Bobcats dominate at home opener

The Montana State Track and Field teams opened at home in style on Saturday, April 4, with several Bobcats winning their events and qualifying for the Big Sky Conference Championships.

The Bobcats hosted four different teams on Saturday. University of Montana, MSU Billings, Carroll College and Rocky Mountain College all journeyed to Bozeman to compete.

Both the men’s and women’s teams proved outstanding in competition and finished strong. For the men, senior Ryan Kropp won the pole vault for the Bobcats, and freshman Austin Decker came in second. In the javelin, sophomore Ty Bermes and junior Tanner Gambill came in first and second respectively. Senior Sean Ferriter and junior Zach Sharp placed first and second in the hammer throw.

For the women, sophomore Jacqueline Verlanic placed second in the hammer throw, while sophomore Callen Crawford and senior Madison Wills placed third and fourth. In the pole vault, five Bobcats placed in the top six, with junior Casey Teska leading, and senior Sami Risa and senior Amy Rovira in third and fourth. The women’s relay team consisting of Josephine Petruska, Iris Hardarson, and Chantel Jaeger took the top place at the meet.

Many Bobcat athletes performed well enough to automatically qualify for the Big Sky Conference Championships. For the men, freshman Alex Lewis and Trevor Simanski both automatically qualified for the conference championships in the triple jump. Sharp qualified in the hammer throw while Ferriter also qualified and now leads the Big Sky Conference with a throw of 204-05. For the javelin throw, Bermes now leads the Big Sky Conference, while Gambill is second with throws of 214-00 and 204-10, respectively. “Our men’s throwers had a big day,” Head Coach Dale Kennedy said.

For the women, Jaeger automatically qualified in the 200m and 400m, and senior Heather Demorest qualified for the 1,500m. Senior Carley McCutchen qualified for both the 100 meter hurdles and the pentathlon. Senior Paige Squire qualified in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles. Sophomore Jenette Northey qualified in the steeplechase, and junior Danielle Muri also qualified in the pentathlon. “Our sprints, hurdles, and multis [pentathlon] all had strong meets,” Kennedy said. Taylor Pfister and Teska also qualified in the javelin and pole vault, respectively.

While the Bobcats dominated at home, they have a few tough road meets ahead. “We will still need to improve as the season progresses,” Kennedy said. The Bobcats will compete at the University of Utah Spring Classic on Friday, April 10, and then move on to the Weber State Invitational on Saturday, April 11.