(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN — A big weekend is coming up for the Montana State track and field program as student-athletes compete in a variety of locations starting on Thursday. While a select portion of Bobcats participate in three different meets in California, a majority of the members of the men’s and women’s teams will compete at the Bobcat Track and Field Complex in Bozeman on Saturday, April 20.
The Bobcats that travel to California will be appearing in multiple events. MSU has representation at the Mt. SAC Relays in Torrance from Thursday-Friday, the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa on Friday and the Beach Invitational in Long Beach Friday-Saturday.
Montana State is also slated to welcome several programs to Bozeman on Saturday for the MSU Open. Carroll College, Idaho State, Montana, Montana Western, MSU Billings, Providence and Rocky Mountain College make the trek to participate in the outdoor home opener for the Bobcats.
This Saturday’s MSU Open will be the first outdoor home meet for the Bobcats since the 2017 season. It will also be the first competitive event for MSU runners on the Blue and Gold all-weather track surface completed in the summer of 2018. The first event of the MSU Open begins at 10:30 a.m.
“We are really excited to have a home outdoor meet after not having one last year,” said Lyle Weese, Montana State’s director of track and field. “This is going to be the first of three weekends we’re hosting meets. It’ll be great to have fairly limited travel this weekend, and then over the next two weeks not much travel before the Big Sky meet. Everybody should be well rested as they finish up their finals and get ready for conference.”
Distance runners and sprinters make up most of the group traveling to California.
All of the student-athletes on the trip will have an opportunity to run races against some of the best competition in the country. The distance runners have a chance to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 10,000 which are not featured in the MSU Open. Alex Lewis and Truanne Roginske join the travel team to work towards gaining marks that can move them into qualification for the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in late May in the jumps events.
“We’re really excited to get to the Mt. SAC Relays to have some really good competition for the distance runners,” Weese said. “It’s a great opportunity in some 10K’s and steeplechase races, especially the 10k because those opportunities don’t come along very often.
“It’ll be really good for the sprinters just to get into some nice weather high-quality. They’ve been training really hard. They’re kind of at the end of their really difficult training period, so we want to see them go out there and compete well. We’re just continuing to build into the Big Sky Conference meet.”
The Big Sky Conference Championships are less than a month away and take place at Montana’s Dornblaser Field. Over the next couple of weeks, the Bobcats will begin to piece their rosters together for the conference meet. MSU is able to bring 28 athletes on both the men’s and women’s sides to compete at the Big Sky Championships. The Bobcat women currently have 24 athletes that have at least one time or mark within the top 20 on the Big Sky performance list. MSU’s men’s squad has 18 that are in the top 20 of the Big Sky performance list.
“It’ll be great to have the outdoor conference championships in Missoula,” Weese said. “So many of our student-athletes are from places fairly close, so we’ll have a lot of family watching us at the conference championships. We’ve competed so many times at the University of Montana track, so it’s a facility we’re really comfortable with and should set us up for some good performances.”