At the beginning of the season, the Montana State cross country team set some high goals. With a double win at the Montana Invitational, the Cats took a step toward realizing those goals. After the Bozeman Invitational, Coach Lyle Weese preached he was looking for continual improvement as the season went on. He has to be satisfied with the improvement of both teams after they won the Montana Invitational in Missoula this weekend.
The youth movement led the Bobcats with Alyssa Snyder’s (Fr.) second place finish and Matthew Gotta (So.) placing fourth. Both teams had four runners place in the top ten. Men’s team newcomers continued their success with freshmen Justice Lamar, Ty Mogan and junior transfer Diego Leon all placing in the top ten.
Winning tends to be easy when you have six racers placing in the top 20. Brock Sandry (Fr.) placed 13th for the Bobcats and rounding out the top 20 was senior Ethan Wilhelm. The Bobcats have shown that their depth will be a key factor in their attempt to win the Big Sky Conference Championship.
The women’s team showcased their depth, with seven runners placing in the top 20. All eight of the Bobcat runners were within a minute of each other.
Summer Goodwin of UNA-Gonzaga won the men’s race at 24:50, and Kinsey Gomez of Idaho taking the women’s with a time of 17:59 took the individual titles. Meet host University of Montana took sixth in the men’s race and fourth in the women’s. Due to injury, University of Montana star freshman Makena Morley did not race as a precautionary measure .
Expectations continue to build for the cross country program. With underclassmen continuing to show strength they look to take the show on the road on Oct. 17 in Louisville, KY where they will compete in the Pre-National Cross Country Invitational. With the first race outside of Montana, the Bobcats will face some gigantic hurdles testing the young legs against national competition.