In a rematch from the indoor championships for the Montana State women’s track and field team, the battle for the Big Sky Conference title came down to the wire. However, the result was déjà vu as the Cats finished second by a razor thin margin. The women missed out because of a heartbreaking second place finish in the 4x400m relay, losing to Sacramento State by 0.02 seconds. Despite the efforts of some outstanding athletes, the women couldn’t make up the 3.70 points separating them from Sacramento State and the conference championship. On the men’s side, the Bobcats took third place behind co-champions Northern Arizona and Sacramento State.
Seniors Heather Demorest and Cristian Soratos lead the Bobcat women and men, respectively, as they have for the season and much of their decorated careers. Both were double winners: Demorest in the 3000m steeplechase and the 5000m while Soratos won the 800m and 1500m. Both won the Big Sky Conference Most Valuable Athlete awards for their performances during the meet.
The women totaled five gold medals alongside 25 top eight finishers. Aside from Demorest’s two, senior Carly McCutchen won the heptathlon, senior Paige Squire set a new venue record in the 400m hurdles, and sophomore Christie Schiel won the 800m. The men grabbed three gold medals including the two from Soratos and the third from javelin winner, junior Tanner Gambill. The men also placed 15 athletes in the top eight of their events.
Ten Bobcat women grabbed all-conference honors and four men earned the all-conference accolades. Eight of these top athletes qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships by ranking in the top 48 performers in their event for the West Region. These competitors will be looking for the chance to advance to the NCAA Nationals later this month. Soratos and Demorest qualified for regionals and are accompanied on the men’s side by senior Sean Ferriter in the hammer throw and Gambill and sophomore Ty Bermes in the javelin. For the women, Squire, senior Chatel Jaeger in the 400m, and junior Casey Teska in the pole vault round out the MSU contingent.
Of the eight Bobcats that advanced to regionals, four placed in the top 12 at regionals and will advance to nationals. Soratos took 3rd overall in the 1500m, and advanced alongside Squire, Demorest and Ferriter. The 2015 NCAA Track and Field Championships will take place in Eugene, Oregon on June 10.