(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN — Over 40 members of the Montana State track and field program are slated to travel to the San Diego area to compete in the Triton Invitational hosted by UC San Diego. The women’s hammer and discus throw events take place on Friday at Triton Stadium in La Jolla, California, while the majority of the meet’s events begin at 10:30 a.m. MDT on Saturday, April 13.
“We went to this meet for the first time last year and we really enjoyed it,” said Lyle Weese, Montana State’s director of track and field. “We’re excited to go down there again. It was a good level of competition, but it wasn’t such a big meet that it was overwhelming in terms of the total time schedule. We got some good marks down there last year and we expect the same this year.”
The Bobcats had several all-time top 10 marks set at the Triton Invitational a year ago. A variety of competitors return to the track hoping to get a launch into the final month of events before the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships.
The Big Sky outdoor meet takes place from May 8-11 in Missoula, Montana, at Dornblaser Field. Montana State has three weekends left of competition following the trip to San Diego.
The Bobcats split a portion of their teams up from April 18-20. Multiple student-athletes will compete in Long Beach, California, during a three-day span, while the remaining ‘Cats in Bozeman will participate in the MSU Open hosted at the Bobcat Track & Field Complex on April 20. The Bobcats will also host the Cat-Griz Dual (April 27) and the Tom Gage Classic (May 3) before making the trip West to the conference meet.
The Bobcats currently have five athletes that have marks that would advance them to the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, California.
Lucy Corbett and Anna French have top 30-marks among women’s competitors in the West Region. Corbett’s high jump mark of 5 feet, 8.50 inches, is the 28th best mark and has her in line to qualify for the meet which sends the 48 best in the region to Sacramento. French has the 29th best time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with her mark of 10:35.80. Senior Kelsi Lasota is also in the top 48 of an event on the Bobcat women’s team. Her time of 16:35.48 in the 5,000 is the 37th fastest in the region.
Duncan Hamilton and Drake Schneider have two of the top performances for the men’s squad so far this season. Both earned first-place finishes at the Jim Bush Legends Invitational on March 30 en route to their top marks in the West Region. Hamilton currently ranks 35th in the region in the 3,000 steeplechase with his time of 9:06.04. Schneider sits 36th in the 400 hurdles with his best time this year of 52.76 seconds.
“Just like we were trying to build through the indoor season, we’re also trying to build through the outdoor season,” Weese said. “The athletes, with most starting their seasons either two weeks ago or last week, we want them to continue to get better. In some cases like the distance and sprint events, we competed in secondary events or more developmental events to begin the year. We’re going to get more and more into our main events that we’ll be running at the conference level and try to put up marks for the NCAA First Round.”