Duncan Hamilton in the NCAA men's steeplechase final

Montana State's Duncan Hamilton placed fifth in the men's steeplechase at the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. He set a school record in 8:31.55.

EUGENE, Ore. — Montana State sophomore Duncan Hamilton finished fifth in the men's steeplechase Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Hamilton finished in eight minutes, 31.55 seconds, lowering his personal best and the Bobcats' school record that he set in the semifinals Wednesday.

Middle Tennessee's Kegan Chemadi was the NCAA champion in 8:28.20.

Hamilton raced to the front of the pack at the start before settling into third. The pace picked up a bit after the first three laps of the 3,000-meter race and Hamilton drifted back in the order. However, he ran the second-fastest final lap of the 12-competitor field to race back up from ninth into fifth place before the finish line.

"I really got in focus, sped up and passed a bunch of people," Hamilton said in a Montana State press release. "Coming around that last water barrier I was in fifth, fourth was in range, third place fell on the last barrier and I gave it everything I could to get on the podium. 

"I ended up fifth which I'm super happy with. To end up fifth in my first NCAA outdoor meet is amazing, I'm so happy."

Hamilton's finish is the best performance by a male Bobcat at the NCAA outdoor championships in 18 years according to Montana State. With it, he earned first-team All-American honors. He joins former Bobcats Patrick Casey (2011) and Cristian Soratos (2015) as the only three first-team All-Americans for the Bobcats in the last decade.

"That's definitely the exciting part," Montana State coach Lyle Weese said in the release of Hamilton's finish as a sophomore. "This is his second outdoor season and to come to the NCAA Championships, place fifth and be right in it, battling there with the best in the NCAA, that's super exciting. It's a testament to how hard he's worked throughout his entire life, but especially this past year, because it's been more challenging and more independent than usual."

The Bozeman High grad also earned second-team All-America honors during the indoor season for his performance in the indoor mile.

Still to come at the meet, his Bobcat teammate, Lucy Corbett, will compete Saturday in the women's high jump. And Billings Senior graduate Christina Aragon will race for Stanford in the 1,500.

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