May 11, 2012
Missouri Valley Conference titles will be decided at Cessna Stadium this weekend as Wichita State hosts the 2012 State Farm MVC Outdoor Track & Field Championships Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 13.
The conference meet opens at 10:30 a.m. Friday with the men's decathlon 100 meters. Saturday's action starts at 10 a.m. with the women's heptathlon long jump. Running event preliminaries will start at 6 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's competition starts at noon with the women's triple jump finals and running event finals open with the women's 4x100-meter relay at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Both the Wichita State men's and women's teams were selected by a vote of league coaches this week as the favorites to win team titles this weekend.
The Shocker women won the 2011 MVC outdoor title with 194 points for their fifth team championship in the past eight seasons. The Wichita State men finished third in a tight team race last spring, where just five points separated the top three teams. The Shocker men have won seven team titles in school history, and four since 2002.
Shocker junior Aliphine Tuliamuk ranks among the nation's top five women this season in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. She set MVC records in both events this spring and also leads the Valley in the 1,500 meters. She won the MVC 5,000-meter title in 2011.
Senior Audacia Moore has won back-to-back individual titles in the women's 100 meters and is a three-time winner of the women's 200 meters. She was named the MVC Women's Most Valuable Athlete after scoring the most total points at the 2011 outdoor meet. She holds the conference's top mark of the season in the 200 meters.
Natalie Morerod (100-meter hurdles) and J'Lynn Ledesma (high jump) also lead the conference this season in their events. Junior Tanya Friesen ranks among the conference's top five athletes in the heptathlon, 100-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump.
On the men's side, senior Dylan Hartnett has the conference's best 200 meter and 400 meter times entering this weekend's competition. He is the defending conference champion in the 400 meters.
Senior Todd McKown is a two-time defending champion in the 110-meter hurdles and owns the Valley's top time of the season in the event. He was named the MVC Men's Most Outstanding Athlete at last season's outdoor championships.
Tomas Cotter (3,000-meter steeplechase), Brandon Childs (high jump) and the Shockers' 4x400-meter relay team also pace the MVC in their events. Austin Bahner holds top-three conference positions in the 100 meters, long jump and decathlon.
The Wichita State women's team is currently ranked seventh in the Midwest Region on the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings. The Shocker men are ranked eighth in the Midwest.
Admission is free Friday for the MVC Outdoor Championships at Cessna Stadium. Admission Saturday and Sunday costs $6 for adults and $3 for youth ages 2-12 and seniors ages 65-plus.