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Montana State distance runners dominate at Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships

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Posted at 10:20 PM, May 12, 2023

(Editor's note: Big Sky Conference, Montana and Montana State press releases.)

GREELEY, Colo. — Duncan Hamilton and his fellow Montana State distance runners made history Friday at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Hamilton etched his name in the history books by winning his fourth 3,000-meter steeplechase title, becomming the first man to do so in Big Sky history. Meanwhile, Camila Noe won her first Big Sky outdoor title by capturing the women’s 10,000, running away from the field in the final 600 meters. Ben Perrin became the third Bobcat to win two Big Sky 10,000-meter titles, joining Shannon Butler (1990, 1991) and Casey Jermyn (2003, 2005).

MSU's men and women teams each stand in third place entering the meet’s final day of competition Saturday. Hamilton’s steeplechase win topped the list, but even that came with an eye toward helping a teammate.

“All four guys we had entered went out aggressively,” MSU coach Lyle Weese said of Hamilton, Rob McManus, Levi Taylor and Owen Smith. “They got some separation and (Hamilton, McManus and Taylor) were able to hold on and finish 1-2-3, and Owen finished strong, too.

“Levi Taylor is one of the best steeplechase runners in the country. He finished ninth (at the NCAA Championships) last year. But he didn’t have a time that would qualify him for the West Regionals this year, so one of the biggest reasons we were so aggressive was to get him that mark. Duncan and Rob did a great job leading, they got some separation and stayed aggressive, and (Taylor) did it. He got his mark.”

Noe, who won a cross country title five years ago in Greeley, Colorado, battled winds up to 30 mph in claiming her first 10,000-meter crown. When Noe went to the lead with about 600 meters remaining, her lead expanded quickly.

In the day’s final race, Perrin followed Noe’s script. He ran with NAU’s Santiago Prosser and teammate Matthew Richtman for most of the race, but with about 600 meters remaining he passed Prosser and accelerated to a commanding lead.

Meanwhile, the Montana Grizzlies got an all-conference performance in the javelin on Friday. The wind blew directly into the face of the competitors, providing incredibly difficult conditions, but the conditions pulled the best out of Autumn Morse.

The first throw of the competition proved to be enough for Morse. She fired one through the wind for a mark of 142-10. The throw was the best of the season for Morse, and held onto second place until the final throw of the competition. She still hung on for an All-Conference spot after entering as the 10th seed.

The two best throws of Morse’s career have both come at a Big Sky Championship as she took seventh at the 2021 meet.

The Grizzly women are currently in fifth place with 22 points. The men are in eighth with 8.5 points with more scoring opportunities ahead of them in Saturday's finals.

In the women's standings, Weber State currently leads the team scoring with 49 points. They’re followed by Northern Arizona (37) in second and Montana State (29) in third.

On the men's side, Northern Arizona sits in first with 68.5 points, followed by Weber State (56) and Montana State (49).

For full results from the Big Sky outdoor championships, click here.