MSU sweeps Montana at Cat-Griz Dual

BOZEMAN — Montana had plenty of individual highlights Saturday at the annual Cat-Griz Dual — namely Sammy Evans breaking her own school record in the triple jump and winning three events — but Montana State came away with tight wins in both duals. (Results)

The Bobcats won the women’s head-to-head 104-96, the men’s 100.5-93.5, to sweep the Grizzlies for the third straight year.

“I don’t think either team was at full strength, but we had enough talent to win both duals. We just got outperformed. They competed better and well enough to beat us,” said coach Brian Schweyen.

The Montana women had five first- and second-place sweeps in the 17 individual events to Montana State’s four, but the Bobcats won both relays and did well enough in the rest of the events to claim the narrow victory.

Which takes only some of the luster off Evans’ performance. She won the 200 meters, improved upon her Big Sky Conference-leading long jump mark with a career-best leap of 19-5.5 and had a 42-foot triple jump that wasn’t wind-aided.

She went 42-0.75 last weekend at the Oregon Relays, her first time breaking the 42-foot barrier, but it had just enough of a tailwind that it did not count for a school record. She went 42-0.75 again on Saturday, this time with negligible wind.

Evans helped Montana to sweeps in three of the four jumps, with Butte High graduate Erika McLeod taking second in the long jump at 18-5, Carla Nicosia second in the triple jump at a career-best 37-1.25.

Carrie Jacka, who cleared 12-1.5, her second time over a 12-foot bar in three weeks, and Claire Dalman, who went 11-1.75, gave Montana a 1-2 finish in the pole vault.

Montana’s other 1-2 sweeps came in the 1,500 meters behind Emily Pittis (4:45.33) and Lauryn Wate (4:45.75) and the discus behind Kayla Holmes (139-2) and Anna Pershouse (133-7).

Morgan Sulser, hanging in the high 14s for most of the spring, had a clean, fast race to win the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 14.42, and Jessica Bailey, running as the only Grizzly, won the steeplechase in a career-best adjusted time of 10:47.88.

In the 400-meter hurdles, Montana State’s Amanda Jaynes, the Big Sky’s No. 3-ranked athlete, outran McLeod, the conference’s No. 4-ranked athlete, by more than three seconds, and Lindsey Dahl, No. 3 in the Big Sky, failed to reach 140 feet for the first time this spring and finished second in the javelin.

And Emily Cheroske had her first off race in the 800 meters in nearly a month, points here and there that held Montana back. “It’s disappointing, because you can look across the board and see where we could have done some things and weren’t able to,” said Schweyen.

Montana State’s Carlie Haeffner, a Butte High grad, placed third in the high jump.

In the men’s dual, Montana State used strong showings in the distance races and throws to defeat Montana for the fifth time in six years, which takes away only a little from some of the Grizzlies’ individual performances.

Alex Mustard swept the 100 and 200 meters, both in non-adjusted career-best times of 10.71 and 21.68, and Sterling Reneau dominated the 400 meters, winning with a raw time of 47.49, his first time going sub 47.5.

Dylan Reynolds took over the top spot in the Big Sky in the 400-meter hurdles, running a career-best 52.45, with Callum Macnab coming in second at 55.72. Reynolds also earned five points for the Grizzlies in the long jump, winning at 22-5.

Montana also swept the 110-meter hurdles behind Jacob Leininger’s time of 14.59 and Taylor Trollope’s season-best 14.79.

The Grizzlies swept both relays, clocking a 41.44 to win the 4×100 and a 3:16.37 to win the 4×400. Matt Quist and Lee Hardt went 1-2 in the high jump, both clearing 6-4.75, and Jensen Lillquist led a 1-2 finish in the javelin, throwing 202-7. Daniel Jones was second at 173-4.

Montana’s other winner on Saturday was Cody Curtis, a sub-1:52 runner long ago, who might be on his way back to that elite level. He won with a time of 1:55.49, his best time in nearly a year.

The Grizzlies will be at home the next two weeks as they make their final push for the Big Sky championships, which will be held May 11-14 at Greeley, Colo.

The three-day Montana Open will be held at Dornblaser Field next week, Thursday through Saturday. The Tom Gage Classic is scheduled for Friday, May 6.

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