The men’s cross country team snatched a snowy second place finish while the women’s team captured first at the annual MSU-Bozeman Running Co. Invitational. The Bobcats ran on Sept. 16 at the Bridger Creek Golf Course for their first home meet of the season.
Lead Bobcat runner sophomore Cameron Carroll finished the five mile race first overall with a time of 25:45, a solid 12 seconds before the second place runner. Freshman Riley Collins finished sixth with a 26:07, followed by freshman Brandon Hough in seventh place at 26:13. Junior Anthony Schmalz came in fifteenth at 26:38, and sophomore Gannon Chamberlain finished in nineteenth with a time of 26:46, putting the top five scoring MSU runners in the top 20 overall.
The drizzling snow did not dampen the Bobcats’ determination to perform on their home turf as they led the pack in the first and second mile. At mile three, each runner ran their individual paces. Carroll outpaced his teammates to take a generous lead for the final lap on the golf course.
“I wasn’t totally expecting it. I just felt way more confident than last year,” Carroll said. “I put a lot more miles under me, so the whole race felt a bit easier.” Carroll and the entire team worked hard over the summer, and according to Head Coach Lyle Weese, their training paid off. He said Carroll finished further back in the race last year, somewhere around 60-80th place. Weese credits Carroll’s victory to “his hard work over the summer.”
“It was a great start and a great kickoff to the year, they just want to keep getting better and keep building,” Weese commented in regards to the remainder of the season. Alongside sophomore Carroll, freshmen standouts Riley Collins and Brandon Hough finished second and third for the Bobcats.
New addition Hough came to Montana State from Dana Point, California. “I think it’s going to be a great place for him,” his father, Jay Hough, said, “and we are all excited to have him here.”
This exciting start for Hough and the rest of the team is “a pretty good indication” to the rest of the season according to Coach Weese. The Bobcats will continue building on this energy at their second meet in Missoula on Sept. 29 where Carroll plans “to take it one race at a time.”