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Duncan Hamilton advances to NCAA finals, all other Bobcats receive All-America kudos

Duncan Hamilton and Levi Taylor at NCAAs 2023
Posted at 10:13 PM, Jun 07, 2023

(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)

AUSTIN, Texas — It was a bittersweet night for the Montana State steeplechase crew at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus, Wednesday night.

Duncan Hamilton won the opening heat of the 3000-meter steeplechase posting a time of 8:38.07 to advance to Friday’s final, while teammates Levi Taylor and Rob McManus missed qualifying for the finals placing 15th and 16th, respectively.

While Taylor (8:45.17) and McManus (8:47.86) will not race on Friday, the duo both earned Second Team All-America honors based on a top 16 finish.

It is the second straight honor for Taylor, a Laurel native, while McManus, a product of Cashmere, Wash., garners the accolade as a freshman.

Hamilton and Taylor ran in the opening heat which went out slow. Both Bobcats established themselves at the front of the pack early.

“Duncan and Levi did a good job getting through the traffic early and getting in a good, solid position,” said MSU Dale Kennedy Director of Track and Field Lyle Weese. “Duncan did what he needed to advance to the finals, and Levi just came up short over the final 800-meters.

“Levi had an incredible season,” Weese added. “He faced some setbacks during the early season but continued to do the tough work and finished being a Second Team All-American.”

McManus, running in the faster second heat and his first NCAA meet, started strong for the first ½ of the race, before falling back.

“Rob ran really well, but the I think he got a little discouraged. He made a nice move late, but couldn’t quite get there,” Weese said. “Rob also had an outstanding first season and I’m excited to see where he can take this.”

All five automatic qualifiers in the second heat posted faster times than Hamilton. Eastern Kentucky’s Abdelhakim Abouzouhir notched the top mark of Wednesday’s event in 8:35.41.

Kalispell product Ben Perrin completed MSU’s opening day at the national championships placing 23rd in the 10,000-meters in a time of 29:58.53.

For his efforts, Perrin was named Honorable Mention All-America. Stanford’s Ky Robinson won the 10K title in 28:10.96.

“Ben did a really nice job positioning himself in the first ½ of the race,” Weese said. “It was a strong field that set an early fast pace. I think the heat was more of an impact for the athletes in the 10K and it was a challenge for Ben. He didn’t quite have it in the second half, but he gave it his best chance for a possibility of success.

“Ben, like Levi and Rob, really had an outstanding outdoor season,” Weese added. “All three of them gained valuable experience competing in the NCAA championship and they will play an important role in our future successes.”

Camila Noe takes to the track on Thursday night for the women’s 10,000-meter race at 9:08 p.m. (MT). Noe, from Bozeman, finished 11th at the NCAA Outdoor West First Round two weeks ago in Sacramento, Calif.