MSU set to compete in Bengal Invitational, site of 2022 Big Sky Championship
Montana State’s athletics program returns to competition this weekend as the Bobcats begin their build to the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships. MSU is set to participate in the Bengal Invitational, hosted by Idaho State, at Davis Field, home of the Big Sky fixture which runs May 11-14.
“It will be great to get to the site of conference championships and allow our team to gain experience at track and field event sites,” said Lyle Weese, director of athletics for the state of Montana. “It’s a really nice facility to compete in. We were there last spring, so we’re excited to be back.”
The Bobcats will have a variety of athletes competing when they meet in Pocatello. Events begin Friday at 2:30 p.m. while the program continues Saturday at 11 a.m. MSU also appeared in the 2021 version of the Bengal Invitational which saw Bobcat athletes record eight new all-time top 10s in the team’s record books.
“Last year was a very strong competition,” Weese said. “Part of that may be because some of the larger invites have been rescinded, but it’s looking pretty strong again. There are teams from the Big Sky Conference, Mountain West and WAC, as well as There should be a solid level of competition and it will be good for our team to compete in a competition with large pitch sizes.”
Montana State still ranks highly in various USTFCCCA athletics rating indexes, even after a week-long hiatus. Bobcat men and women rank 45th and 66th nationally, respectively, with each also ranked second among Big Sky schools in the TFRI conference.
This weekend’s fixture series is the penultimate of the regular season, with MSU heading to Missoula for the Tom Gage Invitational on May 7 as the team’s regular season finale.
“We’re definitely coming to the competitive season where we’re really looking to perform,” Weese said. “Obviously you want to do well in the early season meetings. But, when you’re two weeks away from the conference, you have to be ready to go. I’m sure overall we’re training, but that should be down a bit for this meeting, and especially over the next two weeks as we head into the conference.”
Five Montana State distance runners will compete in a separate meet from the rest of the team. Levi Taylor (steeplechase), Duncan Hamilton (steeplechase), Camila Noe (10,000), Ben Perrin (5,000) and Matthew Richtman (5,000) all are expected to appear in the Payton Jordan Invitational hosted by Stanford on Friday. The first race for this group begins at 8:30 p.m. MT with all five working to improve their times in their respective events.
“I think it will be a great experience for our distance athletes running at Stanford,” Weese said. “The Mt. SAC relay meet was a good thing for them to attend and we hope to build on that. Everyone has something they can take away from this meet.
“Duncan is trying to improve his PR and get a world A standard. Levi has made a breakthrough and is close to the top of the NCAA so if he can get a PR you start looking at the state championships United and qualify there Camila will make it be in her first 10K fast so she’s looking for a time that can be a regional qualifier Ben and Matt can also get a regional mark in the 5K so all five have something to aim.
Live results from the Bengal Invitational and Payton Jordan Invitational can be found on the Montana State Athletics Program page on msubobcats.com.