The Montana State cross-country teams look to build off a strong 2017 campaign as head coach Lyle Weese announced the Bobcats' schedule for the 2018 season Wednesday.

MSU's women return to action following a runner-up finish at the 2017 Big Sky Championships. Two Bobcats (Kelsi Lasota, Caroline Hardin) earned all-conference honors and Trisha Carlson was tabbed Big Sky Freshman of the Year. The MSU men return their entire scoring lineup from the 2017 slate that completed a fifth-place showing at the Big Sky meet.

The Bobcats make their debut at the MSU Cross Country Classic at Bridger Creek Golf Course on Saturday, Sept. 15. MSU’s women won the team competition last year by topping then-ranked Utah, while then-sophomore Cameron Carroll won the men's 5-mile race.

"We're working on building off of last year," Weese said in a program news release. "We had improvements on both the men's and women's sides. On the men's team, Ty Mogan redshirted last year, so he'll be back in the lineup. We have some great freshmen coming in and in addition to the returners, we think we can improve dramatically.

"The women's team finished second a year ago and we return pretty much everyone. We think we'll be in the hunt for a conference title.”

A contingent of MSU runners will travel to the Montana Invitational on Friday, Sept. 28, and to Falcon Heights, Minnesota, to participate in the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 29. The meet hosted by the University of Minnesota is one of the largest in the country and includes six collegiate races.

The Bobcats continue to prepare for its conference championship appearance at the Pre-National Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, on Oct. 13. The meet will consist of two evenly-seeded races with a maximum of 35 teams in each race. Each team will also only be able to run seven student-athletes.

"It's a great opportunity for both teams," Weese said. "Some of the best teams in the country will be at Griak and the Pre-National Invitational. The Pre-National meet will be a spectacular meet because the national meet will be there and this will be the first year Wisconsin has hosted. I think that meet will be huge because it won't be second fiddle to another meet. It'll be by far the biggest meet that weekend.”

The Big Sky Championships will be held in Sacramento, California, on Oct. 27. The MSU teams head to the NCAA Mountain Region Championships in Provo, Utah, on Nov. 9.

Paul Schwedelson can be reached at pschwedelson@dailychronicle.com or 582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.

Paul Schwedelson is a sports writer for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.