The 31st annual North Coast Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held this weekend, May 1-2, at the George Gauthier Track & Field Complex on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio. The Wabash men will look to claim their fifth-straight North Coast title, while the Ohio Wesleyan women look to capture their 10th-straight league crown. Both squads have been tabbed as the favorites for this year’s event based on pre-championship balloting by the league coaches.
Wabash claimed the top spot in the men’s pre-championship poll by securing all nine first-place votes cast for 81 total points. Ohio Wesleyan totaled 72 points to finish second and Wittenberg was (62) was predicted to finish third, followed by DePauw (47), Oberlin (45), Allegheny (42), Denison (27), Wooster (16) and Kenyon (13). The Little Giants, who are under the direction of seventh-year head coach Clyde Morgan, enter the meet with the league’s top performance this season in seven different events. Seniors Nick Boyce (Indianapolis, IN/Chatard) and Billy McManus (Fort Wayne, IN/Bishop Luers) lead a strong distance core as Boyce owns the fastest time in the 5,000-meter run (14:47.64) and McManus turned in the league’s fastest 10,000-meter run in a time of 30:59.09. Sophomore Christian Rhodes (Indianapolis, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit) tops the league list in pole vault after clearing 15”5.00” at the Indiana DIII Outdoor Championships, while junior Adam Togami (New Albany, IN/New Albany) leads the way in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:09.43). Wabash will again have a strong presence in the hurdle events as senior Ronnie Posthauer (Ladoga, IN/Fountain Central) has the NCAC’s top time in the 110 (14.28) and classmate Joel Whittington (Terre Haute, IN/Northview) tops the league’s list in the 400 (53.63). In addition, the Little Giants posted the conference’s best time to date in the 4x400-meter relay at the Al Owens Open with a time of 3:17.34.
In the women’s pre-championship poll, Ohio Wesleyan garnered all eight first-place votes cast for 64 points. Oberlin collected 56 points to finish second and Allegheny (45) was predicted to finish third, while Denison (40) and Wittenberg (30) rounded out the top five. Wooster checked in at sixth with 24 points, followed by DePauw (21) and Kenyon (8). The Battling Bishops are led by 14th year head coach Kris Boey. Bishop seniors Katie Reid (Marion, OH/Harding) and Karli Sturgill (Lagrange, OH/Keystone) head into the 2015 Championships looking to defend their titles from a year ago as both currently hold the top standards in their respective events. Reed in the 800-meter run (2:12.40) and Sturgill in the javelin (128’10.00”). Junior Abbey Warth (Massillon, OH/Tuslaw) owns the fastest time in the 1,500-meter dash (4:30.61), while sophomore Sarah Fowler (Mount Vernon, OH/Fredericktown) leads the way in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:42.13) and junior Sara Johnson (Dublin, OH/Coffman) has the NCAC’s top time in the 100-hurdles (15.52). Warth, Fowler and Johnson all finished second in their respective events a year ago and will look to get to the top of the podium in 2015. OWU will also contend in both relay events as they currently own the top time in both the 4x100 (48.40) and 4x400 (3:59.34). In all, Ohio Wesleyan enters the NCAC Championships with the league’s top performances in seven different events.
The first scoring events of the 2015 meet, the men’s decathlon and the women’s heptathlon, took place last weekend at Oberlin. Denison junior Aedin Brennan (Fairport, NY/Allendale Columbia) won the women’s heptathlon title for the third year in a row with a score of 4,850, while Ohio Wesleyan freshman Nate Newman (Chillicothe, OH/Zane Trace) won the men’s decathlon after he totaled 5,815 points.
2015 NCAC Outdoor Track & Field Pre-Championship Coaches' Polls
|1.||Ohio Wesleyan (8)||64||1.||Wabash (9)||81|