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Montana State cross country earns national ranking

Duncan Hamilton.jpg
Posted at 2:26 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 16:37:26-04

THE INCLUSION OF MSU AT NO. 30 IN THE NATION IS A FIRST FOR THE MEN'S PROGRAM SINCE 2004. — (Editor's note: Montana State press release)

NEW ORLEANS—The newest edition of the NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll saw Montana State make the week five list of the top 30 ranked teams announced by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association on Tuesday. The inclusion of MSU at No. 30 in the nation is a first for the men's program since 2004.

Montana State's men's squad has completed a solid start to its 2021 season as the Bobcats prepare for the Big Sky Conference Championships that take place on Oct. 29 in Hillsboro, Ore. The men had competitors clock good times in both a dual meet versus Montana Tech and at the Montana Invitational.

Standout efforts came in the MSU Cross Country Classic on Sept. 18 and at the FSU Invitational/Pre-Nationals last Friday.

The Bobcat men narrowly finished behind Utah State at their home meet with the Aggies registering 24 points and MSU totaling 35. Utah State, then ranked 17th in the coaches' poll, is currently listed 21st in the week five edition of the rankings.

MSU's most recent trip to Tallahassee for the Florida State hosted meet saw the 'Cats complete a 12th-place showing among some of the best teams in the country. MSU placed ahead of then-USTFCCCA No. 25-ranked Weber State, No. 30 Charlotte and Duke which had been receiving votes in the latest coaches' poll.

In Monday's regional rankings, the Bobcats were slotted at seventh in the Mountain Region ahead of Big Sky high-level competitors in Weber State and Southern Utah. Northern Arizona sits in first in the region and is the unanimous No.1 team in the country.

Duncan Hamilton has been MSU's top finisher in each race he's appeared in which included a 12th-place individual finish at FSU's Apalachee Regional Park. He's been joined in MSU's scoring lineup by Ben Perrin, Levi Taylor, Matthew Richtman, Cooper West and Rob McManus.

Montana State received votes in the USTFCCCA coaches' poll last spring season as well as throughout the 2010 season, but hadn't made it into the national top 30 since 2004. MSU was ranked for three consecutive weeks that year and made it to as high as 26th before falling out of the polls. The Bobcats were ranked as high as 14th in 2002 and eventually finished 11th as a team at that year's NCAA Cross Country Championships.