(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – The biggest challenge of the 2018 season to date awaits Montana State’s cross country teams on Saturday, Oct. 13, when the Bobcats participate in the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals. The women’s squad is slated to appear in the 6-Kilometer Cardinal Race at 9 a.m. MST, while the men’s team competes in the 8K White Race at 11:15 a.m.
This year’s Pre-National Invitationals consist of two evenly-seeded races per gender at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wisconsin. MSU’s women’s team opens Saturday’s competition facing 10 ranked teams in its 35-team field. The Bobcat men will race alongside nine teams that are ranked in the latest USTFCCCA Top 30 National Coaches’ Poll.
“It’s really a step up in competition from our first two meets,” Montana State head coach Lyle Weese said. “It’ll be a real challenge. There are very few teams in the meet that are not highly competitive, so we’ll have our work cut out for us.
“We feel we’re prepared and that we can go there and take a step forward and get use to competing against that type of competition. We want to use the experience of competing against some great teams to our advantage as we go into the conference meet.”
The Zimmer Championship Course, opened in 2009, lies adjacent to the University of Wisconsin’s Golf Course. It features an exterior and interior loop, with both covering the area’s rolling hills and valleys. Dense woods also span the outer loop which offers an overall challenging terrain for runners.
“Just the format – the layout of this race, the makeup of it – is going to be very different,” Weese said. “It’ll be a great opportunity for us to be uncomfortable in an environment we’re not use to. That will allow us to work through some things so we’re not working through them at the conference championship.
“A lot of the nerves of needing to go through a big race, we’ll be able to go through that experience this weekend. That will prepare us for the Big Sky Championship, the Mountain Region Championships and beyond.”
The Bobcat cross country team lineups have been consistent throughout the fall.
Ty Mogan, Duncan Hamilton and Collin Buck have finished in order for the men’s side in the MSU Cross Country Classic and Roy Griak Invitational. A mix of Cooper West, Isaac Schmidt and Riley Collins have contributed to the Bobcats’ score in both meets, while Braden Stremcha has been MSU’s seventh finisher in each.
The women’s side has seen similar results. Kelsi Lasota, Samantha Kelderman, Gillian Maness and Layne Oliver have been the Bobcats top four finishers – in order – in each of the two races. Trisha Carlson, Kendra Larson, Madison Liechty and Joby Rosenleaf also have placed among MSU’s top seven in the Bobcats’ primary lineup.
Fans can watch the Bobcats in both of Saturday’s races by signing up for a subscription on FloTrack. Live Results are also available on the Meet Central online page.