Shocker Men, Sycamore Women Selected as Favorites
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Shocker Men, Sycamore Women Selected as Favorites

ST. LOUIS – The Wichita State men and the Indiana State women have been selected as pre-championship favorites for this weekend’s 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Carbondale, Illinois, in a vote by the league coaches.

The Lew Hartzog Track & Field Complex will serve as host for the meet as the Indiana State men are looking to earn their fourth-straight championship title, while the Sycamore women hope to emerge on top for the second consecutive year.

The Wichita State men notched the No. 1 spot in the pre-championship poll, securing 62 points as well as six first place votes.  The Shockers are led by Kelvin Busienei, Jonathon Duvall, Shazz Michael Lindo, Tyson Holmes and Austin Bahner, who all hold top spots in the Valley in their respective events. The Shockers hold two of the top five spots in five different events on Valley best lists. Currently, Wichita State ranks ninth in the Midwest Region. 

On the women's side, Indiana State checks in at the No. 1 position in the pre-championship poll with 79 points and seven first place votes.  The Sycamores' Katie Wise will look to continue her dominant season in the sprints. Wise holds the top times in both the 100m and 200m and will be the favorite to take home both titles this weekend. Star field athlete Mary Theisen will look to dominate Valley competition in the shot put, discus, and hammer throw. She owns the top distance in The Valley for the shot put and discus, and second place in the hammer throw.  

Defending men's champion Indiana State checks in at the No. 2 position in the preseason poll with 58 points (two first place votes), and holds the No. 11 ranking in the Great Lakes Region in the latest USTFCCCA poll. The Sycamores enter this weekend's championship leading The Valley in two events, and hold two of the top-five positions in the four events. Senior hurlder Greggmar Swift is arguably the best in the nation in the 110h race. He currently holds the fourth-fastest time in the country, and will be aiming to claim another Valley crown before heading to the NCAA Championship. 

On the women's side, the Shockers are picked to finish second, garnering 71 points and two first place votes. Wichita State is led by Ashley Petersen in the high jump, who boasts the best mark in The Valley. While the Shockers only hold one spot at the top of the Valley lists, depth makes them serious contenders. The Wichita State women hold top five positions in eight different individual events, including the heptathlon, in which the Shockers hold four of the top five spots. The Shockers sit at No. 12 in the Midwest Region.  

Rank Team (1st-place votes) Points   Rank Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. Wichita State (6) 62   1. Indiana State (7) 79
2. Indiana State (2) 58   2. Wichita State (2) 71
3. Loyola 41   3. Southern Illinois 56
4. Illinois State 36   4. Missouri State 54
T5. UNI 33   5. UNI 42
T5. Southern Illinois 33   6. Illinois State 38
7. Drake 17   7. Loyola 35
8.  Bradley  8   8. Bradley 16
        9. Drake 14


For the men, other individual athletes to keep an eye on include Illinois State's Curt Jensen and Ryan Rutherford, UNI's Brandon Carnes, Drake's Rob McCann, Kevin Glastetter of Loyola, and Kyle Landon of Southern Illinois. Jensen has shattered the MVC Shot Put record on multiple occasions. Rutherford (5,000m, 10,000m), Carnes (100m, 200m), McCann (3,000s), Glastetter (400m) and Landon (HJ) boast top marks in their respective events and have cemented themselves as the men to beat.

Women's athletes to watch include Robiann Broomfield (TJ, LJ) and Althia Maximilien (400m) of Missouri State, Paige Knodle of UNI (JT, Hep), Mobola Rotibi of Southern Illinois (800m), Sydney Stuenkel of Loyola (5,000m) and Kristen Busch of Bradley (10,000m). All have dominated their events this season and are clear favorites going into the MVC Championship.