Montana State's Duncan Hamilton continues to cement legacy ahead of Big Sky Championships

Posted at 4:39 PM, May 09, 2023

BOZEMAN — For the last time inside the Bobcat Track and Field Complex, 13 seniors said their goodbyes during Saturday’s Tom Gage Invitational, including Bozeman’s Duncan Hamilton.

The former Hawk has cemented several school records during his time at Montana State and wasn’t going to leave his home field Saturday without setting one more.

The senior competed in Saturday’s 1,500-meter race and crossed the finish line with a time of 3:41.49, but after accounting for altitude, nearly five seconds were shaven off adjusting to 3:36.72.

“I was super lucky to have a pacer to kind of take me through the first K," Hamilton said after Saturday's race. "You can just kind of turn your mind off, stay calm, and relax just right behind him."

The senior broke his own record (3:37.51) that he set in 2021, moving him up to number three in the nation for outdoor times this season.

“It's definitely bittersweet," Hamilton recalled about his time at Montana State. "Thankfully it was a good one so I can kind of go off on a good note here, but yeah, it's sad not getting to race in Bozeman anymore.”

While there was no steeplechase event Saturday, Hamilton still holds the number one time in Division I after setting a new PR (8:25.17) two weeks ago at the Eastern Kentucky Rick Erdmann Invitational.

Following Saturday's Tom Gage Invitational, Hamilton shared the 3,000-meter steeplechase is an event that he never would have imagined excelling at if it weren’t for Montana State.

"Kind of looking back on it, my time here has been everything I could have ever asked for," Hamilton stated. "I couldn't have asked for a better coach, someone to introduce me to the steeple chase, which has turned out to be an event that I'll be able to pursue post-collegially... If I was at another program, I couldn't say if I would have even done the steeple, or if I would have progressed and improved throughout five years. That's a lot to ask for, and so I'm so thankful.”

Along with his teammates Rob McManus, Levi Taylor, and Owen Smith, the Bobcat steeplechasers rank number one in the country as an event group averaging 8:44.55.

However, Hamilton says the four of them have even bigger goals.

“Once we get Levi [Taylor] and Owen [Smith] in a better race — they had kind of a fall at their last one — so once they have a good, fast, clean, steeple chase race, I think our average will come down even lower; and I bet we'll be the fastest squad in NCAA history."

The Bobcat steeplechasers will have a chance to rewrite the NCAA history books starting Wednesday at the Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

The meet concludes Saturday, May 13 in Greeley, Colo.