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

BOZEMAN – With two weeks to go until the Big Sky Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, Montana State prepares for its toughest test on Friday, Feb. 9, inside Worthington Arena. The Bobcats play host to Idaho State, Montana and Weber State in their second dual-scoring meet of the season which begins at 3:30 p.m.

“I think this meet is an ideal situation and it’s perfect timing for us,” Montana State head coach Dale Kennedy said. “In this kind of meet there will be really great team competition and great individual matchups. It’s really our last opportunity to take us to a higher level of performance.”

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The MSU track and field teams returned to Brick Breeden Fieldhouse a week ago following a split at the Powder River Dual against Wyoming. Despite the meet featuring opponents from lower levels of competition, the Bobcats took advantage of their home surface and exceeded expectations.

“It was pretty exciting to see what happened at the meet,” Kennedy said. “We had 33 lifetime bests and 10 kids either moved into the all-time top 10 list or they improved their position on the list. I really didn’t expect that to happen, but the kids really lit it up.

“That was great in terms of keeping some momentum as we move forward this weekend and two weeks from now at the Big Sky Championships.”

Both Bobcat teams were picked to finish fourth at the conference meet by the league’s head coaches in the Big Sky preseason poll. MSU currently ranks eighth and 10th, respectively, in the latest women’s and men’s USTFCCCA Mountain Region Rankings.

MSU’s men’s and women’s squads are led by multiple athletes that are in position to score points at the Big Sky meet.

Twelve different Bobcats rank among the top eight on the men’s Big Sky performance list, with Jadin Casey and Noah Martin possessing top-six marks in two events. On the women’s side, 13 Bobcats are ranked among the top eight in the conference in an event. Distance runners Caroline Hardin, Kelsi Lasota and Anna French own top eight marks in two events, while Amanda Jaynes and Alex Hellenberg join that department in their respective events.

“We have kids that are really trying to battle their way into a position among the top eight kids in the conference descending order list,” Kennedy said. “There are kids that are looking to score points. We have a ways to go and we have a great opportunity this Friday. I think we have some really good matchups.”

Montana State will be hosting a Fill the House meet with plenty of notable events occurring during the action. The Bobcats will recognize its seniors mid meet, as well as former assistant coach Mike Carignan, hold the Little Bobcat 200 and Montana State staff can attend for free with Faculty/Staff Appreciation occurring as well.

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