The Bobcat indoor track and field team headed to Flagstaff, Arizona on Feb. 26-28 to compete in the Big Sky Conference Championship meet. Over 13 Bobcat athletes placed in total from both the men’s and the women’s teams, enough to claim the overall second place for the women and third place for the men.
Senior pentathlete Carly McCutchen won the women’s pentathlon to get things started for the Bobcats and won the Outstanding Female Athlete award, but senior Heather Demorest stole the show, winning the Most Valuable Female award, given to the individual performer who scores the most points. Demorest won both the 5,000-meter and the 3,000-meter races. Both women were awarded all-conference status, alongside senior Keely West who took second in the 5k, senior Chantel Jaeger (second place in both the 400m and 4x400m relay), sophomore Kaylee Schmitz (second in the 800m), and Jaeger’s 4x400m relay teammates sophomore Josephine Petruska, and seniors Iris Hardarson and Paige Squire.
The women’s meet title came down to the wire when only a few points separated the top three teams going into the last race, the 4x400m relay. The Cats came in second to Sac State by just .16 seconds and came in second place for the meet by just 1.5 points.
For the men, the Cats were led, as they have been for much of the season, by senior superstar Cristian Soratos who won the 800-meter the mile, and the final leg of the first place distance medley relay (DMR), earning him the Outstanding Male Athlete award. Also joining him in the all-conference category were senior Matthew Tex (second in the 800m and DMR), senior Sean Ferriter (second in the weight throw), freshman Mitchell Horning (third in the 60m) and distance medley teammates seniors Trevor Polson and Aaron Johnston.
The men’s meet title was claimed by the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, with the Sacramento State Hornets taking second and the Bobcats in third, but with a nearly 40 point margin separating the Cats from silver. Montana State will now transfer into the outdoor season, kicking off March 28 in Missoula at the Al Manuel Invitational.
“This is either gonna drive us up or drive us down,” MSU Head Coach Dale Kennedy said, “We’re gonna be motivated [and] this is gonna be a stepping stone, not a stumbling block. We’ll be back again [at the conference meet] in four months and we’re already preparing for that.”