ISU Cross Country: Montana State Cross Country Classic
An update from the recent cross country meet.
On Saturday September 18th, both the ISU Men's and Women's cross country teams headed north to the Bridger Creek Golf Course, which is located in Bozeman, Montana. Unlike their season opener, which took place just two weeks ago at Utah Valley University, this race represented a more substantial test over the full racing distance.
The first race of the day was the Men's 8000m. Benefiting from an absence of golfers, the men's course was an undulating tour of the golf course perimeter, with a total elevation change of approximately 150ft. At 9am the gun sounded and six ISU men sprung away from the starting-line, accompanied by 36 other top class athletes from Utah State, Montana and Montana State. Personifying the class of the field was Montana State's Duncan Hamilton, who recently placed 14th at the 2021 U.S Olympic Trials in the 3000m steeplechase and holds impressive PR's of 13.51 over 5000m and 8.31 over 3000m steeplechase.
Despite the fact that the race was held at an altitude of 5000ft, which dramatically reduces the partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere - making it much more difficult to run, 12 men completed the course in under 25 minutes. Breaking 25 minutes in the 8000m is considered a bench mark of top quality distance running. Hamilton won the race comfortably in 24.07 and was followed across the line by a trio of men from Utah State.
ISU's Zak Montoya made a strong statement when finishing in 10th position, with a time of 24.52. ISU's Colin Dylla, who specializes in the shorter distances on the track, finished strongly to place 23rd in a time of 25.45. Teammates Brandon Walker (31st in 26.24), Sam Jones (34th, 27.01), and Eric Christen (37th, 27.57) completed the 5 scoring spots. Missing a number of teammates through injury, ISU placed 4th out of 4 in a very competitive meet.
Tackling a shorter course of three miles, seven ISU women lined up against a larger field of 64 athletes. Like the men's race, the quality of the field was remarkable and was matched by the quality of the finishing times. The race was dominated by Montana State's Camila Noe, who maintained an unbelievable pace of 5.24 per mile, and finished with a time of 16.13. ISU's top finisher was Katie Weeden who placed 22nd in 17.31. Katie was followed home by teammates Cassandra Vasquez (27th, 17.43), Madi Kenyon (32nd, 17.58), Laura Alicke (33rd, 18.09), and Keely Wolf (37th, 18.17). Sadly, due to injury, the women were missing a significant player in Molly Olsen. Overall, ISU's women placed 4th out of 5 teams.
The Bengals race next at their home course on homecoming weekend. For more details visit -
Full results from the Montana State Cross Country Classic are available at -