(From MSU Sports Information)
Bozeman – Montana State will have a strong field of representatives at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds. The NCAA announced its Division I national qualifiers Thursday, May 18, and the Bobcat men’s and women’s track and field teams will be sending nine athletes to compete for an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Championships.

The West Regional will be hosted by the University of Texas in Austin from May 25-27 at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Six from the Montana State women’s team qualified for the meet with each specializing in a different event from the throws, jumps, sprints and distance groups. Two juniors and a sophomore make up MSU’s contingent on the men’s side.

The NCAA announced the top 48 declared entries in all individual events and the top 24 relay teams in each region Thursday. The top 12 finishers in each event at the Preliminary Rounds will advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 17-10.

Story continues below

Three Bobcats rank just outside top 12 of the West Region Rankings heading into the prelims.

Sophomore Alyssa Snyder broke the school record in the 10,000-meter run (33:45.87) at the Mt. SAC Relays to put her in the top 10 of the region at the time. She currently is 13th in the event.

Junior Amanda Jaynes tied the second-best time in program history while winning the Big Sky Conference title in the 400 hurdles (58.16) and is 15th in the West Region. Junior Kyle Douglass has the second-best mark on the men’s all-time discus (186-00) and is 16th headed into the prelims.

Two Bobcats will carry the crew headed to Austin with previous NCAA First Round experience.

Senior Casey Teska will be making her team-leading third appearance at the NCAA preliminary rounds. She finished 28th in 2014 as a sophomore in the pole vault and 37th in the same event as a junior in 2015 before redshirting in 2016.

Douglass makes his second appearance in the prelims after placing 34th a year ago in the discus. This year he’s qualified for both the discus and shot put; the lone Bobcat to qualify in two events.

Making their first appearances at the West Region preliminaries are Snyder, Jaynes, Christie Schiel, Jacqueline Verlanic, Carley VonHeeder, Calvin Root and Alex Lewis. The nine Bobcats set to compete are more than double the amount that qualified for the 2016 prelims that took place in Lawrence, Kansas.

“When you look at it, we have a couple of athletes knocking on the door and really have a chance (to qualify for the NCAA Championships),” Montana State head coach Dale Kennedy said. “I don’t want to say the other kids don’t (have a chance to qualify) because there’s always some outliers. We find that out every year, that’s part of why the NCAA runs this first round and gives a lot of opportunities to give kids a championship experience.

“It’s really a terrific experience for our kids that go and you never know if someone has a really good day and comes through. I like to think we’ll get that done this year.”

Montana State Men’s Qualifiers (With Declared Event Rank)
Kyle Douglass – 29th, Shot Put (59-08.25) | 16th, Discus (186-00)
Calvin Root – 40th, Hammer Throw (199-08)
Alex Lewis – 48th, Long Jump (24-05.50)

Montana State Women’s Qualifiers (With Declared Event Rank)
Christie Schiel – 21st, 800m (2:06.87)
Alyssa Snyder – 13th, 10,000m (33:45.87)
Amanda Jaynes – 15th, 400 Hurdles (58.16)
Casey Teska – 28th, Pole Vault (13-05.75)
Jacqueline Verlanic – 36th, Hammer Throw (193-04)
Carley VonHeeder – 39th, Javelin (150-05)