Bobcat track and field and cross country star Duncan Hamilton has been running since he was in middle school. His journey continued to Bozeman High School, where he and his team went on to win the national title his junior year. This year, Duncan is once again competing on the national stage, and, interestingly enough, Duncan is once again doing this as a junior. On Friday, March 12, Hamilton is set to compete at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship, and on Monday, March 15, he is will run at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Hamilton is the first Montana State runner to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country and Indoor Track and Field Championships since his coach Lyle Weese during the 2002-03 season. He is also the first Bobcat to qualify for both NCAA Championship meets in the same academic year since Shannon Butler did in 1990-91.
“I really want Montana State to be at a national level,” Hamilton said. He voiced his love for Bozeman and the support gathered from the community he’s been involved in for many years. “This amount of support I get from the Bozeman community is amazing,” Hamilton said in a private press conference.
Outside of running, Hamilton’s favorite activities are camping, climbing and any opportunity to get outside and enjoy the mountainous beauty of Bozeman. His career aspirations, however, are focused full speed ahead on his passion for running. “This past season I have started thinking about running post-collegiately or professionally,” he said. He described his love for the sport as a “runner’s high” and mentioned feeling the jitters whenever he skipped a day of running. His love for running is partly based on the sole insight that “it makes me feel good.”
While this past year has been tough for athletes, Hamilton gave insight into his journey as the COVID-19 pandemic presented many hurdles. Both last spring and summer, Hamilton mentioned he had to train alone due to the national shut down and inability to gather as a team. Hamilton said gathering with his team for the first time again in the fall “felt so good,” despite the uncertainty that the pandemic continues to present.
Hamilton ran a sub-four-minute mile on Friday, Feb. 19, becoming only the fourth Bobcat to do so. Hamilton also collected a silver medal in the 8K race at the Big Sky Cross Country Championship on Saturday, Feb. 27. “I was just super grateful,” Hamilton said. “I’m so excited to finally see a lot of hard work paying off.”
As Hamilton discussed his amazing journey to the national level, he made sure to credit the team he ran with at Bozeman High School, calling his previous coaches and teammates “amazing.”
“I love this town, college, my teammates and my coach,” Hamilton said. “I am super excited to be able to wear the Montana State jersey at a national level.” He hopes this is just the start of MSU’s success competing nationally. Here in Bozeman, we too are excited to see Hamilton representing the Blue and Gold and we wish him the best of luck on his journey this weekend.
Hamilton’s race will air live on ESPN3 with events beginning at 10:30 a.m. MT. A re-air of the championship will take place starting at 7 p.m. MT on Sunday, March 14, on ESPNU.