Gunnar Hilborn

Helena High product Gunnar Hilborn qualified to jump at nationals on Thursday, hitting the NAIA B standard at the the University of Great Falls' last Chance Meet.

Photo courtesy Josh Wetmore

GREAT FALLS -- Gunnar Hilborn was the lone Saint to nab an NAIA-qualifying B standard at the Last Chance Meet on Thursday in Great Falls. Hilborn vaulted 15-1 to hit the mark at Memorial Stadium.

Saints coach Harry Clark teased his vaulter after one of his misses, emphasizing he use better technique near the peak of his attempt.

“You know I only have two good vaults in me per meet,” Hilborn fired back. “Maybe even two per week.”

Whether or not that is true, Hilborn found the right approach on Thursday and led a light crew of Saints in the final meet before nationals.

“He had a really good practice on Tuesday,” Clark said. “He figured some things out and then he applied it on his first attempt at that meet qualifier.”

Hilborn came in at 14 feet, 9 1/2 inches and hit 15-1.25 before missing his next three attempts.

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Hilborn becomes the 25th Saint to qualify for nationals. Last season, the Saints qualified 22. In 2015, the Saints also qualified 25 athletes.

Samantha Mundel improved her time in the 5,000-meter run, trimming the time to 17:41.95 -- which was a little over five seconds away from the A Standard. Clark said the Saints would use one of their B standard entries on Mundel, sending her to nationals.

Clark also said Keiton Klein would go to nationals as one of the Saints’ B standard entries.

The NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Nationals is May 25-27 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

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