Paletti wins Big Sky Decathlon Crown

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Nicola Paletti ran away with the Big Sky title in the men’s decathlon and Shelby Schweyen finished second in the women’s heptathlon to cap off a successful second day at the Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday at the Bobcat Track and Field Complex in Bozeman.

“It’s a great start for our team,” said Dale Kennedy, Director of Track and Field Lyle Weese said. “I’m so proud of Shelby and Nico going out there and competing so well in tough conditions. Achieving first and second place straight away really gives our team a boost as we aim to achieve a good place in the team championship. ”

You can view the full results of the decathlon and heptathlon here.

Paletti led nearly wire-to-wire in the 10-event competition and backed up his gold medal in the heptathlon at the indoor championships in February with the gold medal in the outdoor decathlon this week.

Paletti, a junior from Bolzano, Italy, becomes the seventh Bobcat Big Sky decathlon champion, and the first since Mason Storm in 2016.

The Italian built a big lead on Wednesday after a stellar first five events and opened Thursday with a second-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles and pole vault. By a comfortable margin, Paletti finished fourth in the 1,500 meters, finishing his meet with 6,410 points in winter conditions, ahead of Eastern Washington’s Cody Teevens (6,184) and Weber State’s Jed Smith (5,698).

Paletti’s training partner, Shelby Schweyenalso earned All-Conference honors for the Bobcats and placed second in the women’s heptathlon.

Schweyen, whose remarkable comeback story of perseverance and family legacy can be read here, battled injuries and snow conditions to earn a silver medal at her first-ever outdoor heptathlon.

The Missoula native finished with 5,174 points, narrowly behind Idaho’s Hannah Tait (5,347 points). Even with Wednesday’s snowstorm and Thursday’s wet track, Schweyen managed the fourth-best outdoor heptathlon in Bobcat history, recording the highest point total since Danielle Rider in 2016.

“I think my biggest advantage is my mental game,” Schweyen said. “I came in here and was worried about my groin. I thought I was going to pull them in practice the day before, so I just thought I might not even make it to one event, let alone seven. It was quite a challenge to get through the first day. A huge challenge for me, to get through with very limited injuries and to be able to stay in the competition. Then with my back this morning, to be able to persevere and prepare, what happens whatever happens, I’m really proud of myself and the way I composed and carried myself through two days.”

Paletti’s win gives the Cats ten points in the team race as Montana State aims for their first outdoor men’s team title since 2005. Schweyen’s second-place finish adds eight points to the women’s team total as the Cats look for their first Big Sky crown since 2003.

There will be a full day of action on the track, throwing and jumping on Friday, with the men’s javelin throwing kicking off at 12.30pm.

Fittingly for the school that has become known as “Steeple U,” the first event on the circuit will be the men’s 3,000-meter steep chase at 2 p.m., as the Bobcats’ nationally leading tower group chases the top three podium finishes.

Medals will be awarded in 12 events on Friday, with key preliminary races in the sprints and middle distances also contested to determine Saturday’s finalists.

“Tomorrow will be exciting,” said Weese. “There will be so much happening. We’ll start with the men’s javelin and then we’ll do some more field events – starting with the running events with the spire, so it will be very exciting with the finals in the field events and then the finals in the spire and the 10 km. For the team race it is very important for us to get a lot of people to the final, so the obstacle races, the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 to make sure we can take care of business tomorrow and that a number of lanes will be filled on Saturday.”

Tickets are required for admission to the Big Sky Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday and Saturday and can be purchased here.

The entire match will be streamed on ESPN+, with live results via AthleticLIVE.

Championship Central can be accessed here, with links to live results, video streaming, heatsheets, fixture schedule, ticket information, record books and more.