TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The barker at the circus says “Come one, come all, to the greatest show of them all.” That is exactly what is to be experienced Saturday as Indiana State hosts Illinois State in the ninth renewal of the Coughlan-Malloy Cup Series.
On the women’s side, it will be a battle of two top 25 teams as the 18th ranked Sycamores host the 25th ranked Redbirds. Both men’s teams are also highly regarded with Indiana State ranked 35th nationally and Illinois State 68th.
The competition will be held at the Rose-Hulman Sports and Recreation Center as part of the Terre Haute Double Dual. Along with the battle between the two Missouri Valley Conference foes, the Rose-Hulman Engineers will host Illinois Wesleyan and Washington University of St. Louis in a Division III competition at the same time.
“This is the only time this season that our fans will be able to see us in action in a home meet,” John McNichols, Indiana State men’s track & field coach, said. “It is always an exciting competition between us and we will be competing on one of the best, if not the best, 200 meter indoor tracks in the nation.”
The women’s competition will be equally exciting.
“Illinois State is a very balanced team and their strengths are almost the same as ours,” Angela Martin, Indiana State women’s track & field coach, said. “It is certainly going to be a close competition from the field events through all the running events.”
Action begins at 12:30 p.m. (ET) with the field events. Track competition begins at 1:15 p.m. (ET) with the 60 meter dash and 60 meter hurdle preliminaries. The meet is expected to conclude at approximately 4:30 p.m. (ET).
Indiana State has won seven of the eight previous Coughlan-Malloy Cup meetings including the last six. Both the Sycamore men and women have won seven of the eight meetings with the men winning six straight and the women having their streak of seven straight stopped last year with a four point loss.
“We are looking to start our streak again on Saturday,” Martin said.
Terre Haute native John Mascari will run in his first 3,000 meter competition of the indoor season and McNichols believes the freshman will continue his outstanding distance running from the cross country season.
A featured battle of the day will be in the women’s shot put and women’s weight throw as Sycamore Felisha Johnson and Illinois State’s Brittany Smith battle for the fourth straight year. Johnson currently leads the nation in both events while Smith, an NCAA finalist a year ago, was recently placed on the Bowerman watch list. The Bowerman is the Heisman of track and field.
“One of the key things about this meet is knocking the rust off after the Christmas break,” McNichols said. “Most of the athletes trained well over the break and it will be great to see them compete on a fast track.”
This is the first of two “Cup” events for the Sycamores as Indiana State will visit Purdue University on January 19 for a dual meet with the Boilermakers for the Edmonds Cup.
Track and Field News has tabbed the Indiana State women seventh in their preseason dual meet team rankings while the Sycamore men are ranked 10th.