‘Accelerator Down’: Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Championships Begin Wednesday in Bozeman


BOZEMAN, Mont. — Following one of the best regular seasons in their storied history, Montana State track and field takes center stage this week looking for their first outdoor conference championships in twenty years—doing so on their home track.

The 2024 Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be hosted at Bobcat Track and Field Complex this week from May 8-11 for the first time since 2012.

The men’s decathlon and ’s heptathlon get underway on Wednesday morning and conclude Thursday afternoon, with all other events starting Friday and continuing through Saturday.

The multi-events over the first two days are free to attend, while tickets for Friday and Saturday’s action can be purchased here.

A full meet schedule can be viewed here. Live results will be carried through AthleticLIVE, with the entire meet streamed on ESPN+.

The 2024 Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Championship Central webpage, including links to schedules, heat entries, live results, streaming, parking information, ticketing, team rosters, and more is available here.

This week marks the first time since 2012 and sixth time overall that the Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Championships have come to Bozeman (1977, 1984, 1991, 2003).

“It’s so great for the community for to host this meet,” Weese said. “We have such a strong track and field community that I’m really excited about the student-athletes being able to compete in front of their own crowd. The last time we hosted here, our stands were entirely full and it was standing room only along the fence–it was a really cool experience for those student-athletes to compete in front of that many people, and I expect it’s going to be similar to that this year.”

Montana State’s men won their only outdoor track and field team title in 2005, while the won their only outdoor title in 2003 while competing at Bobcat Track and Field Complex.

Northern Arizona’s men, ranked No. 11 in the latest USTFCCCA National Ratings Index, have won three Big Sky outdoor titles in a row and 12 of the last 16 dating back to 2007.

The Lumberjack have won three consecutive outdoor championships and six of the last seven.

Montana State has the best chance to de-throne NAU, entering the meet No. 1 on the men’s side in conference TFRI and ranked No. 4 in the Mountain Regional ratings index ahead of No. 6 Northern Arizona.

The Montana State men enter championship week ranked No. 32 nationally, but spent three weeks this season in the top-25, rising as high as No. 21 in the Week 4 rankings released on April 16.

On the women’s side, NAU is ranked No. 4 in the Mountain Region while MSU rose two spots to No. 7 in Tuesday’s most recent ratings index. Northern Arizona currently ranks No. 1 in conference TFRI while Montana State is No. 2.

“It’s so difficult to beat Northern Arizona,” Weese said. “They have such a great program, that we’re going to have to be at our best. We need to have the accelerator down and really be the aggressors out there, and not think that anything is just going to happen. Whether someone is leading the conference or whether they’re down in the conference standings, they need to have that same mindset of really going out there and getting after it.”

Montana State’s women have finished as the -up in the last four conference competitions, coming in second at the 2022 outdoor, 2023 indoor, 2023 outdoor, and 2024 indoor championship meets.

Montana State’s men have finished -up at the last three Big Sky outdoor championship meets, and have finished -up five times overall since winning the title in 2005.

When Montana State last hosted in 2012, Northern Arizona took the men’s team title while Montana State placed second.

In February at the 2024 Big Sky Indoor Track & Field Championships in Spokane, , the Bobcats made a statement with a pair of second-place finishes, marking the second time in program history and the first time since 2019 that the men and women had both finished at least second in the same indoor championship meet. The 226 combined points for the two teams was the most since 2004 (235), and was the second-highest point total in school history.

“The teams have grown so much since the indoor season, so that is really exciting for ,” Dale Kennedy Director of Track and Field Lyle Weese said. “Our teams are so much better than they were in January and February, so that’s really exciting to see. It’s a testament to their hard work and accepting the challenge of knowing they need to take it to a new level in order to have a chance to compete for a conference championship.”

Shelby Schweyen (pentathlon), Nicola Paletti (heptathlon), Colby Wilson (pole vault), and Jett Grundy (400 meters) earned gold medals in February, and will look to defend their Big Sky titles this week in Bozeman.

Schweyen and Paletti will compete on Wednesday and Thursday in the heptathlon and decathlon, respectively, and enter as the favorites after their wins in February. The pair’s gold medals in February marked the first time in program history that Montana State swept the multi-events.

Grundy, a freshman from Queensland, Australia, was named 2024 Big Sky Indoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year after winning the 400 meters and anchoring the runner-up 4×400 meter relay team at the indoor championships. This outdoor season, Grundy anchors the 4×400 meter school record relay team, and currently leads the Big Sky in the 400 meters while ranking fourth in the 200 meters.

Montana State’s men have broken four school records this season in the javelin (Pat Vialva), 200 meters (Michael Swan Jr.), 800 meters (Harvey Cramb), and the 4×400 meter relay (Michael Swan Jr., Stryder Todd-Fields, Sean Jackson, and Jett Grundy).

Montana State’s women have broken two school records this season, with Elena Carter smashing her own mark in the 100 meter hurdles and Sydney Brewster breaking the school record in the shot put in her first outdoor college meet.

Astoundingly, the Bobcat women have recorded 32 top-ten marks in program history this spring, while the Bobcat men have recorded 28 top-ten marks in program history.

#GoCatsGo



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