Women’s Cross Country earns second-place, men take fifth at Big Sky Conference Championships

The women’s cross country team finished second at the Big Sky Conference (BSC) Championships on Oct. 28  in Riverdale, Utah, while the men’s team earned fifth place, both higher finishes than last year.

Junior Kelsi Lasota led the Bobcats and placed fourth overall with a time of 17:32.1. Lasota achieved All-Conference with her fast finish, along with junior Caroline Hardin, who finished in tenth overall with a time of 17:51.1. Freshman Patricia Carlson received the Freshman of the Year Award with her twelfth place finish and 17:54.5 time, making her the fastest freshman in the race.

Sophomore Anna French, who placed 32nd with a time of 18:20.7, said in preparation for the tournament, “We’ve been perfecting our workouts and we are trying to work together as a team.”

The men’s team’s goal was to place higher than their sixth-place finish last season, junior Anthony Schmalz said. The men’s mindset going into the tournament was “to have fun and do the best that we can, and also improve off of last year’s sixth-place finish,” Schmalz said.

Schmalz finished fourth for the Bobcats and 39th overall. The men’s team was led by freshmen Brandon Hough, who finished 13th with a five-mile time of 24:55.9, and Collin Buck, finishing 26th with a time of 25:29.0.

Head Coach Lyle Weese said, “It was an exciting day for us. It’s been quite a few years since the women’s team placed second, so it is very exciting.” Weese was especially pleased with the two freshmen leaders from the men’s team, Hough and Buck. He said, “It is really difficult to be competitive as freshmen, so I’m really excited for them.”

The Big Sky Tournament was the last meet for the Big Sky Conference season. On Nov. 10, the Bobcats will travel to Utah for the Division One Mountain Region Championships to potentially qualify for the NCAA Championships in Louisville on Nov. 18.

Montana State runners compete during the MSU – Bozeman Running Company Invitational in Bozeman, Mont. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (MSU photo by Colter Peterson)