Bobcat Track and Field Squad Adds Talent
"This has a chance to be a very impressive class," said Dale Kennedy, "maybe one of our best ever. (Cross country coach) Lyle Weese brought in a big and strong class of distance runners, and we were able to add good students and athletes in event groups where we needed help. This program has emphasized strong academic achievers, and this class definitely adds to that tradition."
Weese was similarly impressed. "This could be our best class in a long time," the former Bobcat All-America said. "We added a competitor who made the Olympic Trials (Noah Martin, announced last fall) and a lot of athletes who will help us this fall and next winter and spring on the track."
Montana State's newest recruits…
Rychelle Denardo – distance, fr., Edwards, CO (Battle Mountain): Competing at 7,000 feet altitude she posted best marks of 5:23 in the 1600m and 11:54 in the 3200m, marks that translate to 5:15 and 11:36 at sea level… ran for former Bobcat Rob Parish in high school. From MSU cross country coach Lyle Weese: "Rychelle ran for Rob Parish in high school, and he's developed runners that succeeded in college, particularly in the Big Sky. She ran well in cross country last fall, and I think she'll provide depth for our cross country team."
Madelyn Kennedy – sprints, fr., Sammamish, WA (Eastlake): Team MVP as a senior and two-time team captain, finished third in the state in the 300m hurdles, 7th in the 100 hurdles as a senior… Female Track MVP as a junior, when she finished sixth in the state in the 300m hurdles… fifth in the state in school-record time in the 4 x 400m relay as a sophomore… best marks of 14.92 in the 100 hurdles and 45.17 in the 300 hurdles. From MSU head coach Dale Kennedy: "Maddy has improved steadily, and she is a versatile athlete. We're excited to bring her into the program."
Kelsi Lasota – distance, so., Estes Park, CO (Boise State/Estes Park): Transfers to MSU from Boise State, where she posted a best of 17:15 in the 5000m… competed during the 2015-16 cross country, indoor and outdoor seasons after redshirting the previous year… finished fourth in the state as a senior in cross country at Estes Park, capturing 800m and 1600m titles the next spring… National Honor Society member and student council officer. From MSU distance coach Lyle Weese: "Kelsi ran well in high school, winning some state championships, and had some good marks at Boise State. She is an engineering major, so Montana State is a natural fit, and based on what she did at Boise State indicates that she should be able to contribute in cross country as well as indoors and outdoors for us."
Madison Liechty – distance, fr., Missoula, MT (Sentinel): Finished in the top eight in the 400m (sixth, best mark of 59.68), 800m (fifth, best of 2:12.21), and 1600m (seventh, 5:04.28) at the state championships this year.
She really ran well in the mid-distances this spring. She ran well in cross country this year and in prior seasons, so she has a lot of range. Her 800 and 1600 times this year would have won the state meet a lot of seasons, especially strong year. From MSU cross country coach Lyle Weese: "She earned the Provost's Scholarship here, so she's a great student and that makes her a great fit here at MSU. She's been really solid in a wide range of events." Pronounced LEEK-tee
Kim Parsell – distance, fr., Shelby, MT (Shelby): Finished an outstanding career at Shelby High this spring, capturing state Class B titles in the 400m, 800m, 1600m, and 3200m and leading her team to a fifth place finish… best marks of 58.80 in the 400m, 2:14.03 in the 800m, and 5:09.63 in the 1600m. From MSU distance coach Lyle Weese: "Kim had been a pretty good runner, but this spring it all came together for her. It seems like she's just getting started, and she could really be a diamond in the rough for us."
Sierra Tucker – distance, fr., Lyons, CO (Lyons): Two-time Colorado Class 2A All-State selection in cross country, finishing fourth as a senior… won the Boulder County 1600m title that year… Frank Stenson Memorial Scholarship for Track and Field winner… helped lead Lyons to the 2015 2A state cross country title, finishing in the top three in the state track meet in the 1600m and 3200m as a junior and seventh in the open 800m that year… four-time Academic All-State selection, and ranked first in her class. From MSU distance coach Lyle Weese: "Sierra competed at a small high school in Colorado and ran well this spring. I believe she'll add depth in cross country right away."
