*** ARTICLE COURTESY OF MSU ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT
The Tom Gage Classic marks one of the most significant meets of the outdoor season for a variety of reasons. First, the meet commemorates the honor of Tom Gage, marks the final opportunity for the Bobcats to qualify for the Big Sky Championships and will also honor the nine Bobcat seniors who will hang up their spikes at the close of the season.
“There’s always a lot riding on this meet,” said head coach Dale Kennedy. “Maybe more so than we emphasize with all the other meets leading up to Big Sky. I think after last week, we’re coming back home with a bit of a chip on our shoulder to really push harder and get where we need to be before the conference meet.”
After both the men and women fell to the Griz in the annual Cat-Griz Dual on April 27, the Blue and Gold are ready to return to the Bobcat Track and Field Complex and rebound. With the Big Sky Championships less than a week away, Montana State has 18 women with auto-qualifiers and 20 men and both are looking to fill their 25-person roster by the end of Friday night.
Headed into the meet, there are several athletes that are just on the cusp of qualifying. The Big Sky meet has its automatic qualifying standards and also accepts those within the top-20 of each event.
“It’s important that we continue to function as individuals on a team,” said Kennedy. “That’s when we perform our best. We’ve got several kids that need those marks on Friday and I have the utmost confidence that we’re going to go out there, perform and get the job done.”
Following the women’s 200, nine Bobcat seniors will be honored for their contributions to Montana State Track and Field. MSU will give recognition to James Andrews, Kortnee Barrett, Madeline Fuchs, Heather Haug, Forrest Jarvi, Sarah McGree, Sadie McMillan, Katie Niemeir and David Phillips.
“These nine kids, no matter how long they’ve been a part of the team or what they’ve accomplished on paper have been a huge asset to the growth and tradition of Montana State Track and Field. While we’re always sad to see them go, they’ll always be a part of our program’s history and we wish them the best in their respective futures.”
The meet will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday beginning with the women’s hammer, men’s javelin, women’s pole vault and men’s long jump. Running events will kick off at 4:00 p.m. with the mixed 10,000 race.