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'I’m not letting them catch me': Jett Grundy was determined to win Montana State a Big Sky championship

Jett Grundy
Posted at 11:34 AM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 14:45:54-04

BOZEMAN — The Montana State men took home their first Big Sky Conference outdoor track and field championship since 2005 on Saturday.

Jett Grundy, a freshman sprinter from Australia, has already made a name for himself in Bozeman with stellar performances to clinch the team title.

Jett Grundy big sky freshman of the year
Big Sky commissioner Tom Wistrcill poses with Jett Grundy with his freshman of the year trophy at the Big Sky Championships on May 11th in the Bobcat Track and Field Complex.

The team was five points behind Northern Arizona going into the final event, the 4x400-meter relay. The Bobcats needed to finish first and the Lumberjacks to finish fifth for MSU to clinch the team title. Basically, they needed a perfect storm.

The event looked promising as Montana State got out to an early lead and maintained it throughout the race. Grundy was the anchor and recalled a moment before his final lap.

"Just before I got my handoff, I saw how far NAU was behind and I thought, 'We really have a chance,'" Grundy said.

That’s when Grundy, the Big Sky freshman of the year, put his foot on the gas to clinch the team title for the Bobcats 186-185 over second-place NAU, which was chasing a four-peat.

Jett Grundy wins 4x4 relay
Jett Grundy celebrates as he crosses the finish line first in the 4x400 relay to clinch Montana State the team title at the Big Sky championships on May 11th in the Bobcat Track and Field Complex.

"That really motivated me, knowing we had a chance to do it," Grundy said. "And as soon as I got the baton, I’m not letting them catch me. Just winning that was such a great feeling."

Bobcats coach Lyle Weese explained how impressive it was for the freshman to keep such poise when the stakes truly couldn't get higher.

"Jett just kept his composure," he said. "Even though he’s already four races in, he battled to the finish and was able to hold them off."

The 4x400 relay wasn’t the only event in which Grundy came up big Saturday. He had a photo finish win after coming from behind in the 400-meter run.

"There’s a lot of things about this weekend that I won’t forget, one was how far back Jett was with 100 meters to go in a 400-meter race," Weese said with a laugh. "Usually things like that do not happen in the sprint events, where he made up just so much ground and just got the lean and the win."

Jett Grundy lean
Montana State's Jett Grundy leans forward to win the 400 meter dash in the Big Sky Championships at the Bobcat Track and Field Complex on May 11th.

"I must’ve taken out to slow, and (the Weber State runner) went really hard," Grundy explained. "I just knew last 100, I had work to do. I just kept pushing, pushing, pushing, and I just dipped, and I did not think I got it. But seeing that first place come up on the board, it was unreal, an amazing experience."

For Grundy, what’s meant the most to him about representing the Bobcats was how much of a family the team truly is. In a sport that can be isolating and individually focused, it’s the opposite in Bozeman.

"In Australia, the support for track, I feel like it’s very on your own," he said. "You have to really do everything kind of by yourself, or that’s how I used to feel. But coming here, having a team to train with and being really close with the team is just, it’s amazing."

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Montana State teammates embrace Jett Grundy after he places first in the 400 meter dash at the Big Sky Championships in the Bobcat Track and Field Complex on May 11th.

The Bobcats now look ahead to the NCAA West Preliminary meet at the University of Arkansas May 22-25.