"Excitement," Schweyen said.
The Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats will square off this Saturday at Dornblaser Field, with a full day of events starting at 9:30 a.m. The Griz-Cat dual, the final appearance for the Montana track team in Missoula this spring, pits in-state rivals against each other for one day of "quick-moving competition," Schweyen said. The Grizzlies have been dominant in the annual recently, sweeping the men's and women's competitions in three of the last four seasons including last year.
"The field was white, the track was white; the whole thing looked dark," Schweyen said. "It was eerie."
Blizzard conditions forced the cancellation of an event while hail and rain plagued several others.
In 2011, the track and field events should headline the news with forecasts reporting a sun-drenched day and temperatures climbing into the 60s. The sun, combined with a Montana team ready to break out, should lead to several productive performances, the coach said.
"[The dual] usually turns out as some of our athletes' best meets up to this point in the year," Schweyen said. His athletes are in top form in the twilight of the season and the prospects of beating an in-state rival cause paramount scores on the field, he added.
Those expected to leave a mark on the competition for the Grizzlies will include senior Kara DeWalt and Katrina Drennen, who have blown over countless competitors on the way to school records in the steeplechase and 1,500-meter run, respectively. The pair, along with sophomore heptathlete Lindsey Hall, has consistently placed well for the Grizzlies with similar finishes anticipated for this weekend, Schweyen said.
Drennen, a junior in eligibility, will have stiff competition in the 1,500 with MSU junior Heather Haug leading the Big Sky in the event. Haug set the pace with a 4 minute and 23.50 second altitude-adjusted time at an earlier Missoula meet — nearly a full second ahead of Drennen's season best.
On the men's side, Schweyen pegged several student athletes as potential breakout performers. Polevaulting freshman Kaleb Horlick and sophomore Keith Webber are both poised to build on last week's marks at the Montana Open. The duo finished 1–2 in the event with each clearing 4.85 meters.
Drew Owens is also coming off a Montana Open victory in his event, the 400-meter hurdles. The freshman has reached the peak of his game this season and could be a threat to best personal records against the Bobcats, Schweyen said.
"He's been having good workouts," Schweyen said. "His attitude is in the right place."
Event winners will be decided all day with competition lasting until around 4 p.m.
Click HERE for a schedule of events.