By COLTER NUANEZ
In his outdoor season debut, Cristian Soratos continued to shatter records.
The Montana State senior missed the first two weeks of the outdoor track and field season with some nagging injuries left over from his All-America indoor campaign. At the Utah Spring Classic at the University of Utah on Friday and the Wildcat Open at Weber State on Saturday, Soratos debuted in impressive fashion.
The Big Sky Conference indoor champion in the 800 meters and the mile ran what would’ve been a McCarthy Family Outdoor track record 1:49.46 in the 800 if Utah State freshman Clay Lambourne didn’t run a 1:49.38 to take first. On Saturday, Soratos ran a 3:44.24 in the 1,500, a school record and good enough for a 3.65-second win. The stellar weekend was one of many on a successful trip to the Beehive State.
"The University of Utah is always such a great place to compete," head coach Dale Kennedy said. "Not only are the facilities and scenery incredible, but the competition is always excellent. Coming away with some top finishes was great to see with the amount of talent that was here."
Chantel Jaeger continued to pace an MSU women’s team that’s getting major resultes from its seniors. Jaeger ran a personal-best 11.84 in the 100 meters to take fifth, then ran 24.44 to win the 200 later that day. In Ogden Saturday, Jaeger ran 54.36 in the 400 to win the event. All three times were qualifying marks for the Big Sky Outdoor Meet.
Heather Demorest, Rachel Sullivan and Jenette Northey took the top three spots in the 5,000, with Demorest breaking the McCarthey Family Track facility record. The senior ran a 17:06.19 race, with Sullivan behind her (18:13.18) and Northey coming in third (18:14.30). Demorest ran a winning time of 10:35.22 in her first 3,000 steeplechase of 2015. Senior Michael Asay ran 15:08.88 to win the men’s 5,000 Friday.
Jaeger joined with seniors Paige Squire and Iris Hardason and sophomore Josephine Petruska to win the 4x400 (3:42.23), the fourth-best mark in school history. Saturday, Carley McCutchen ran the opening leg on the winning 4x100 (46.74) team that included Squire, Jaeger and Hardason. On Friday with Petruska in the mix instead of McCutchen, the Bobcats ran a season-best 46.60 in the 4x100.
Petruska ran a personal-best 12.10 in the 100 on Friday to take sixth. Her time of 25.08 in the 200 was the fourth-best in the field. On Saturday, Petruska was less than a second behind Jaeger, taking second in the 400 in 55.08. Hardason took fourth in the 400 at 56.08.
Squire continued her strong start to her final season, winning the 100-meter hurdles in 13.83 seconds. Her time of 1:01.06 in the 400-meter hurdles was good enough for second.
The throwers continued to pace the MSU men. The throwers and the field athletes managed to notch six top-three finishes.
At the Wildcat Open, senior Sean Ferriter threw a personal-best 210-04 to win the hammer. Zach Sharp took second with a heave of 176-02, just short of a Big Sky qualifying mark. Ty Bermes threw the javelin 221-02, the third-farthest in school history, to outpace teammate Tanner Gambill’s 216-10 throw.
MSU also got strong performances from jumpers on the men’s and women’s side. Freshman Alexander Lewis just missed a win in the long jump with a jump of 22-07, six inches less than former Bobcat Jake Mushaben who competed unattached. Lewis won the long jump on Saturday with a leap of 45-01 feet.
Friday, McCutchen won the long jump, jumping to No. 4 on MSU's all-time top 10 list by soaring 19-03.25. Casey Teska and Amy Rovira went two-three in the pole vault, with Teska earning a bid to the conference championships. Teska cleared a height of 12-09. Saturday, Ryan Kropp went 15-06 to take third in the men’s pole fault.
“It was a great weekend for the whole team,” MSU head coach Dale Kennedy said in an MSU press release. “I’m really proud of how the team competed. We’re sitting at a great spot three weeks into the season.”
A handful of Bobcat Track and Field athletes will be competing in California next weekend. The ‘Cats will return home on May 8 for the Tom Gage Classic and Senior Day.