(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
BOZEMAN – The Brick Breeden Fieldhouse has plenty of activity going on over the next two months and the Montana State track and field team will be at the forefront. The Bobcat men’s and women’s squads compete in the first of five home meets when they host the MSU Invitational on Friday, Jan. 12, inside of Worthington Arena.
Field events open the meet at 3:30 p.m., with the Faculty and Staff Mile scheduled to begin at 4:40 p.m. and track events to follow at 5 p.m. MSU welcomes athletes from Carroll College, Montana, Montana Western, MSU Billings and Providence to Bozeman for competition on Friday. The home meet is one of four that is set to be broadcast on WatchBigSky.com.
“This is the first of a six-week run to get ready for the conference meet,” Montana State head coach Dale Kennedy said. “This is the second meet on our schedule, but more like a first meet during this six-week period of time. We’re really looking for a good, positive start that we can build off of this weekend.”
The Bobcats opened their season with the Bobcat Preview in Bozeman on Dec. 2. Several performances stood out for MSU, with a school record being achieved.
Junior distance runners Caroline Hardin and Kelsi Lasota both topped MSU’s previous women’s 5,000-meter run record in the event. Hardin became the record holder with her converted time of 16:34.95 and Lasota moved to second all-time in program history with a mark of 16:40.66.
Senior throwers Calvin Root and Kyle Douglass also had success on the men’s side. Root placed first in the weight throw with a personal-best toss of 62-07.75. That throw moved him from fifth to fourth in the program record book. Douglass improved his fifth-best mark in program history in the shot put by taking first with a mark of 59-05.50.
Multiple personal bests were established and MSU’s freshmen gained valuable early experience participating at the college level. Now the focus turns to rebuilding fitness that had had been developed before the end of the fall semester.
“One of the things that happens is our kids go home for the Holiday break for three weeks,” Kennedy said. “We’ve had them report back at different levels of fitness depending on what facilities they had access to while they were away. It’s almost like a restart for us. It will be a lot like the Dec. 2 meet to see where our athletes are at after being away from our facilities and coaches for almost a month.”
The MSU Invitational follows the MSU-UM Multis Dual Invite that multiple Bobcats participated in over a two-day span to begin the week. Outside of the five eligible Bobcats that were part of the Multis meet, MSU’s track and field athletes will be making their 2018 debuts on Friday.
“The meet is non-scoring so there’s no pressure to double or triple event kids, or score points or anything like that,” Kennedy said. “We probably won’t do a lot of that with our kids and this will serve as more of a checkpoint I think right now.”
The Bobcats begin the pursuit towards the 2018 Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships presented by Red Lion Hotels Corporation which will take place in Flagstaff, Ariz., from Feb. 22-24. MSU is scheduled to compete in Worthington Arena on Jan. 19, Feb. 2, Feb. 9 and Feb. 16, with its lone meet away from Bozeman being the Powder River Series Dual against Wyoming in Gillette on Jan. 27.