MSU XC impresses at season opener

It was perfect running conditions at the Bridger Creek Golf Course last Saturday, Sept. 17, as the Bobcat men lined up for a five mile race across beautiful rolling hills with the picturesque Bridgers in the background. At 9 a.m. the gun went off, and the men took off at a blistering pace, cruising through the first mile at 4:55 pace.

Sophomore Ty Mogan was the fastest runner for the MSU men. He crossed the finish line in 24:51, good for sixth place. He was followed by senior Zach Kughn, placing 21st in a time of 25:39, senior Adam Wollant, placing 25th in 26:02, sophomore Anthony Schmalz, placing 28th in 26:07, sophomore Noah Kirkland, placing 34th in a time of 26:20, freshman Cameron Carroll placing 36th in 26:32 and sophomore Martin Ponce, placing 37th in a time of 26:35. The MSU men also had a contingent of unattached runners in the top 20 with upperclassmen Diego Leon and Matt Gotta. They took home a fourth place team finish behind third place Wyoming, second place Weber State and winner Utah State. It was a promising debut for the blooming young team.

Immediately following the men’s race, the women were forming at the starting line to take on a three mile version of the same course. Many of the women’s teams took a tactical approach, staying packed up with teammates in the early stages of the race until things began to thin out. Standout sophomore Alyssa Snyder, coming off of a strong freshman year, led the cats with a tenth place finish in 17:10. MSU’s top seven also included sophomore Layne Oliver, 28th in 17:42, freshman Madison Liechty, 38th in 18:05, junior Louisa Serpe, 39th in 18:08, sophomore Kelsi Lasota, 40th in 18:08, freshman Kimberly Parsell, 43rd in 18:13, and freshman Sierra Tucker, 44th in 18:13. The young women’s squad took home a fifth place finish in team competition behind fourth place Utah State, third place Wyoming, second place Weber State and winner Utah.

The Women's MSU Cross Country team huddles together to mentally prepare for their upcoming race.
The Women’s MSU Cross Country team huddles together to mentally prepare for their upcoming race.
Senior Shawn Peden separates himself over his competitors as he nears the finish line.
Senior Shawn Peden separates himself over his competitors as he nears the finish line.
Madison Liechty has a strong start to her race and runs closely with many other runners.  Photos by Megan Fenwick
Madison Liechty has a strong start to her race and runs closely with many other runners.
Photos by Megan Fenwick

The Bobcats will be ready to compete at the Montana Invitational in Missoula on Sept. 30th.