(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – The Montana State track and field teams make their final appearances of the 2017-18 indoor season inside Worthington Arena on Friday, Feb. 16, when the Bobcats host the Big Sky Tuner. It’s the final meet for MSU athletes before the team travels to Flagstaff, Ariz., for the 2018 Big Sky Conference Championships from Feb. 22-24.
“We have a pretty good idea (at what the team) will look like,” MSU head coach Dale Kennedy said. “The deal isn’t sealed yet. There’s always somebody that will step up on Friday night, come through and get a seat on the plane. A lot of the kids that we know are going to be on the trip will be using the meet as a tune up.
“I know in the sprint races, particularly, they’ll drop down an event shorter than what they normally do in most cases.”
The Big Sky Conference Championships will allow each institution to have 26 athletes participate on both its men’s and women’s teams. It’s the second year the conference meet features a set roster limit instead of the previous Big Sky qualifying standards.
The Bobcats currently have 22 women and 21 men that rank among the top 20 on the conference’s performance list. Based off the descending order of the performance list, eight Bobcat men are poised to make a podium appearance while three on the women’s team currently stand within medal contention.
MSU’s men’s squad is projected to score 94 points, while the women’s team is projected to earn 64, based off the current Big Sky performance list.
Montana State comes off dual sweeps in both the men’s and women’s competitions at the second Bobcat-hosted MSU Dual Meet Invitational in Bozeman on Friday. The men won convincingly over their three opponents and the women also topped their three Big Sky foes during the meet.
Five athletes established or updated all-time top 10 program marks Friday. In all, 23 top 10 marks have been achieved this season alone with 18 Bobcats playing a role in the feat.
“It was great from a team perspective in terms of the team scoring,” Kennedy said of the dual sweeps. “That was really great to come up with three dual meet wins. But probably what was better were some of the individual performances that occurred and the continued improvement we’re seeing from both of our teams.”
MSU concludes its regular season with its sixth team home meet of the year spanning back to the opening Bobcat Preview on Dec. 2. The Bobcats’ will open the Big Sky Championships with the multi events on Thursday, Feb. 22. If any athletes earn marks in the top 16 of their event on the NCAA Division I performance list, they’ll have the opportunity to advance to the NCAA Indoor National Championships that take place from March 9-10 on the campus of Texas A&M.