By COLTER NUANEZ
For the second time in 2015, Carley McCutchen is a Big Sky Conference champion. And although the Montana State senior is competing in her final Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship, the Bobcats seem to be in good hands when it comes to dominating the muti-events.
McCutchen, the reigning indoor champion in the pentathlon, had a strong second day which included a huge long jump and solid marks in the javelin and the 800. McCutchen built a first-day lead then closed out the seven-event heptathlon for her first outdoor title. Her score of 5,273 barely bested MSU junior Danielle Muri’s 5,052 points.
The 1-2 heptathlon finish coupled with Jessica Chrisp’s seventh-place showing (4,630) stakes the MSU women to 20 team points entering the start of the full championship over the next two days in Cheney, Washington. Mason Storm pulled out a fifth-place finish despite missing most of the spring due to injury to score four points for the MSU men entering the official start of the meet.
“All four of our multi athletes set the tone for the second half of the meet,” head coach Dale Kennedy said in a press release. “The girls came up big for us with 20 team points and Mason adding four points for the men’s side really helps get us off to a good start.”
After 21 total events between the three women competitors, the ‘Cats came away with 17 top five finishes and three first place spots. McCutchen won the 100-meter hurdles and the 200 Wednesday and Muri won the shot put.
Thursday, McCutchen started the day with a 19-foot-3.25 long jump to finish second in the event. Muri posted a person-best of 18-05 to place third. The Muri jump also served as the ninth-farthest in MSU history. Chrisp finished sixth in the event with a jump of 17-10.75, also a career-high.
Muri earned a second place finish in the javelin, throwing a distance of 122-03. McCutchen placed third, marking a throw of 113-11 and Chrisp placed 14th (74-04). The event concluded with the 800. McCutchen finished in 2:17.4, finishing second in the race. Chrisp came fifth with a time of 2:21.3. Muri crossed the finish line in 2:26.5 to place 11th.
Storm began the day with urgency, notching a pair of first-place finishes. The sophomore won the 110-meter hurdles in 15.18 and the discus with a mark of 120-10. The Great Falls native placed fourth in the 1,500, running a time of 4:37.91 and finished the pole vault in fifth, clearing a height of 13-05.25.
“This great start should give the rest of the team momentum going into day three. The competition the next two days is going to be intense, but both the men’s and women’s teams are ready.”
Competition continues Friday at 11 a.m. with the men's hammer throw.