Manchester University's women were picked for a runner-up finish, while the men were tabbed fifth on the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's outdoor track and field coaches' preseason poll, released late last week.
Coach Brian Cashdollar's women's program, seeking a third straight league title, earned 90 points and three first-place votes to trail only Hanover College (93 points, six first-place votes). The quintet of seniors Mariah Jordan (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Shay Aator (West Lafayette, Ind.) and Tiffany Harber (Columbia City, Ind.); junior Jacey Cauhorn (Kendallville, Ind.) and freshman Hannah Wappes (Columbia City, Ind.) were noted on the Athletes to Watch section.
The Spartans' men received 59 points to best Franklin College by 10 for the final top five slot, as the upperclassman trio of senior Alex Gudeman (Rochester, Ind.) and juniors Harrison Hollis (Lebanon, Ind.) and Drew Foster (Seymour, Ind.) were recognized on the Athletes to Watch listing. Nine-time defending champion Rose-Hulman was a heavy favorite to repeat (100 points, 10 first-place votes) with Anderson University second (87 points.).
Manchester University begins its 2017 outdoor season Saturday, April 1, at Hanover.