BOZEMAN — While only 29 of the 424 athletes were competing at the first day of the Big Sky Championships, there was no shortage of action in Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.
Starting off with the 55 hurdles in the women’s pentathlon, Montana State’s Carley McCutchen and Sarah McGree finished in the top-four to kick the day off. McCutchen clocked in with a personal best time of 8.21 to take second in her heat and third overall. McGree, a Butte High graduate, also took second in her heat for fourth place in the field of 18. Her time of 8.33 also marks a lifetime best for the senior veteran. Kortnee Barrett came in 18th with 9.57.
In the high jump, two Bobcats were a part of a three-way tie for second place when both McCutchen and McGree completed heights of 1.62m (5-03.75). That height of 1.62 marked a lifetime best for McGree who is competing in her first complete pentathlon this season. Barrett rounded out the Bobcats in 17th place with 1.44m (4-08.75
McGree capitalized on her momentum from the high jump and used that as some serious ammo in the shot put. She won the shot in 12.10m (39-08.50). In one of her stronger events, Kortnee Barrett came in fifth with a throw of 11.17m (36-07.75). McCutchen brought up the rear in 14th with 9.35m (30-08.25).
The long jump didn’t put up the points the Bobcats may have expected, but it did keep MSU in the same places. McGree was the highest finisher for the Bobcats, coming in third with 5.38m (17-08.00). McCutchen placed sixth with 5.22m (17-01.50).
In the final event of the pentathlon, despite middle of the pack finishes in the 800, it was enough to secure an all-conference finish for McGree, a fourth place finish for McCutchen and a 14th place for Barrett.
McGree’s 3,741 points earned her a bronze medal and an All-Big Sky Conference nod, the third of her career. Her score also marks a lifetime best. McCutchen ended in fourth place with a score of 3,517. With 3,088 points, Barrett placed 14th overall.
Portland Stat’s Joenisha Vinson was the Big Sky Champion after finishing as the runner-up in 2012 with a score of 3,922.
The highly anticipated men’s heptathlon was nothing short of exciting on day one. Jeff Mohl ended the opening day in second place with 3,125 points. Rival Austin Emry of Montana holds the overall lead with 3,246. Pow Williamson is in fourth place and will seek his first all-conference nod on day two.
Emry took the first lead with 854 points and a 6.59 win in the 55 dash, with Mohl just on his heels in 6.60. Powhattan Williamson came in third with a lifetime best 6.66 in the dash.
Event two went to Mohl in the long jump after he launched himself to a 7.20m (23-07.50). This time, Emry took second with 7.06. With a distance of 6.47m (21-02.75), Williamson secured fourth place.
Mohl took the lead with the long jump but surrendered it to Emry following the shot put.In the shot, Mohl placed second again, with a throw of 12.24m (40-02.00), which did mark a lifetime best for the Red Lodge, Mont. native. Again, Williamson took third with 11.20m (36-09.00).
In their final event of the day, much like the other three, it came down to Mohl and Emry. Mohl hit 2.02m (6-07.50) but was again bested by Emry who maxed out at 2.05m (6-08.75). Pow Williamson tied for sixth with 1.72m (5-07.75).
After the first day, both the Bobcat Men and Women sit in first place with 11 total points each.
The final day of the heptathlon begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, starting with the 55 hurdles. The first full day of competition also begins Friday with the women’s weight throw at 1:30 and running events commencing at 4:15 p.m.
— MSU Sports Information