On Friday, Sept. 29, the MSU cross country team had a successful bout in the Montana Invitational at The University of Montana golf course against both Eastern Washington University and host University of Montana. The women’s team built on their early season success as they blew by their opponents at each duel, while the men’s team split the two duels.
In the tense five-kilometer race, the women’s team swept their opponents, outpacing both UM 24-35 and Eastern Washington 22-39. Leading the way was senior Caroline Hardin, who finished third overall with a staggering time of 18 minutes and 11 seconds. Finishing after Hardin was junior Kelsi Losata, only a short eight seconds behind at fifth place and sophomore Anna French in seventh place with a time of 18 minutes 26 seconds. At tenth place, sophomore Madison Liechty ran a time of 18 minutes and 35 seconds, giving MSU four top 10 finishers in the race.
The men’s team ran a tough eight-kilometer race and fell to Eastern Washington 26-30, but managed to defeat rival and host University of Montana 22-33. It was a big day for the underclassmen as freshman Riley Collins finished just outside of the top ten at twelfth place with a time of 26 minutes and 28 seconds. Not far behind him was junior Anthony Schmalz, running 27 minutes and 17 seconds to earn himself twenty-second place. Only seven seconds behind was sophomore Andrew Vandine at 27 minutes 24 second. Freshman Chris Bianchini finished with a time of 27 minutes 37 seconds.
Looming ahead for the Bobcat cross country teams is the Big Sky Conference Championships. Only one race remains before championships this season, and the Bobcats will travel to Santa Clara, California, where the team will race in the Bronco Invitational on Oct. 14.