ST. LOUIS – The Wichita State men and women have been selected as pre-championship favorites for this weekend’s 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Wichita, Kan., May 11-13, in a vote by the league coaches.
Cessna Stadium on the campus of Wichita State will serve as host for the meet as the Shocker men are looking to earn their eighth outdoor title in school history, while the Shocker women hope to repeat as champions after winning last season’s outdoor championship meet.
|2012 MEN'S OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD
|2012 WOMEN'S OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD
|Rank||Team (1st-place votes)||Points||Rank||Team (1st-place votes)||Points|
|1.||Wichita State (7)||49||1.||Wichita State (5)||60|
|2.||Indiana State||40||2.||Illinois State (2)||54|
|3.||Southern Illinois||34||T3.||Southern Illinois (1)||44|
|5.||Illinois State||19||5.||Indiana State||37|
The Shocker squad received all seven first-place votes and 49 total points in the pre-championship poll. Wichita State is ranked seventh in the Midwest Region in the latest USTFCCCA poll, and holds the top marks in the Valley in five events entering this weekend's championship. Senior Dylan Hartnett owns the league's best 200m and 400m times, while senior Todd McKown, a three-time Valley men's track athlete of the week recipient, holds the top spot in the 110m hurdles. Sophomore Austin Bahner will also contend for the title in the 100m, long jump and decathlon, as he holds top-three positions in each of those events.
Defending champion Indiana State checks in at the No. 2 position in the preseason poll with 40 points, and holds the No. 7 ranking in the Great Lakes Region in the latest USTFCCCA poll. The Sycamores enter this weekend's championship leading the Valley in four events, and hold two of the top-five positions in the 200m, 10,000m, 110m hurdles, 3,000m steeplechase and high jump. Junior Brandon Pounds holds the nation's 10th best hammer throw, while senior Major Clay will look to become the league's first-ever four-time outdoor high jump champion. Senior Jeremiah Vaughn will also contend for the title in both the 800m and 1,500m events.
Southern Illinois notched the third spot in the pre-championship poll, securing 34 points. The Salukis hold the Valley's top marks in three events entering this weekend's championship. Junior Zach Dahleen has the top 1,500m time, while Douglas Palacious leads the Valley in the triple jump. Senior J.C. Lambert hopes to become a three-time outdoor champion in the hammer throw, while sophomore Dominic Williams will contend for the title in both the 100m and 200m.
UNI sits at the fourth position in the pre-championship poll with 31 points. The Panthers hold the top Valley mark in five events entering the MVC championship in junior Jarred Herring (100m), senior Aaron Stocksell (800m), junior Daniel Gooris (decathlon), senior Justin Romero (shot put) and junior Jordan Williams (discus). Williams currently holds the nation's ninth-best mark in the discus, while Gooris ranks 11th in the nation in the decathlon, and will look to become a three-time outdoor champion in the event.
Illinois State tallied 19 points and the fifth spot in the pre-championship poll, as the Redbirds are led by junior Tim Glover, who holds the nation's top javelin throw. Glover won the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championship in the event, and looks to become a three-time champion in the Valley. Junior Curtis Jensen ranks in the league's top-five in both the shot put and hammer throw, while sophomore Coty Kramer and junior Fabian Norgrove have two of the top-five times in the 400m dash.
Drake is picked in the sixth spot with 16 points, entering the championship event with two MVC-best marks. Sophomore Omet Kak holds the Valley's top time in the 5,000-meter run (and also ranks second in the 1,500m), while junior Jon DeGrave owns the league's best 400m hurdles time entering this weekend's championship. Freshman Conor Wells will challenge his teammate Kak for the 5,000m title, as he holds the league's second-best time in the event.
After reinstating the men's outdoor track and field program at Bradley, the Braves will compete for the outdoor championship for the first time since 1992. Focusing solely on distance and middle distance events, Bradley is led by sophomore Nathan Davis (7th, 10,000m and 22nd, 5,000m), sophomore Shane Garland (12th, 1,500m and 16th, 800m) and freshman Chase Coffey (13th, 3,000m steeplechase and 24th, 1,500m).
The Wichita State women swiped the top position (60 points, five first-place votes) in the pre-championship coaches’ poll after leading the Valley in five events entering the title meet. The Shockers are led by junior Aliphine Tuliamuk, who holds the nation's fourth best 10,000m time and fifth best 5,000m pace. She is also the Valley's outdoor record holder in both events. Senior Audacia Moore is a two-time outdoor champion in the 100m and a three-time gold medalist in the 200m, while junior Tanya Friesen ranks in the top five in five events (heptathlon, long jump, high jump, 400m hurdles and 100m hurdles).
Illinois State was a solid second choice in the pre-championship poll, earning 54 total points and two first-place votes. In the latest USTFCCCA poll, the Redbirds are currently ranked 14th in the nation, and hold the top spot in four events entering this weekend's championship. Junior Brittany Smith ranks in the nation's top-10 in three events, including shot put (third), hammer throw (sixth) and discus (10th), while senior Leigh Petranoff looks to become a Valley four-time champion in the javelin throw, as she currently holds the nation's third-best mark in the event. Senior Aisha Praught ranks second in the nation in the 3,000m steeplechase, while junior Sade Sealy looks to become a three-time outdoor champion in the 400m.
Southern Illinois, last season's runner-up, was tied for third in the preseason poll, earning 44 total points and the remaining first-place vote. In the latest USTFCCCA poll, the Salukis currently rank 23rd, and hold the top position in four events entering the championship. Senior Jeneva McCall ranks in the nation's top-five in three events, including discus (first), hammer throw (second) and shot put (fourth). Junior Malaikah Love leads the Valley in both the long jump and triple jump, and looks to repeat as outdoor champion in both events.
Missouri State was tied for third in the pre-championship poll, earning 44 points. The Bears trio of sophomore Pernell Joseph and freshmen Althia Maximilien and Merica Moncherry will challenge each other for the title in the 100m and 200m, as they hold three of the top-five spots in both sprint events. Junior Kimsue Grant ranks second in both the long jump and triple jump entering this weekend's championship.
Indiana State checks in at the No. 5 position in the pre-championship poll, earning 37 points. The Sycamores hold the top spot in three events entering the championship, including Leeann Michl (800m), Stacia Weatherford (400m hurdles) and Richelle Kimble (pole vault). Junior Felisha Johnson ranks third in both the shot put and hammer throw, while sophomore Kelly Steffen ranks fourth in the long jump and fifth in the heptathlon.
UNI tallied 23 points and the sixth spot in the pre-championship poll. The Panthers are led by senior Olimpia Nowak, who enters the championship with the top score in the heptathlon and also ranks in the top-five in the 100m hurdles (second), 400m hurdles (second) and the javelin throw (fourth). UNI also holds two of the top-five times in the 400m dash.
Drake and Bradley notched the seventh and eighth positions in the pre-championship poll, tallying 17 and nine points, respectively.
Bulldogs' senior Kirsten Lake ranks in the league's top-five in the 1,500m (second) and 800m (fourth), while senior Ari Curtis is fifth in the 400m hurdles and sixth in the 400m dash. Sophomore Whitney Westrum also ranks in the top-15 in three events, including 200m (12th), 400m (12th) and 100m (14th).
The Braves will focus on the distance and middle distance events, as Bradley freshman Sarah McMahon ranks second in the 5,000m, while Cassie Lohmeier is fifth and Whitney Schumacher ranks eighth entering this weekend's championship. The Braves also hold four of the top-15 times in the 5,000m, including Molly Dahlquist (7th), Emily Delvo (10th), Lohmeier (13th) and Kyela Specht (15th).
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