(Editor's note: Montana State University media release)
BOZEMAN -- The Montana State cross country teams look ahead to the 2019 season as director of track and cross country Lyle Weese announced the Bobcat men's and women's squads' schedules on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
The Bobcats open the 2019 slate by traveling to Helena for the Carroll College Early Bird Open on Sept. 6. Bridger Creek Golf Course will again be the host site for the MSU Cross Country Classic on Sept. 21. It will be the 43rd time the Bobcat program has hosted the meet in Bozeman.
"We are competing at the Carroll College meet to get our season started a little earlier in the year," Weese said. "It will be a developmental meet and be a nice way to kick off the season.
"Our home meet is always really exciting for our student-athletes. We'll have some good quality teams here and a strong Division I representation."
The MSU men's and women's teams will split for their next weekend of competition. A contingent of Bobcats will remain in the Treasure State on Oct. 4 to participate in the Montana Invitational in Missoula. The rest of the squad travels to Bethlehem, Pa., to compete in the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh.
The Bobcats' are again slated to appear in the Pre-National Invitational, one of the biggest meets of the Division I cross country schedule, running on the NCAA Championship course. MSU runs at the meet hosted by Indiana State on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course on Oct. 19 in Terre Haute.
"The last couple of years we've really tried to beef up our schedule in cross country," Weese said. "Last year, we went to the Roy Griak Invitational, and this year we're going to Lehigh University. It'll be spectacular competition there as well as the Pre-National meet. It gives our student-athletes a chance to see teams from all around the country and some of the best teams in the NCAA."
This year's Big Sky Conference Championships are hosted by Northern Colorado in Greeley on Nov. 2. Last season, the Bobcat men took fourth at the conference meet, while the MSU women's squad finished sixth.
The NCAA Mountain Region Championships remain in the state of Utah with the meet taking place on Nov. 15 in Salt Lake City.
"Those are really the meets we're putting a strong focus on," Weese said. "It's great those two meets are at elevation similar to Bozeman. The Big Sky Conference is a very good distance running conference and the Mountain Region is the best region in the NCAA really overall, but especially on the men's side. It's a high-level region."
Then-junior Ty Mogan took 25th at the 2018 Mountain Region Championships and advanced to the NCAA Championships, the first Bobcat to do so since 2014. While the senior from Laurel, Mont., will try to repeat the feat and have a chance to run in Terre Haute a second time, Montana State will also be vying for a shot at the meet as a team. The NCAA Championships are scheduled to start on Nov. 23 and the Bobcats hope to qualify for the event for the first time since 2002.
"We have great leadership on the men's side with Ty being a fifth year senior and Collin Buck, Cameron Carroll, Logan Morley and Gannon Chamberlain being great leaders as well," Weese said. "We have a group of five sophomore guys that are very mature for their age and have very distinct and high-level goals. We also have two outstanding freshmen coming in as well.
"We have some great returners and a couple outstanding freshmen that don't want to be in the middle of the pack of the conference. They want to make a name for themselves, perform well at the regional championships and hopefully make it to NCAAs."