Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Sycamore Men Picked First, Women Second In Pre-MVC Indoor Championship Poll
Courtesy:ISU Athletics



TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Indoor track & field season is winding down with the Sycamores capping all their hard work this weekend with the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships. The competition will be held Saturday and Sunday in the UNI Dome at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  


The Indiana State men’s track & field team is the pre-championship favorite to win their second title in three years while the Sycamore women were picked to finish second which would be their highest finish in many years.


The Sycamore men's team received 35 points and five first place votes in this year's poll of league coaches. Indiana State will be led by five-time MVC Track Athlete of the Week Greggmar Swift and four-time Field Athlete of the Week Brandon Pounds. Swift holds a top-five time in the nation in the men's 60-meter hurdles while Pounds boasts the top distance in the nation in the weight throw. The Sycamores hold the top spot in the Missouri Valley best lists in six different events including Swift in the 60 meters, Justin Baxtron in the 200 meters, John Mascari in the 5,000 meters, and Maurice Lyke in the long jump.


Wichita State was picked to finish second to the Sycamores with 30 points and one first place vote. Southern Illinois is third with 24 points, Northern Iowa fourth (18 points), Drake fifth (11 points), and Illinois State sixth (eight points).


On the women's side, the Sycamores have been tabbed as the pre-championship No. 2. They will be led by Felisha Johnson, a four-time MVC Field Athlete of the Week and the nation's top competitor in the weight throw. The Sycamore women have the top position in six different events as well including Katie wise in the 60 meters, Leeann Michl in the 800 meters, Stacia Weatherford in the 60 meter hurdles, and Felisha Johnson in the shot put. The Indiana State 4x400 meter relay team also enters the competition with the best time in the conference.

Wichita State is the pre-championship favorite on the women’s side with 60 points and four first place votes. Indiana State garnered three first place votes and 58 points with Illinois State third with 43 points. Southern Illinois is fourth (39 points and one first place vote), Missouri State fifth (38 points), Northern Iowa sixth (22 points), Drake seventh (18 points), and Bradley eighth (10 points).


Competition begins at 10:30 a.m. (ET) with action in the women’s Pentathlon and the men’s Heptathlon. Indiana State’s Kelly Steffen and Rachael Johnson will be joined by Lizzy Herron in the women’s Pentathlon while Robert Webb will seek the title in the men’s Heptathlon.


Regular competition will begin at 2:15 p.m. (ET) with the women’s weight throw and continue through the men’s distance medley relay at 9:05 p.m. (ET). In between will be the men’s pole vault, weight throw, and long jump along with the women’s long jump. Preliminaries will also be run in the 800 meters, 400 meters, 60 meters, 60 meter hurdles, and 200 meters with finals in the 3,000 meters also contested.


Sunday’s action begins with the final three evens of the men’s Heptathlon starting at 10:30 a.m. (ET). Field event action during the day will include the triple jump, shot put, high jump, and women’s pole vault. Track events start at 2:45 p.m. (ET) with the women’s mile. That will be followed by finals in the 400 meters, 60 meters, 60 meter hurdles, 800 meters, and 200 meters. The 5,000 meters is the final individual event to be contested starting at 4:25 p.m. (ET) with competition wrapping up with the women’s and men’s 4x400 meter relay.


The Sycamore men are looking for their second MVC Indoor Championship after winning their first ever title in 2011 and just missing on back-to-back titles in 2012 with a five point loss to eventual champion Southern Illinois. The Indiana State women have three titles to their credit but have not won since the 2001 championships. They also won back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. The women are looking to rebound from a disappointing fifth place finish a year ago.


Four members of the men’s team who earned All-Conference recognition a year ago are back to compete this year including Justin Baxtron (second in 200), Greggmar Swift (third in hurdles), Maurice Lyke (conference champion in long jump and third in triple jump), and Brandon Pounds (second in weight throw).


Seven women who earned All-Conference recognition a year ago are also back including Leeann Michl (second in 800), Richelle Kimble (second in pole vault), and Felisha Johnson (third in the shot put and weight throw). Also returning are Kalli Dalton and Macey Black who were members of the distance medley relay that finished second. Also back is members of the 4x400 meter relay team (Stacia Weatherford, Shelby Higginbottom, Black, and Michl) who finished second a year ago.


Men's MVC Indoor Track and Field Pre-Championship Poll
1. Indiana State (5), 35 pts.
2. Wichita State (1), 30 pts.
3. Southern Illinois, 24 pts.
4. Northern Iowa, 18 pts.
5. Drake, 11 pts.
6. Illinois State, 8 pts.

Women's MVC Indoor Track and Field Pre-Championship Poll
1. Wichita State (4), 60 pts.
2. Indiana State (3), 58 pts.
3. Illinois State, 43 pts.
4. Southern Illinois (1), 39 pts.
5. Missouri State, 38 pts.
6. Northern Iowa, 22 pts.
7. Drake, 18 pts.
8. Bradley, 10 pts.

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