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GPAC Track & Field Preview

GPAC Track & Field Preview

GPAC Track Preview
Track & Field will bring a lot of excitement to Sioux City, Iowa, as Morningside College will host the 2008 Outdoor GPAC Championships.  The championships will be held at Elwood Olsen Stadium on Saturday, May 3, beginning at 12:00 PM.  Below is a preview of the Tigers and some of the contenders for the men's and women's crowns.

Doane College
The Tigers are among the favorites for both the women's and men's title.  Doane has swept the indoor crown their past two opportunities and now look to pull the trick on the outdoor stage.  The women have won nine straight titles and 17 of 18.  The men have come close each of the last two years, falling by less than two points each year.  The men last won the conference crown in 1988, when they were in the Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC).

On the men's side, the sprints will be hotly contested between the Tigers and Nebraska Wesleyan.  Doane has four of the top six times in the 100m dash, led by Paulvince Obuon and D'Artagnan Dai'Re.  The duo has two of the top three times in the 200m as well.  Lance Foster leads the way in the 400m dash and is second in the 800m.  Sufian Kimo will be a contender in the distance races; he is Top 3 in the 5,000m and 10,000m.  Doane's relay teams are also expected to excel as they lead the 4x100m and 4x400m while sitting second in the 4x800m.  The throws events will be hotly contested by Jared Schuurmans and Hastings' Scott Van Cura.

On the women's side, Regan Carlstrom leads the way in the sprints.  Kym Bennett leads the way in the 800m but could be a contender in the distance runs depending on how Coach Fye elects to run her in the meet.  Erin Fogarty is a top contender in the 100m and 400m hurdles, sitting second in both events.  The 4x400m relay team has the top time going into the meet and Doane will rely on the 4x100m and 4x800m to add to the team's point total.  Abby Schlueter leads the way in the long and triple jump.  She has not participated in the triple jump since her personal best mark of 40-03.50 at the Doane Relays.  Doane will try to dominate the pole vault where they have four of the top five marks in the event.  Tawny Fye and Kelcey Zutavern will be contenders in the throwing events while Kari Hochstein will challenge for the javelin crown.

Other contenders:
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Expect the Prairie Wolves to be a major factor in both the men's and women's championships. 

The men have won 19 straight championships and have done what they needed to the past two years to hold of the Tigers.  They will not go down without a fight and will be major contenders in the sprints and long distance races.  The sprints between the Tigers and Prairie Wolves will be fun to watch as the two teams combine for at least seven of the top eight runners in the 100m, 200m and 400m dashes.

On the women's side, NWU figures to be strongest in the longer races and the 100m hurdles.  They could also make some noise in the long jump and relay events.

Concordia University
The Bulldogs have been nipping at the Tigers and Prairie Wolves the last couple of years and are looking to take the next step.

The men will be strong in the field events, especially the throws and pole vault.  The Bulldogs are very good in the hurdles and long distance races as well.

The women will be solid in the sprints and relays.  Watch out for the Bulldogs to contend for individual placement in the long and triple jump while relying on Katie Werner in the throws.

Hastings College
The Broncos will probably be more of a factor on the men's side than they will on the women's side.  However, beware of the middle distance runners for the Bronco women.  They could put Hastings in contention and then any thing could be possible.

The men lose Brandon Diamond from a year ago, the one guy who single-handedly ended the Tiger's hopes for the outdoor championship.  Without the multi-event star, the Broncos will turn to Scott Van Cura in the throws.  He leads the hammer throw and shot put while sitting second in the discus.  Van Cura can't win the team title himself so the Broncos will need a few runners to pull off some upsets.

Northwestern College
The Red Raiders will factor in on the women's side, led by Olivia Johnson and Charity Miles.  The two figure to be contenders in the middle and long distance races.  The Red Raiders will be strong in the relays, especially the 4x800m.  They have a couple of athletes who are also knocking on the door of a Top Eight finish in the throws events.

Dordt College
Jen Kempers will pace the Defender women.  She figures to have a full day ahead of her on Saturday as she is listed in the GPAC performance chart six times.  Dordt will also contend in the middle distance and hurdles races.

Sleeper Teams
Watch out for the Morningside Mustang men, they might not have enough depth to contend for the team title but they could factor in and take away some points from teams needing them for the team standings.

Mount Marty's women will have a solid team finish if Laura Wortmann has a good day in the throws.  She leads two events, the shot put and discus, which would count for 20 points.  There are also a few more Lancers who could bring home Top Eight finishes to add to the team total.