Posted: Oct 4, 2013 4:49 PM by Ted Dawson
Updated: Oct 4, 2013 5:02 PM
For the third consecutive year, Montana State Cross Country won the Montana Open, hosted by longtime rival Montana at the UM Golf Course on Friday morning. Both Bobcat teams took first place among six total teams, including MSU-Billings, Central Washington, Carroll and Rocky Mountain, in addition to the meet host.
The day began with the women's 6K race under near perfect racing conditions at the University of Montana Golf Course. After a huge first outing of her senior year, Heather Demorest came on all cylinders once again. The Darby, Mont. native took the lead from the starting gun and never looked back. Demorest was the 2012 top scoring finisher but essentially placed second behind unattached Kara DeWalt. This year she was the sole winner and was one of four Bobcats to finish in the top-five. She crossed the finish line in 21:10.
Sophomore Rachel Atwood took second place in one of the best races of her career, coming in with a time of 21:54. Freshman Jenette Northey placed fourth overall (22:15), followed by Christie Schiel in fifth (22:23). Rachel Sullivan came in ninth with a time of 22:40. Rounding out the Blue and Gold women's competitors were Kaylee Schmitz in 19th (23:23) and Taylor Floming in 23rd (23:45).
"This was another solid performance from our women," said head coach Dale Kennedy. "We're starting to see improvements overall, but especially in the bottom part of the lineup. Improvement and working together as a pack really becomes key at this point of the season as we head into our next meet in a few weeks."
Just one year ago, the Bobcat men swept all seven spots in the men's 8K race and while they may not achieved the exact same result, all scoring Bobcats finished within in the top-20, including taking the top four places in the meet. Trevor Polson, who placed second at the at the Bozeman Running Company Invitational to open his final season of competition, took it to the next level when he was the individual winner with a time of 25:23. The win marks his first individual victory of his cross country career.
MSU was then supplemented by a second place finish from Seth Garbett (25:29) and Jacob Kirk in third (25:30). Zach Kughn had a huge day when he came in fourth place in 25:41 to stick with the front runners.
Jakob Woodland and Joel Estelle came in eighth and ninth, respectively. Grant Grosvenor closed out the Bobcat scorers with a 17th place finish with a time of 26:52.
"Like the women, we saw some good progress today," Kennedy said. "To see individual performances like these today, especially on a course like this, should really help us prepare for the next meet and see where we stand at higher level of competition."
MSU Cross Country will take next week off from the races but returns Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Pre-National Invitational, hosted by Indiana State.