Championships, sixth at the Indoor Championships and eighth at the Outdoor Championships.
The Orediggers won the Outdoor Frontier Conference Championship this year in their first year competing as a full team. Head coach Zach Kughn was named the Frontier Coach of the Year.
"I've had some proud moments in my career but this is number one," Kughn tweeted on Tuesday night.
Freshman Abby Clark was named the Frontier Field Athlete of the Year. Clark won the heptathlon, 100-meter hurdles and high jump. She was the conference runner-up in the long jump.
Senior Becca Richtman was named the Track Athlete of the Year and also won the USTFCCCA Track Athlete of the Year. Richtman scored 40 points in the conference meet by winning the 3,000-meter steeple chase, 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs. She finished second in the 800 meters and 4x400m relay. Richtman scored 26 points for the Orediggers at the NAIA National Championship, where she won the 10,000 meter and finished second in the 5,000 meter and steeple chase.
To be selected to the outdoor track and field all-conference team, the student-athlete must place in the top three of their event at the conference meet. A total of 14 student-athletes brought home 29 all-conference honors.
In addition to Clark and Richtman, the Tech women selected to the all-conference team are: Naiya Beudin, Alisa Hashley, Natylia Jacobson, Jenna Jordan, Madison Kelly, Karly Lawson, Carlin Manning, Hailey Nielson, Emily Ratz, Tristen Sedgwick, Olleca Severson, Taylor Torgerson.
Orediggers men rack up 10 conference honors
The Frontier Conference announced the 2022 Men’s Outdoor Track & Field All-Conference team and seven Orediggers took home 10 honors.
Sophomores Ian Barville and River Sheppard and freshmen Cody Burk, Caden Caywood, Drake Schlachter, Dom Maricelli and Justin Morgan were all selected for the all-conference team.
To be selected to the outdoor track and field all-conference team, the student-athlete must place in the top three of their event at the conference meet.
The young Montana Tech team placed two sophomores and six freshmen on the all-conference team.
Schlachter was named all-conference in the sprints and relays after winning the 100 meter dash, finishing second in the 200m.
Morgan was all-conference in the distance and steeplechase after taking home the steeplechase crown and placing on the podium in both the 10K and 5K.
Barville was named all-conference in middle distance and relays after taking third in the 800 meter while sophomore River Sheppard was named all-conference in steeplechase after finishing second.
The members of Montana Tech’ 4x400 relay team were named all-conference after finishing second. Those on the relay team were Schlachter, Barville, Caywood, and Maricelli.
Burk was named all-conference in the throws after taking second in the shot put.
Carroll College head track coach Harry Clark was selected as Coach of the Year. Carroll’s Garrett Kocab was selected Field Athlete of the Year and Carroll’s Brody Thurston was selected Track Athlete of the Year. The selection was made by the coaches at the conclusion of the conference meet.