Bobcat Track and Field nabs wins in duels

The Bobcat Track and Field team defeated both Montana and Idaho State at their double dual meet at home Friday, Jan. 23. The women’s side claimed an 89-61 win over UM and beat ISU 88-61, while the men scored an 87-57 and 85-63 victory over UM and ISU respectively.

Along with these victories, a number of MSU athletes scored trips to the Big Sky Conference meet in their respective events on the men’s and women’s side. Senior middle distance runner Lierin Flanagan stated that in terms of qualifying for conference, “The stakes are even higher because the qualifying standards are lower … We each strive to get faster because we want to be that much closer to achieving our goals at the big meets.”

The Bobcats proved to be faster and stronger in standout performances across the board on both teams, starting with the women’s 60-meter dash where Josephine Petruska, Daryan Box and Danielle Muri took the first three spots respectively for MSU. Also taking the top three spots in the 400-meter dash were Chantel Jaeger, Paige Squire and Iris Hardarson, with the MSU women’s 400-meter relay teams taking the first two spots overall as well. Individually, Kristi Vandebergh took first in shotput, and Rachel Sullivan snagged a conference-worthy time of 10:21 in the 3k. Multi-event athlete Carly McCutchen added another conference qualifying mark to her list by jumping 18.06 feet in the long jump. Pole-vaulter Casey Teska vaulted 12-03.50 feet for a conference qualification as well.

In terms of this week’s overall performance, Flanagan said, “We gained a few who were gone last week and really came together and improved our times. I think this week set the stage and showed us that we’re all getting faster each meet.”

The men’s side proved successful in the 60-meter dash as well with Michael Tobin and Mitchell Horning placing first and second. Rory Bauer took victory with a 49.58 400 time, and Matt Tex took first in the 800 with a time of 1:56, with Jory Fisher close behind at 1:57. The men’s distance squad swept the 3,000 meter run, taking the first four spots and few more not far behind. Cristian Soratos came back this week to take first in this event among his teammates.

Among the men’s field events, Alexander Lewis jumped 21-08 feet in the long jump. His teammates Trevor Simanski and Kevin Close took first and second in the triple jump, both jumping 46-04 feet. Topping off field event victories included Sean Ferriter and Zach Sharp for first and second in the weight throw.

Head Coach Dale Kennedy noted in post-meet remarks that he saw huge improvements in the past week among his team. “Track and field is looked at as an individual sport, but it’s a team that wins duals and championships. Our team came together today, overcame a few hiccups and showed teamwork to win tonight,” he said.

Both teams travel to Gillette, Wyoming for the MSU-Wyoming dual on Jan. 31.