(Editor’s note: Courtesy of Montana State Athletics)
BOZEMAN — The Montana State track and field program hits the road to begin its outdoor season this weekend when the Bobcats appear in two different meets. The MSU men’s and women’s squads are set to participate in Missoula at Montana’s Al Manuel Northwest Invitational, while a group of Bobcats travel to Los Angeles to compete in UCLA’s Bob Larsen Distance Carnival and Jim Bush Legends Invitational.
“It’s just really exciting to get the outdoor season going,” said Lyle Weese, Montana State’s director of track and field and cross country. “With the weather we’ve had here recently, it’s nice to have some sunshine and be outside and train a little bit. It looks like the weather won’t be too bad in Missoula and it should be good in California, so we’re looking forward to having some good weather to compete in and get a nice start to the outdoor season.”
UCLA’s Distance Carnival opens events in Los Angeles at 6:30 p.m. MDT Friday, March 29, at Drake Stadium. The Legends Invitational begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with field events and track events start at 3:30 p.m.
A group of 27 Bobcats are expected to make their outdoor season debuts in Los Angeles. The MSU student-athletes will be squaring off with competitors from the likes of San Diego State, Long Beach State, Washington State, Utah and Oklahoma, among others.
The Al Manuel Northwest Invitational begins Friday with just two events – the men’s and women’s hammer throws – but picks up on Saturday as the men’s javelin opens competition at 10 a.m. A variety of schools from the region are scheduled to compete at Montana’s Dornblaser Field. The Bobcats are sending 26 to Missoula to make their season openers.
With over 50 athletes in a variety of disciplines, Weese said the focus for the Bobcats is different for each this weekend.
“For some people, it’s going to be about getting a foothold, a starting point and working from there. For others it may be about coming off the indoor season, or maybe they’re coming off a redshirt season and they’re more ready to compete and can put good marks up right away. It’s really going to depend on the athlete and where they’re at.”
Montana State makes its first appearance since completing action at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 23 in Worthington Arena. The Bobcats’ men’s and women’s teams each earned runner-up finishes at the Big Sky meet.
MSU returns to competition outdoors after a strong showing in 2018 during the season. The Bobcat men went back and forth with Northern Arizona and Southern Utah at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships, but eventually finished in third place. The MSU women’s squad jumped up the team standings on the final day to take fourth overall.
Individually, the Bobcat men had nine student-athletes recognized as all-conference performers by earning at least one top-three finish at the conference meet a year ago. The MSU women were led by four all-conference athletes.
The Bobcats are scheduled to host three meets during the outdoor slate, beginning with the MSU Open on April 20.
Competition Travel Roster (March 29-30)
Bob Larsen Distance Carnival & Jim Bush Legends Invitational (UCLA)
Chris Bianchini, Maddie Brockel, Collin Buck, Isabella Calabrese, Trisha Carlson, Jadin Casey, Lucy Corbett, Morgan Evans, Anna French, Duncan Hamilton, Elisabeth Krieger, Kendra Larson, Kelsi Lasota, Alex Lewis, Gillian Maness, Luke Middelstadt, Camila Noe, Haile Norred, Derrick Olsen, McKenna Ramsay, Truanne Roginske, Drake Schneider, Delaney Smith, Courtney Stromme, Wyatt Thompson-Siporen, Cooper West, Bill Yeager
Al Manuel Northwest Invitational (Montana)
Madi Arneson, Lindsay Benson, Elena Carter, Gannon Chamberlain, Kylie Christiansen, Jordan Fink, Celestia Hammond, Hannah Hicks, Lexi Kyro, Justice Lamer, Madison Liechty, Annalise Lont, Brock McCue, Josh Mertz, Logan Morley, Layne Oliver, Teagan Olson, Brookelyn Palin, Hailey Phillips, Twila Reovan, Ethan Saberhagen, Jared Schwend, Braden Stremcha, Parker Walton, Hannah Wheeler, Brock Winegar