(Editor’s note: Montana State University media release)
BOZEMAN – The Montana State men’s and women’s track and field teams combined for 17 first-place finishes, including a sweep of the four relays, to complete a solid appearance at the MSU Invitational on Friday inside of Worthington Arena.
Each Bobcat team had its strong side of its squad on display.
The men’s team had the top finisher in 10 events, which included the Bobcats sweeping the top spot in all of the field events. The women’s squad had a first-place runner in three of the five individual races they appeared in and had multiple top-five finishes in each.
“Overall, I was pretty impressed with the improvement we made from our Dec. 2 meet to now,” Montana State head coach Dale Kennedy said. “We had a lot of kids get better, not totally across the board, but for the most part that happened. It was a great opportunity to just kind of see where we are and I think it’s a really good start to this second phase of the indoor season.”
Sophomore Anna French had one of the top performances of the meet with her first-place showing in the women’s 5,000-meter run. She crossed the line in the event with a time of 17 minutes, 21.26 seconds. Her converted time of 16:46.30, due to altitude and track size, moved her to fifth all-time in program history and currently ranks third on the Big Sky Conference performance list.
Samantha Kelderman finished runner-up in the 5,000 with a converted time and lifetime best 17:40.34. Her mark, which is the fourth fastest in the Big Sky, spans the Bobcats across the top four spots in the conference with French and Kelderman trailing Caroline Hardin and Kelsi Lasota’s Bobcat Preview times.
The MSU men dominated the field section of the events Friday. Noah Martin (high jump), Kyle Douglass (shot put) and Calvin Root (weight throw) took the top spot in their respective events.
Wyatt Thompson-Siporen made his Bobcat debut and placed first in the pole vault by clearing a Big Sky-best height of 16-00.75 (4.90m). Freshman Drake Schneider earned the top mark in the long jump with his lifetime best leap of 21-09.50 (2.05m), while Alex Lewis finished atop the triple jump standings competing unattached.
Mitch Horning (200), Jadin Casey (400) and Collin Buck (5,000) all picked up individual victories in an event.
Buck finished with a personal-best converted time of 14:59.91 for his first collegiate first-place accolades. Alec Nehring and Parker Walton each recorded two lifetime marks while each also earned a runner-up showing as well.
Among top five finishers on the men’s side for the Bobcats in at least one individual event were Justin Paige, Christopher Lange, Brandon Hough, Luke Middelstadt, Caleb Neth and Trevor Simanski.
McKenna Ramsay completed a time of 25.76 in the 200 and Amanda Jaynes crossed the line in the 60 hurdles in 8.89 to complete MSU’s women’s first-place finishes on the track. Isabella Calabrese took the first spot in the pole vault behind a jump off and Alex Hellenberg placed first in the long jump for MSU’s field event victories.
The Bobcat women exhibited plenty of depth throughout the meet.
MSU took the 2-6 spots in the 400 behind the efforts of Ramsay, Taylor Buschy, Hailey Phillips, Elisabeth Kriegerand Kaylee Oyler. The Bobcats earned three of the top four slots in the pole vault standings with Hellenberg and Carter Theade hitting the same mark as Calabrese (12-00).
Other top-five finishers included Truanne Roginske, Carlie Haeffner and Megan Ralstin. Freshman Morgan Evansparticipated in three events for the Bobcats, finishing in the top five in each including a runner-up performance in the 60 hurdles behind a personal-best time of 9.05.
Both MSU lineups controlled the meet from start to finish by opening with a win in the distance medley relay and putting a wrap on the MSU Invite by coming in first in the 4×400 relay.
The men’s DMR featured Chris Bianchini, Tyler McQueen and Riley Collins, while the women’s relay showcased Trisha Carlson, Buschy, Kendra Larson and Layne Oliver. The Bobcats wrapped the meet with the men’s relay of Bloom, Bianchini, Schneider and Lange – along with the women’s crew of Buschy, Carlson, Larson and Ramsay – taking the 4×400 relay.
The Bobcats return to Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 19, to host three Division I teams for a dual meet invite. Idaho State, Montana and Utah State are scheduled to visit Bozeman to compete in a scoring meet against the Bobcats.
“Next week’s meet will really be higher-end and features team scoring with some really good Division I schools,” Kennedy said. “Utah State is a real strong program and they’ll certainly challenge us. Idaho State and Montana in every event will be right alongside us as well. I think it will be a terrific experience for our kids to compete. We should see some improved performances. We might not get as many wins in events, but we will probably perform at a higher level than we did this week.”
Next week’s meet is slated to begin at 11 a.m. and will be non-ticketed for spectators. A live stream of the event will be available on WatchBigSky.com and on the Pluto TV mobile app.