MARION, Ind. -- Indiana Wesleyan University women's outdoor track and field hopes the depth of this year's team will bring a close to a four year drought at the Mid-Central College Conference championship this weekend at Taylor (Ind.) University in Upland, Indiana.
The Wildcats won six MCC titles in a nine year stretch from 1999-2007. Being five years removed from a conference title, IWU head coach John Foss believes this year's team can stop that stretch with its depth.
"We're looking forward to the Mid-Central College Conference championship this weekend. We feel like we have a very good chance of winning," said Foss. "Our strength continues to be in our balance. We're not necessarily dominant in specific events as much as we are balanced in every event."
Foss knows that the competition will also be ready this weekend. The other top teams in the conference are Bethel (Ind.) College, last year's conference championship, and the host school, Taylor.
"Our main competition will be Bethel and Taylor," added Foss. "Out of the nine teams in the competition they are definitely the strongest. Bethel is the defending champion and Taylor is up and coming. They have a lot of talented athletes from the Bahamas."
As usual, Indiana Wesleyan boasts some very strong individual student-athletes across the board to anchor the depth of the team. This is especially true in field events.
Foss said, "We have the potential of Victoria Lee winning the Hammer Throw, Paige Smith winning the Discus, and Tina Huffman is seeded No. 2 in the Shot Put. Tina has potential to win that event."
The Wildcats will showcase top-tier talent and depth in the jumps.
"We also look very strong in the Long Jump and Triple Jump," continued Foss. "We have the potential to go 1-2-3 in the Long Jump and having the Triple Jump champion in Tori Lee. It's probably going to be Allix Miller in the Long Jump to be the favorite. We're also very likely to have one of the top three high jumpers, if not the champion, in Stephanie Colter, a freshman for us."
"In the Pole Vault, we have the No. 2 pole vaulter and that's freshman Courtni Fryer."
Indiana Wesleyan should also score some major points in relay events.
"In the 4x400 Relay we've been the best team all year. So if we put it together we should win that," stated Foss. "And we are the third best in the 4x100 Relay."
Foss also expects a lot of points in the distance events. Beka Bentle and Natasha Greenwood could both capture individual MCC championships in distance races.
"We are strong in the 10K and 5K. Beka Bentle should once again win the 5K and she will also run in the 1,500-Meter Run. And in the 10K we might go 1-2-3 with Natasha Greenwood leading the way there."
In the sprint events, Foss hopes that depth will provide some points. But he also looks for Miller to win maybe a second event this weekend in the 400.
"We're balanced in the 100 and 200 races. But Allix Miller should win the 400."
Despite the depth of this year's Indiana Wesleyan team, the Wildcats could boast five different conference championships.
"Allix Miller, Victoria Lee, Tori Lee, Beka Bentle, and Paige Smith all look to win individual championships or multiple individual championships," said Foss. "So we do have those front line girls but again we have at least two and in most cases three strong point scorers in almost every event."
Indiana Wesleyan will seek the seventh MCC championship in program history this weekend. The meet begins at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and will continue on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Taylor is offering a live video feed which can be viewed for $4.95 per day. The video stream will be a single camera production that will focus mainly on track events, but field events will be shown when possible between track events.
The link to the live stream is available through the Taylor website on the following link: http://athletics.taylor.edu/stream.