AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's indoor track and field teams was picked to repeat as conference champions in the Ohio Athletic Conference 2018 Preseason Coaches Polls.
The Purple Raiders, who won their fifth straight and record 36th conference title a year ago, claimed eight of 10 first place votes and have 77 points in the poll which is just ahead of second place Ohio Northern, which has the other two first place votes and 72 points.
John Carroll, Otterbein and Heidelberg make up the rest of the top five spots.
Senior Tyler Neff (Navarre/Fairless) was the OAC Sprint Athlete of the Meet at last year's conference championship and leads a group of seven on the roster who have earned All-American honors at least once in their career. He is a six-time conference indoor champion and earned All-American honors indoors in the 4x400 meter relay in 2015.
Sophomore AJ Digby (Tontogany/Otsego) in the 400 meters and junior Connor Troyer (Sugarcreek / Garaway) in the 60 meter hurdles both return as All-Americans from 2017 while the duo along with sophomore James Roth (Massillon/Perry) and junior Clark Etzler (Elida) also posted an All-American finish in the 4x400 meter relay.
Sophomore Mason Plant (Shreve/Triway) is also back after an All-American finish in the 60 meter hurdles last year
Junior Louis Berry (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy) returns as well and he was an All-American in the 60 meters in 2016.
Mount Union begins the 2018 portion of the indoor schedule Friday, Jan. 19 at OAC Split Meet at Baldwin Wallace in Berea.
OAC Men's Indoor Track and Field Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Mount Union 77 (8)
2. Ohio Northern 73 (2)
3. Otterbein 63
4. John Carroll 58
5. Heidelberg 48
6. Baldwin Wallace 43