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Montana women picked 3rd, men 6th in Big Sky indoor track preseason poll

Posted at 4:56 PM, Jan 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-04 18:56:56-05

STORY BY MONTANA SPORTS INFORMATION

OGDEN, Utah – The Big Sky Conference announced its 2018 Indoor Track & Field Championships predicted order of finish on Thursday, with Montana picked to finish third on the women’s side and sixth on the men’s side. The voting was done by each of the league’s 12 head coaches.

Northern Arizona was the unanimous pick to repeat as champions for both men and women.

The praise offered from the league’s coaches is nice to Brian Schweyen, and he believes that at full strength his team would compete for a championship. However, Montana, which will host the 2019 Outdoor Championships, is looking at the big picture and expects to redshirt many of its top athletes this spring.

“I believe we have a good team with a lot of talent on both sides,” Schweyen said. “Our women, if we weren’t redshirting, we could be battling for a championship.”

The 2018 season will not be a wasted year by any means. In fact, success this spring is vital to reaching the program’s goals a year from now.

“Our focus is exactly the same,” Schweyen said. “You go out and work as hard as you possibly can every single day to improve yourself and your talents, and to become as good as you possibly can while you’re here, whether you’re redshirting or not. If everyone takes care of their own business and can maximize their skills and abilities, that’s a success.”

Success this season will be seen in improvement and growth, not necessarily championships or point scoring.

“Our goal is to save up so that next year, when we’re hosting, we’re in a position to give ourselves a very legitimate shot of winning a conference championship.”

In 2016-17, the Montana women set a program record with 102 points at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships, finishing in second place. On the men’s side, Montana tied for sixth. Since 2010, Schweyen has guided his women’s and men’s teams to eight top-three finishes at the indoor and outdoor championships.

The Grizzlies kicked off their indoor season last month at both the Candy Cane X in Cheney, Wash., and in Bozeman. Montana will be back in action next week, competing in the Montana State Dual (Multi-Event) Jan. 8-9, and the Montana State Invitational Jan. 12.

2018 Big Sky Conference Preseason Indoor Track & Field Coaches’ Poll
Men
1. Northern Arizona (12) 144
2. Southern Utah 130
3. Sacramento State 114
4. Montana State 113
5. Weber State 87
6. Montana 75
7. Idaho State 73
8. Eastern Washington 67
9. Idaho 58
10. North Dakota 34
11. Portland State 27
12. Northern Colorado 14

Women
1. Northern Arizona (12) 144
2. Sacramento State 116
3. Montana 107
4. Montana State 104
5. Weber State 102
6. Eastern Washington 77
7. Idaho State 60
8. North Dakota 59
Northern Colorado 59
10. Idaho 49
11. Southern Utah 35
12. Portland State 24
First-place votes in parenthesis