EUGENE, Ore. — The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships are set to begin, Wednesday, June 11, and three Bobcats certainly deserve the opportunity to be at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Grant Grosvenor, Carley McCutchen and Jeff Mohl punched their tickets for the National Championships and are ready to do Montana State proud this week.
Returning for their second NCAA appearance are Grosvenor and Mohl in their respective events. Last year, as a sophomore, Grosvenor made his Big Dance debut in the 800 following a runner-up performance at the 2013 Big Sky Championships and a ninth place finish at the NCAA West Preliminary. In just his second year of collegiate competition, he finished as a second team All-America, placing 12th in the nation. This season, the Mill Creek, Washington native came in 11th at the West Regional and finished fourth in the Big Sky in his signature event, while earning league runner-up honors in the 1,500. At the NCAA West Prelims, he set a new program record in 1:49.02, also the race that punched his ticket to Eugene. He bested his own record of 1:49.28 set just one year ago.
“Grant has worked very hard this season,” said head coach Dale Kennedy. “He’s peaking at the right time and seeing the results we’re all after. He’ll need to run a smart race and give his best effort, which he’s been doing all season.” Grosvenor is seeded 21st out of 24 competitors.
For Jeff Mohl, the NCAA Championships will serve as the culmination of what can only be called a prolific collegiate career. With two other NCAA appearances under his belt, one indoor and one outdoor, the Red Lodge, Montana native has the experience to finish on top. He’s won both the 2012 and 2014 Big Sky Decathlon titles (he redshirted the 2013 season) and is finally rested and ready to put his best foot forward. At the 2012 Championships he placed 17th and will look for serious improvement during his last time out in Blue and Gold. Mohl’s best score this year tallied 7,359, while his lifetime best is 7,630. Despite minor injuries during the early part of the outdoor season, it’s allowed Mohl to feel more rested than ever, especially at this point of the long season. Mohl sits in 23rd of 24 spots for the NCAA decathlon.
“Jeff’s experience at this meet before will really serve him well,” said Kennedy. “He knows how to pace himself, not just in each event but over the course of two days. Jeff has truly exemplified what it means to be a student-athlete at the highest level and this is his time to shine.”
Carley McCutchen is the lone female Bobcat representative and is making her first and only NCAA outdoor appearance. Most recently, she earned the silver medal in the heptathlon at the Big Sky Championships with a lifetime best score of 5.391. The senior from Buckley, Washington secured the 24th and final spot in the elite meet and will look to cap off her outdoor career as best as she can, as well. She now ranks second all-time in the Bobcat record book behind assistant coach Erin Jones Graf and will seek the top of the ranks at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
“As a coaching staff, and as a program, we are thrilled for Carley,” Kennedy said. “There’s not too much more you can ask for in your final meet, whether indoor or outdoor. She’s worked hard to get here and we can’t wait to see how she does in this arena.”
Both the decathlon and the semifinals of the 800 will take place on Wednesday, June 11. Grosvenor’s race is set for 5.30 p.m. (MT), while the decathlon kicks off at 11 a.m. with the 100. Should Grosvenor advance to the finals, he will race on Friday, June 11 at 5:15. McCutchen’s heptathlon will commence on Thursday, as well with an 11 a.m. start. Grosvenor, McCutchen and Mohl are three of 12 Big Sky Conference athletets competing in the national stage.
— MSU Sports Information