The Brick Breeden Fieldhouse hosted the Cats and six other teams last Friday, Jan. 15 for the MSU Open indoor track meet. Not only was this the season opener for the Bobcats’ indoor team, it was a chance for the athletes to start grabbing Big Sky Conference qualifying standards, and a number of MSU athletes did just that.
Right out of the gate, distance runners Heather Demorest and Cristian Soratos each created early gaps in their heats of the mile, both finishing first and qualifying for the conference meet in February. Soratos, a senior from Salinas, California, ran an altitude-adjusted 3:56 mile. His time not only qualified him for Conference but also placed him in the top mile ranks in the NCAA.
Demorest, a senior from Hamilton, ran a 4:55 mile after altitude adjustments. After this stellar performance, she shared about her preparation and all she hopes to accomplish. “This season I have trained harder than ever. I have put in more mileage, tougher workouts and every other possible thing in hopes of bettering myself as an athlete,” she said. “This is my last season, so naturally I have huge goals … I hope to run some really fast times and qualify for nationals.” She added that teamwise all of the athletes are very supportive of one another. “Our last meet we had a lot of conference qualifiers, and I know we have a lot more to go. We are each other’s number one fans, especially this year with a team goal of winning conference.”
On the sprinting side, Daryan Box and Samantha Mohl finished second and fourth respectively in the 60 meter dash. The men’s side included Michael Tobin and Mitchell Horning finishing one and two overall in their 60. Horning posted a second place finish in the men’s 200 meter dash to follow.
Other outstanding performances on the men’s side included Rory Bauer finishing first in the 400 meters with a time of 49.71, and Jory Fisher winning the 800 in 1:56. Thrower Sean Ferriter won the weight throw posting a qualifying mark at 61.02-75, Ryan Kropp placed first in the pole vault, and Michael Asay was first among the top three Bobcat finishers in the 3,000 meter run.
Senior Jake Mushaben placed second in the long jump and commented on the scoring for this opening meet. “It is pretty easy to remember what the main goal is, even in a meet that is not scored. We are out there competing not for ourselves but for the person next to us,” he said.
Adding to top finishes was senior Keely West in the 3,000 meter run in 10:25, with Louisa Sherpe close behind at 10:42. Kristi VandeBergh crushed the competition in the weight throw at 44-09.50 placing first.
With these top standings, the Bobcats were able to set themselves apart from the six other teams in attendance while stacking up on a number of conference qualifying marks. During post meet comments, Head Coach Dale Kennedy said, “It was a fun night to watch some of these athletes compete this well. Sean Ferriter kicked off our night in the weight throw qualifying for the conference championships. Cristian Soratos had an unreal performance, just missing the school record, but putting himself at number one in the nation. This was a great start to set the tone for the rest of the season.”
Their next meet is this Friday, Jan. 23, at home, hosting Montana and Idaho State University in a double-duals competition.