MOSCOW, Idaho — Montana State's men's and women's track and field teams combined for seven event championships on Friday to highlight the Bobcats' final day at the 2018 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships at the Dan O'Brien Track and Field Complex.
The Bobcat men went back and forth with Northern Arizona and Southern Utah on Friday, but eventually finished in third place, while the MSU women's squad jumped up the team standings to take fourth.
The Lumberjack men won the championship with 131 points and the Thunderbirds narrowly edged MSU (119) with 122 points. NAU won the women's competition with 128 points as the Jacks were followed by Sacramento State (113), Weber State (88.50) and MSU (77). The Bobcat men's team's 119 points were the most recorded since the Bobcats earned 164 in a runner-up showing in 2012.
Six individuals earned conference titles for Montana State on Friday.
On the men's side, the Bobcats picked up 18 points in the 400-meter hurdles with freshman Drake Schneider and senior Christopher Lange crossing the line in a photo finish. Schneider (52.57) topped Lange (52.77) by two-tenths of a second as the two received the gold and silver medals in the event.
Senior throwers Kyle Douglass and Calvin Root each produced first-place showings.
Douglass recorded a lifetime-best throw in the discus when he registered a mark of 192 feet, 5 inches (58.66m). His mark kept him second all-time in program history in the event, but it moved him up to third in the NCAA West Region qualifying rankings. It was his third all-conference performance in the event during his Bobcat career and second outdoor title he's earned.
Root became a Big Sky Conference champion for the first time with his gold-medal effort in the hammer throw. His mark of 197-04 (60.16m) was four feet farther than the second-place finisher in the event.
Amanda Jaynes swept the hurdles and Kelsi Lasota made a big move down the stretch in the 5,000 to earn individual titles on the women's side.
Jaynes came into the meet at the top of the performance list in both the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles and didn't disappoint Friday. The senior won the 100 hurdles in a wind-aided time of 13.66 seconds for her first gold medal in the event. Her last individual performance followed the same tune as Jaynes took first in the 400 hurdles in a time of 58.27. Jaynes capped her Big Sky career with back-to-back championships in the event and a three-year streak of all-conference honors.
Lasota, a day after recording a runner-up finish in the 10,000, bounced back to claim gold in the 5,000. The junior had a late kick down the final stretch towards the finish line to earn first place with a time of 16:36.97. That mark is the fourth best in school history and helped her pick up her first Big Sky title.
The Bobcat men capped the day with one of their best feats of the meet. MSU's 4x400 relay of Schneider, Lange, Mitch Horning and Jadin Casey placed first in the event with a time of 3:12.27. That mark is the second fastest in program history and best time since 2005.
Six individuals scored points for the Bobcat men, while four others contributed to the MSU women's squad on Friday.
Sophomore Noah Martin reeled in the bronze medal in the men's high jump. Martin tied his personal-best mark by clearing 6-11 (2.11m). Alec Nerhing moved to 10th all-time in MSU laurels by completing a lifetime-best mark of 169-00 (51.52m) in the discus to take fifth overall.
Cameron Carroll led a Bobcat trio in the 800 by taking fourth in the 800 with his time of 1:52.26. He was followed by Samuel Bloom (1:54.14) and Chris Bianchini (1:54.48) who finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Jadin Casey (47.82) rounded out MSU's point scorers with his fifth-place finish in the 400 finals.
Tiffany Shearman earned her first all-conference honors by finishing runner-up in the women's javelin. Shearman topped her lifetime best in the event by almost 16 feet with her throw of 153-00 (46.64m). The throw moved up her to sixth best in program history while freshman Celestia Hammond (141-11) notched two points for MSU with her seventh-place showing.
Sophomore McKenna Ramsay had the top individual finish of her outdoor Big Sky visits by taking fourth in the 400 with a time of 55.18. Senior Carter Theade took eighth outright in the women's pole vault by clearing 11-08.50 (3.57m).
Both of MSU's 4x100 relays finished in the top eight among Big Sky relay squads to complete point scoring in the team standings.
Mutliple Bobcats narrowly missed out on helping team totals at the end.
Diego Leon placed ninth on the men's side in the 1,500 with his ninth-place finish. Both Isabella Calabrese and Carley VonHeeder took ninth in the pole vault and javelin, respectively, in the women's competition.
Megan Ralstin recorded a lifetime-best effort in the triple jump with her mark of 37-04.50 (11.39m), while Riley Collins also capped a personal-best time of 15:15.59 in the men's 5,000.
The Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships concludes the 2018 season for a majority of the Bobcats. Multiple MSU student-athletes will await the NCAA's announcement for qualifiers for the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, Calif, which is expected on Thursday, May 17.