(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – The Montana State men’s track and field team currently sits second overall in the standings and were paced by five all-conference performances on Friday, Feb. 22, to complete the second day of the Big Sky Indoor Track and Field Championships in Worthington Arena.
MSU got off to a strong start with the men’s heptathlon coming to a close before the rest of the day’s events began.
The Bobcats picked up 13 team points as Wyatt Thompson-Siporen held his second-place spot from the first day, earning runner-up and a silver medal with a total of 5,205 points. Caleb Neth recorded 4,961 points, a personal best output that moved him from 10th to ninth all-time in program history, to take fourth place. Hunter Nicholson completed the event in 11th with 4,486 points.
The Bobcats’ field event performers proved to be as strong as advertised.
Noah Martin claimed all-conference honors for the third straight indoor season by tying his personal-best mark in high jump. The MSU junior cleared 6 feet, 11 inches (2.11m) and finished runner-up in the event.
Alec Nehring earned a lifetime-best mark in the men’s shot put competition to lead MSU. He finished as a bronze medalist in the event for the second consecutive season with a toss of 58-01 (17.70m), while freshmen Brock McCue and Josh Mertztook 15th and 20th, respectively.
Senior Alex Lewis became an all-conference selection for the first time in his collegiate career by taking third overall in the men’s long jump. His mark of 24-08.50 was a lifetime best and also made program history. The leap by Lewis broke Montana State track and field’s longest standing indoor record in its record book. Lewis propelled ahead of Ken Riedl as the school record holder, passing Riedl’s mark of 24-08 he set in 1983.
Montana State’s men closed out their night by taking first in the distance medley relay. The relay team of Samuel Bloom, Bill Yeager, Chris Bianchini and Cameron Carroll finished with a time of 10 minutes, 9.86 seconds thanks to a late kick by the anchor leg in Carroll to earn gold. Their converted mark due to altitude and track size is the eighth fastest in MSU history.
The Montana State men’s squad has 43 points in the team standings, trailing only Northern Arizona (57.50). Idaho State (26.50) and Weber State (23) are currently third and fourth overall.
Montana State’s women’s team had several strong efforts in finals events on Friday.
Senior Isabella Calabrese completed her best showing in a Big Sky Conference Championship meet by taking fourth in the pole vault. Calabrese cleared a lifetime-best mark of 12-08.75 (3.88m) and scored five points for the Bobcat women’s squad. Alex Hellenberg added two more points to the MSU total with her seventh-place finish in the event behind a personal-best mark of 12-04.75 (3.78m).
Kelsi Lasota also finished fourth in an individual event. Lasota nearly finished with a podium showing, taking fourth in the women’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:21.86. Gillian Maness completed a time of 17:43.68, which converted puts her seventh in the MSU record book, and took ninth overall.
MSU’s women’s distance medley relay wrapped the second day of the championship meet by finishing fourth with a time of 12:07.52. The relay of Lexi Kyro, Natalie Perkins, Kendra Larson and Layne Oliver earned a converted mark that will place them ninth in program history in the event.
The Bobcat women are seventh in the team standings with 17 points. Idaho State is atop the leaderboard with 40.
Multiple Bobcat competitors had preliminary race efforts that propelled them to final appearances on Saturday.
The Bobcats will be represented by three individuals in the men’s 800 as Bloom, Bianchini and Carroll each qualified for the final. Drake Schneider (48.70) and Jadin Casey (48.98) each recorded top-five times in the men’s 400, with Schneider’s converted time moving him up from seventh to third in the MSU record book. Derrick Olsen (8.18) and Henry Adams (8.30) each advanced to the men’s 60 hurdle finals. Olsen’s time was good for fourth all-time in program history. Mitch Horningalso advanced to the men’s 200 finals by completing the second-fastest time in prelims of 21.95 seconds, which converted ties his career best. Horning narrowly missed out on the 60 finals by taking 11th in prelims.
McKenna Ramsay and Truanne Roginske will be appearing in two finals races on Saturday for the Bobcat women.
Ramsay took first in the 400 prelims with a time of 55.49. Her converted mark will place her fifth on the MSU top 10 list. She also took sixth in the 200, one spot behind Roginske. Their times of 24.97 and 24.99 are the sixth and seventh fastest among all-time Bobcats. Roginske also finished fourth in the 60 by crossing the line in 7.58 and nearly contributed points in the long jump for MSU with a ninth-place showing.
Morgan Evans and Delaney Smith tied for sixth in the women’s 60 hurdles with each registered a time of 8.76. That time was a lifetime best for Evans and moved her into the program’s all-time top 10 list.
Kendra Larson and Elisabeth Krieger will be making finals appearance as well for MSU Saturday. Larson took seventh in the women’s 800 prelims while Krieger took eighth in the women’s 400 prelims.
Courtney Stromme was the MSU women’s team’s next closest athlete to making a finals appearance as she took 10th in the 200 with a time of 25.31. Evans tied for 12th in the 60, Elena Carter finished 14th in the 60 hurdles, while Brookelyn Palin led the Bobcat women’s throwers by taking 21st in the weight throw.
The Bobcat track and field teams resume competition at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships with the final day of action starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, inside Worthington Arena.