Sarah McGree, Bobcats return to track

BOZEMAN — Three weeks down and three to go and the Montana State Track & Field team continues to ride the wave of success that 2013 has set up for them. MSU will keep that momentum going on Friday, Feb. 8, at the Bozeman Running Company Invitational. The scored, double-dual meet will feature the Bobcats, along with Big Sky Conference members Weber State and rival Montana.

The Bobcats enter the meet with 12 women qualified for the Big Sky Championships, which will take place Feb. 21-23, in Bozeman. The men have 15 with tickets punched to compete for at least one more weekend in February.

The Blue & Gold enter this week’s meet with serious momentum following the Mountain States Games in Pocatello, Idaho the previous weekend. Two more program records were broken when both the men’s and women’s distance medley relays blew away the field. The men’s record now stands at 9:45.33 besting the previous time of 9:50.43 set back in 1995. The women’s record time of 11:45.51 broke a record standing since 1998 of 11:50.56.

Missing from the lineup on Friday night will be Heather Haug, who is off to Seattle to compete in the Husky Classic against some of the Pac-12 Conference’s top athletes. However, returning to action will be Jeff Mohl and Sarah McGree, two of Montana State’s multi-events powerhouses. Mohl suffered an ankle injury at the Cougar Multis meet, while McGree, a Butte High graduate, has been battling a leg injury since the season-opening MSU Combined Events Invitational.

Last year, MSU swept the dual scoring with the men defeating Weber State, 70-52 and Montana, 73-54. The women overcame the Wildcats, 64.5-61.5 and topped the Griz, 72-53. In the Big Sky’s preseason poll, Montana State was picked second in the men’s rankings, above Weber, who was fourth and Montana in eighth. On the women’s side, Weber led the polls, with Montana and Montana State tied for sixth.

“This is always a fantastic meet, at a pivotal time of the indoor season,” said head coach Dale Kennedy. “Weber always gives us a great challenge, especially in the women’s distance events and the rivalry with Montana continues to push all the athletes to higher levels of competition. As we get closer to the Big Sky meet, stepping up and improving or getting those qualifiers is a huge focus.”

The meet will begin with the field events at 4 p.m. with track events at 5:30 and will be available on Big Sky TV.

— MSU Sports Information