(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)

BOZEMAN – Montana State welcomes new competition to Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 19, when the Bobcats host the MSU Dual Meet Invitational. Worthington Arena regular Montana makes the trip over from Missoula, while Utah State and Idaho State travel north to participate in MSU’s third home meet of the season which begins at 11 a.m.

“This is for sure going to be a step up in the level of competition,” MSU head coach Dale Kennedy said. “We’ve had two meets that I’d call low-key, non-scoring meets. This one features team scoring with Division I schools.

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“Utah State has a very strong track and field program. Montana will come back to the Fieldhouse this week and then Idaho State joins us. There should be some really interesting team scoring competition, but there will also be some great individual matchups.”

The Bobcats are in the midst of their schedule as they head into their fourth of eight regular season meets ahead of the 2018 Big Sky Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, presented by Red Lion Hotels.

MSU comes off its first team home meet of 2018 on Jan. 12. The ‘Cats had a combined 17 first-place finishes between the men’s and women’s teams. Following this past weekend, the Bobcats take up 40 spots individually on the Big Sky Conference performance list.

Kennedy’s squads look for similar success at this season’s Dual Meet Invite between the four schools competing.

A year ago, the Bobcat men’s team topped its three opponents in scoring, which included a three-point victory over Utah State (76-73). The Bobcat women’s team outscored the Aggies and Bengals, but the Griz won all three of their duals including a 91.50-58.50 triumph over the hosts.

A rise in performance occurred at last season’s meet, with MSU athletes combining for 35 personal-best times. Several marks at the event made the program’s all-time top 10 list as the Bobcats continued to try to hit their stride to prepare for the conference meet.

This Friday’s meet will see an uptick in pressure with team scoring a featured aspect at the MSU Dual Meet Invite. That will change the layout of the meet as several Bobcats will appear in multiple events.

“We will see more doubling and tripling up (in events) than what we did in the first two meets,” Kennedy said. “Kids will have to step up more than one time, especially in the sprints and hurdle events. In the distance events, you’ll see some doubling that you hadn’t seen yet.”

Competition inside Worthington Arena begins with field events at 11 a.m. The women’s mile is slated to kick off events on the track at 12 p.m.

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