Schmitz, Teska crowned conference champions

The Bobcats hosted the Big Sky Indoor Track and Field Conference Championships at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse last weekend, and came away with two individual conference champions. Though as a team the Cats did not finish as well as they may have hoped, with a team packed with underclassmen (after graduating a record 27 seniors last season), they have a lot to look forward to in the future. The meet took place over Feb. 25-27. The men finished fifth with a team total of 58 points, and the women finished eighth with 50.5 points. Northern Arizona’s men won with a total of 151 points, to become back-to-back champions. Sacramento State’s women also won for their second consecutive year with total of 103.5 points.

After breaking the school record in the 800 meter last meet (Feb. 19), junior Kaylee Schmitz won the women’s 800 meter in a time of 2:11.21. She now holds the record with a time of 2:08.50. “The last two years I’ve taken silver in the 800 and so finally winning that gold medal was an awesome way to end the season,” Schmitz said. The Bobcats had another champion; senior Casey Teska won the pole vault competition in a close match-up between Teska and Danielle Brandon of Sacramento State. Both vaulters jumped a height of 13-01.50, but Teska won on fewer jumps judged by the officials. “It was great to win the conference championship to complete an undefeated season. It made it extra special to win at home for my last indoor meet,” Teska said.

On the women’s side of the competition, sophomore Layne Oliver place seventh in the 1600 meter with a time of 5:05.10. Freshman Alyssa Snyder placed fourth in the 3000 meter in 10:04.01. The 1600 meter relay team of junior Jessica Chrisp, sophomore Taylor Buschy, sophomore Amanda Jaynes and junior Josephine Petruska placed fourth in a time 3:50.28. The MSU distance medley team placed sixth in a time of 12:15.08. Junior Carter Theade placed seventh in the pole vault at a height of 12-02.50. Senior Leah Cook jumped 36-10.50 to place eighth in the triple jump. Senior Danielle Rider place second in the Indoor Pentathlon.

On the men’s side, sophomore Mitch Horning placed fourth in the 60 meter dash as well as seventh in the 200 meter. Freshman Jadin Casey placed fifth in the 400 meter with a time of 48.77. Freshman Samuel Bloom ran a time of 1:56.12 to place sixth in the 800m. Freshman Matthew Gotta placed fourth in the 3000 meter in a time of 8:35.48, and seventh in the 5000 in a time of 15:02.88. The 1600 meter relay placed sixth in a time of 3:18.64, and the distance medley team placed fourth in a time of 10:22.40. Sophomore Alexander Lewis placed fourth in the long jump in 23-06.25. Senior Kevin Close and freshman Trevor Simanski placed seventh and eighth in the triple jump. Sophomore Kyle Douglass placed sixth in the shot put. Sophomore Calvin Root placed third in the weight throw with teammate senior Zach Sharp placing right behind him in fourth.

Mason Storm flies through the air during a long jump attempt. He placed 10th at the Big Sky conference championship meet with a jump of 21 feet 8 inches. Photos by Chris Sandison
Mason Storm flies through the air during a long jump attempt. He placed 10th at the Big Sky conference championship meet with a jump of 21 feet 8 inches. Photos by Chris Sandison
Luke Middelstadt takes off during a Pole Vault attempt at the Big Sky conference championship meet where he placed 9th with a jump of 14 feet 7 inches.
Luke Middelstadt takes off during a Pole Vault attempt at the Big Sky conference championship meet where he placed 9th with a jump of 14 feet 7 inches.
Austin Decker swings up to the bar in the men’s pole vault. He placed 7th at the Big Sky conference championship meet with a vault of 15 feet 1 inch.
Austin Decker swings up to the bar in the men’s pole vault. He placed 7th at the Big Sky conference championship meet with a vault of 15 feet 1 inch.
Tristen Gray attempts to clear the bar on the High Jump at the Big Sky conference championship meet.
Tristen Gray attempts to clear the bar on the High Jump at the Big Sky conference championship meet.
Alexander Lewis extends his legs in preparation for landing. He placed 4th at the Big Sky conference championship meet with a jump of 23 feet 6 inches.
Alexander Lewis extends his legs in preparation for landing. He placed 4th at the Big Sky conference championship meet with a jump of 23 feet 6 inches.

“This is a very young group of student athletes that are very engaged in the process and are moving toward a conference championship in the next three years. We will take the next step in that long process in the upcoming outdoor season,” said head coach Dale Kennedy. The MSU track team will begin their outdoor season in Bozeman on March 26 at the Montana State Open.