Gannon Chamberlain – distance, fr., Paso Robles, CA (Paso Robles): Posted best marks of 9:15 in the 3200 and 4:19 in the mile during his senior season. From MSU cross country coach Lyle Weese: "Gannon was someone who really showed a lot of improvement during his senior season, so he was a surprise, but he can contribute right away this year. He will probably be help more in the distance events than the mid-distance events during his career."
Keeghan Hurley – jr., distance, Perham, MN (Southern Utah/Iowa State): Spent the 2015-16 academic year as a redshirt at Montana State after spending time previously at Southern Utah and Iowa State… posted personal bests of 4:08 in the mile, 8:16 in the 3000 m and 14:45 in the 5000 m running unattached while at MSU… has run near the front of MSU's pack during training sessions. From MSU Cross Country Coach Lyle Weese: "Keeghan has looked really good in training, and I think he'll perform well for us. I know he's ready to compete again. Both of his parents were really good college runners and his dad ran professionally, so he has good bloodlines."
Noah Kirkland – jr., distance, Mahtomedi, MN (CSU/North Dakota): Redshirted at MSU in 2016 after spending time at Colorado State and North Dakota… posted best mark of 3:53.54 in the 1500 while running unattached… is expected to contribute in the upcoming cross country season. From MSU distance coach Lyle Weese: "Noah really had a great year training and competing in events unattached this year. I'm excited because I think he'll help us a lot in cross country this fall, and on the track in the winter and spring."
Frankie Hoerner – middle distance, so., Spokane, WA (Spokane Falls CC/Washington State/Gonzaga Prep): NJCAA All-America in 2016 in the 800m and 4 x 400m relay… finished second in his conference in the 800m as a sophomore… on Great Spokane League district titles in the 800m and 4 x 400m relay as a senior… also finished 13th in state in the 800m that year… finished sixth in the state meet in that event as a junior… was a National Honor Society member. From MSU head coach Dale Kennedy: "Frankie is a kid who approached us about competing a couple years ago and it was too late in the process, and he took advantage of an opportunity at Spokane Falls and really had a great year there. He's a kid who has a chance to really impact our program in a positive way."
Carter Price – sprints, fr., Rapid City, SD (Stevens): Team captain and two-time MVP at Rapid City Stevens as a senior… finished third in the state in 100 m and 200 m, and claiming state crown in 4 x 400 m relay… Most Valuable Teammate as a junior… earned President's Award for Educational Excellence, South Dakota Board of Regents' Scholar, and Academic All-State selection… best marks of 7:37 in the 55m, 10.80 in the 100m, 21.95a in the 200m, 50.50 in the 400m… his grandfather Joe Price was a long-time MSU employee. From MSU head coach Dale Kennedy: "Carter is a kid who we learned about because he has family ties to Montana State, and he has really shown great improvement during his high school career. He's very versatile and will be a great addition to our sprints crew."
Tyler McQueen – sprints, fr., Billings (Senior): A soccer player at Billings Senior who transitioned to the track as a senior and excelled… finished second in the Class AA State Championships in the 400m (posting a best mark of 48.89) and fourth in the 200m (22.23)… an excellent student planning to major in cell biology and neuroscience. From MSU head coach Dale Kennedy: "Tyler is a young man who is a late-comer to track and field, but he really made some exciting improvement this year. I'm very excited about his future in the sport of track and field, and in our program."
Jared Schwend – sprints/hurdles, fr., Roberts (Joliet): Joins the Bobcats from Roberts High, where he won state championships last spring in the 110m hurdles (14.89) and 300m hurdles (39.32), finishing second in the 200m (22.56). From head coach Dale Kennedy: "Jared is an excellent student who wants to study mechanical engineering. He's posted good times in the hurdles, and I think that he'll develop
Bill Yeager – sprints, fr., Twin Bridges (Twin Bridges): Finished second in the state in the 400m (best mark of 48.99), third in the 200 (22.52) and fourth in the 100 (11.33)… captained the Twin Bridges track and football teams as a senior, rushing for over 1,000 yards as a senior and junior… finished third in the 400m as a junior and fifth as a sophomore… a mechanical engineering major who was a three-time Academic All-State choice, a member of the National Honor Society and Twin Bridges' High Honor Society. From head coach Dale Kennedy: "Bill has been a strong competitor throughout his career at Twin Bridges. He's the kind of excellent athlete, student and person who we're excited to bring into the program."