Bobcat cross country ready to Bear down

BOZEMAN – After two weeks off from competition and in the middle of serious distance training, Montana State Track and Field is ready to hit the course again, this time in Missoula at the Montana Invitational.

MSU put on a strong show at the season-opening Montana State Invitational back on Sept. 15 and head coach Dale Kennedy liked what he saw.

“I’m really pleased with how we started, a little surprised even,” said Kennedy. “I was particularly impressed with our freshman women, that’s one of the best starts we’ve had in program history.”

At the MSU Invitational, the Bobcat women took the team title defeating Utah, Utah State, Wyoming, Northern Colorado and Montana in the Division I scoring. All five scoring Bobcats finished among the top-20, including a sixth place finish from veteran Heather Demorest.

The remaining four Bobcats in the top-20 are rookies this year. Sarah Reiter came in 11th, followed by Megan Beam, a transfer from Rocky Mountain in 12th.  Rounding out the scoring five were Rachel Atwood and Rachel Sullivan in their first collegiate meet.

Kennedy expects and hopes for continued improvement at the Montana Invite from the entire squad.

“Now that we have that first meet out of the way and we’re progressing with our training, I’m eager to see what we’ll do this weekend,” said Kennedy. “This is only the second meet on the season but it’s the final meet before Pre-Nationals, so getting out there and competing is crucial.”

The men placed third at the MSU Invite and will also look to keep up fast times in Missoula. A slew of veterans will look to set the pace after Trevor Polson, Jacob Kirk and Seth Garbett all placed among the top-20 two weeks ago. Newcomers Cristian Soratos and Michael Asay also stayed at the front of the pack in the first meet of the year.

The women are slated to run a 5K race at 5:15 p.m. (MDT), while the men will run an 8K 30 minutes later. Due to smoky conditions, however, those race distances may become a 4K and 6K, respectively if those conditions persist.

The Montana Invitational will also serve as this year’s Cat-Griz cross country match-up. In 2011, the men prevailed over the Griz, 20-35, while the women fell, 25-30.

In addition to joining the Bobcats and Grizzlies, Big Sky Conference members Eastern Washington and North Dakota will compete, as well.

– MSU Sports Information