By COLTER NUANEZ
As the regular season winds down, the Montana State track and field team seems to be peaking at the right time.
In Missoula on Sunday, a slew of Bobcats, particularly on the women’s side, put together solid performances as MSU finishes up the regular-season portion of its schedule.
With distance senior stars Heather Demorest and Cristian Soratos in California at the Payton Jordan Invitational, the Bobcats leaned on their hurdlers and sprinters in Missoula.
“The team keeps getting better,” head coach Dale Kennedy said in an MSU press release. “We rested a few athletes today to keep them healthy for the last two meets, but overall the team is looking healthy and fresh with two weeks left.”
Competing just up the road from her Bitterroot Valley hometown, Corvallis native Paige Squire swept the 100 and 400-meter hurdles. The senior ran 14.02 in the 100 hurdles and a career-best 58.58 in the 400 hurdles.
Senior Chantel Jaeger and sophomore Josephine Petruska finished 1-2 in the 400 meters, running times of 54.08 and 55.11. Sarah Dolese and Daryan Box also found top finishes in the 100, running the race in 12.24 and 12.31. MSU continued the streak finding top finishes in the 800, with Christie Schiel placing first (2:13.74) and Kaylee Schmits placing behind her (2:14.28). In the 200, the ‘Cats earned the top three spots with Dolese leading the way. Dolese finished in 25.24, Chelsea Borque placed behind her in 25.26 and Box placed third with a time of 25.31.
Petruska, Jaeger, Squire and senior Iris Hardason teamed up to run 46.25 in the 4x100, the best time of the season.
In the field events, Kristi VandeBergh won the discus throw, marking a distance of 144-09. Chrisp found her way to the top in the long jump with a jump of 17-09, with Megan Ralstin finishing behind her (16-09.25). Carley Haeffner and Alisa Gilchrist earned top finishes in the high jump, both recording marks of 5-05 feet.
For the men, senior Sean Ferriter continued to set the pace. The Butte Central product put up another winning mark in the hammer, throwing 203-01. Kyle Douglass won two events, throwing the shot put 54-00.50 and the discus 160-02.
Matthew Gotta finished first in the 3,000 steeplechase in his first appearance in the event. Gotta finished in 9:34.46. Running the 110-meter hurdles, Mason Storm finished second with a time of 15.22. Michael Asay and Seth Garbett went one-two in the 5,000 posting times of 14:56.39 and 15:01.37, respectively
To round out MSU’s field events, Storm won the long jump with a jump of 22-09.75 and Ryan Kropp cleared a height of 15-11 in the pole vault.
In California, Demorest finished seventh in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:14.16. Soratos competed at the same invitational, finishing fourth in the 1,500 with a time of 3:39.68.
The Bobcats return home for senior day and the Tom Gage Classic on Friday.