Mount Union Men and Women Picked to Repeat as OAC Indoor Track & Field Champs

Mount Union won its sixth straight men's indoor title and fifth straight women's indoor title a year ago
Mount Union won its sixth straight men's indoor title and fifth straight women's indoor title a year ago

Both Mount Union's men's and women's indoor track and field teams were picked to repeat as conference champions in the Ohio Athletic Conference 2017 Preseason Coaches Polls.

The men, who won their fourth straight and record 35th conference title a year ago, also open the indoor season ranked No. 14 in the nation.

Mount Union claimed eight of the 10 first place votes and have 80 points in the poll that is ahead of second place Ohio Northern, which has the other two first place votes and 73 points.

Otterbein, John Carroll and Heidelberg make up the rest of the top five spots.

The Purple Raiders return a pair of All-Americans in senior high jumper Zack Wukotich (Salem/Salem) and sophomore sprinter Louis Berry (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy).

Wukotich is a three-time indoor national qualifier and two-time indoor All-American in the high jump while Berry won the OAC title and was sixth in the nation in the 60 meter dash indoors a year ago.

Seven others all-conference performers are also back from a year ago headlined by OAC champions in Rory Juhn (Fairview Park/Fairview) in the high jump, Tyler Neff (Navarre/Fairless) in the 400 meter dash and Ty Menear (Brunswick/Brunswick) in the 1000 meters.

On the women's side, Mount Union has been picked to win its fifth straight indoor conference title.

The Raiders claimed nine first place votes and 81 points which was 20 points clear of second place Otterbein (71).

John Carroll has been picked third while Ohio Northern, with the remaining first place vote, is in fourth and Heidelberg rounds out the top five.

Mount Union returns a pair of individual event champions who are each part of a pair of relay teams that won conference titles.

A year ago, Hilary Reigle (Madison/Madison) won the 1-mile run and teamed with her twin sister Hannah Reigle (Madison/Madison), Toni Beuck (Cleveland/Villa Anglea-St. Joseph) are returning members of the conference winning distance medley relay team.

Steph Donley (Carrollton/Carrollton) won the conference title in the 200 meters and combined with Dana Crofoot (Perry/Perry), Marissa Rinaldi (Tallmadge/Tallmadge) and Katie Goedecke (Cuyahoga Falls/Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary) to win the 4x200 meter relay.

Crofoot also earned all-conference honors in three other indoor events a year ago and was a national qualifier in the long jump.

Mount Union begins the 2017 portion of the indoor schedule next Saturday, Jan. 21 at OAC Split Meet at Ohio Northern in Ada. 

OAC Men's Indoor Track and Field Coaches Preseason Poll

1. Mount Union 80 (8)

2. Ohio Northern 73 (2)

3. Otterbein 63

4. John Carroll 58

5. Heidelberg 48

6. Baldwin Wallace 43

7. Capital 29

8. Muskingum 26

9. Wilmington 21

10. Marietta 9

OAC Women's Indoor Track and Field Preseason Poll

1. Mount Union 81 (9)

2. Otterbein 71

3. John Carroll 61

4. Ohio Northern 59 (1)

5. Heidelberg 49

6. Baldwin Wallace 42

7. Capital 33

8. Muskingum 29

9. Wilmington 15

10. Marietta 10