It is a… Busy time to be a Digger!
To start off a hectic weekend of action for Montana Tech, the Oredigger cross country team are off to Tallahassee, Florida to run in the NAIA Women’s and Men’s National Championships. The Orediggers will be represented by four individuals. On the women’s side Sophomores Hailey Nielson and Carlin Manning, placed second and fifth respectively at the Frontier Conference Championships to earn their spots. The individual men who qualified are Junior Edwin Kipainoi and Justin Morgan, who finished third and fourth at the Conference championships. The men will get it started tomorrow, bright and early Montana time at 6:30am, and the women will follow at 7:30am.
I started writing this in order of day/time, and those wheels fell off. We are going to go with the National Tournament action first! The Orediggers ( 24-8 overall, 9-1 conf.) won their first Frontier Conference regular season crown since 2017, and with a #17 national ranking, will host a first-round NAIA tournament game against Westmont College (California) Saturday night at 7pm in the HPER. The winner will advance to the final site in Sioux City, Iowa- from November 30-December 6. This is the seventh time the Diggs have reached the National Championships and the fifth time under 11-year head coach Brian Solomon. Once again 7 pm Saturday at the HPER.
The Women (2-2) are on the road for a pair of tough opponents Friday and Saturday at the Best Western Caldwell Inn and Suites Classic. Friday afternoon (1pm) they will take on Eastern Oregon University, and Saturday evening (5pm) they will battle The College of Idaho. Under new head coach Jeff Graham the ladies are led by defense, bringing constant pressure for 40 minutes. The Diggs have a non-conference game at Idaho State before jumping into conference play on December 1 against Rocky Mountain College. Tech is led by Tavia Rooney averaging 16 ppg, Aubrie Rademacher at 13, and Dani Urich at 12.
The Montana Tech men are at home this weekend hosting their Fall Classic. On Friday they will battle former Frontier member, Lewis Clark State at 5pm, and on Saturday they will take on the Blue Hawks of Dickinson State University, (and former Oredigger assistant coach Derek Selvig) at 3pm Saturday. The men are currently 4-0 and ranked #18 in the country. They are led by Michael Ure averaging 17 points, and 9 rebounds. Caleb Bellach is putting in 15 a game, and newcomer Asa Williams comes in at 12 points a game. The men have 2 games after this weekend before conference gets started. Nov 25th at NAIA power Arizona Christian, and SAGU American Indian College.