Big Sky Conference

Montana State’s Leon breaks program record 5,000-meter time at Mt. SAC Relays


TORRANCE, Calif. – Senior Diego Leon continued his stellar final season representing the Montana State track and field program with one of the top performances of his Bobcat career. The distance runner broke the school record in the 5,000-meter run at the Mt. SAC Relays at El Camino College’s Murdock Stadium on Friday, April 20.

Leon finished sixth out of 36 Division I runners in the Invitational Elite field at the nationally-recognized meet in a time of 13 minutes, 39.89 seconds. That mark moved him all the way up to the program’s first spot on the event’s top 10 list, surpassing record holder Shannon Butler. The time by Butler (13:41.61) was set in 1991 in his run that helped him capture Montana State track and field’s first Division I outdoor national championship.

Leon’s time also moves him into the top five among all NCAA West Region competitors this season and among the top 10 in the nation at this time.

Bobcats set numerous lifetime bests at Beach Invitational Saturday

MSU thrower Kyle Douglass at the Montana Open two years ago/by Brooks Nuanez

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Five different Bobcats altered the track and field program’s all-time top 10 chart to highlight Montana State’s performance at the Beach Invitational on Saturday, April 21, at Long Beach State’s Jack Rose Track.

Seniors Kyle Douglass and Mason Storm completed top-10 showings and altered the Bobcat record book.

Douglass took fifth overall in the shot put by crossing over 60 feet with a toss of 60-01.25 (18.32m) which was a new outdoor lifetime-best mark for the MSU thrower. His shot put moved him from fourth to second all-time in program history, trailing by 9 inches Dennis Black’s school-record mark he set in 1994. Douglass also maintained his top spot among Big Sky competitors in the event this season.

Storm took 10th in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.44 seconds. That time moved him all the way to fifth in the event in Bobcat history and is the fifth-best mark in the Big Sky during the outdoor campaign.

“This was probably our most successful trip that we’ve ever had to California in terms of performances that were turned in by our kids,” Montana State head coach Dale Kennedy said. “It certainly was fun to watch them compete. We really saw the improvement that we came down here looking for. It was just another step up for the kids that made it down here. Now, we need to re-group and get everybody else on board for the Cat-Griz Dual next week.”

Three other top-10 program altering marks occurred on the track.

Freshman Drake Schneider jumped to the top of the Big Sky performance list with a sixth-place showing in the 400 hurdles. His time of 52.70 also tied him for 10th on MSU’s 400 hurdles top 10 list.

Junior Jadin Casey finished 10th in the 400 in a time of 47.67 that moved him to the No. 5 slot in Bobcat history. His mark was a personal-best outdoors and is currently the third fastest in the Big Sky Conference.

Freshman Trisha Carlson wrapped up her weekend in California by moving into the MSU outdoor 800 top 10. She clocked in at 2:12.40 to jump into 10th on the event list for the Bobcats.

A trio of Bobcats began the day participating in the Intercollegiate at Long Beach State’s Jack Rose Track. 

Senior Calvin Root had the highlight effort for MSU. He set a lifetime-best mark in the hammer throw by reaching a mark of 205 feet, 3 inches (62.75m). His throw was more than 5 1/2 feet farther than his previous personal best and it moved him from ninth to fifth all-time in school history. Root earned a fifth-place showing out of 33 competitors while moving to 20th in the NCAA West Region rankings.

Douglass completed two solid throws for the Bobcats. Douglass competed in stacked fields in both the discus throw and shot put. He placed fourth out of 38 in the shot put with a mark of 57-04.75 (17.49m) and also finished fifth out of 44 in the discus behind a throw of 175-09 (53.58m).

Carlson and junior Kelsi Lasota completed the day by racing under the Murdock Stadium lights in the Mt. SAC Relays at El Camino College.

Carlson continued her stout collegiate debut season with a runner-up showing in the 3,000-meter open C division race. Out of 25 competitors from across the country and primarily from the Division I ranks, Carlson narrowly took second place by just seven hundredths of a second behind Sarah Medved of Portland State.

The Bobcat distance runner’s time of 10 minutes, 21.63 seconds improved her all-time ranking in program history from fifth to second and was 14 seconds faster than her previous lifetime-best mark. Carlson now owns the 13th best time in the West Region in the event.

Lasota ran in the final heat of the 10,000 invitational elite race and finished in first place in a time of 33:51.85. Lasota earned a lifetime-best mark that put her into second all-time in school history. The mark is less than a minute behind record holder Alyssa Snyder’s time set a year ago, and more than 30 seconds faster than Ariana Lee’s now third-place mark that was set in 2003.

Lasota’s time also put her 11th in the West Region rankings and was 13th overall among the Invitational field.

The Montana State track and field teams return to the Treasure State for their final two regular season meets before the Big Sky Conference Championships in Moscow, Idaho. The Bobcats head to Missoula on April 28 to take on Montana in the annual Cat-Griz Dual.

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