TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's track and field team has been ranked No. 23 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division III preseason poll released today.
The National Team Rankings use a formula assigning points for nationally ranked marks for events contested in the upcoming championships.
The men's and women's track and field teams open the 2011 season on Saturday at Illinois Wesleyan University. Rose-Hulman swept the 2011 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's and women's indoor championships last year, and the men's squad won its fourth straight outdoor league title.
Four-time NCAA Division III hurdles All-American Sutton Coleman (Lebanon, Va.) leads a strong returning men's squad. Other top returnees include NCAA relay qualifiers Brent Austgen (Cedar Lake/Hanover Central) and Tyler Hannan (Winchester, Ky./George Rogers Clark), along with NCAA 55-meter dash national qualifier Jeremiah Edwards (Indianapolis/Lawrence North).
Returning individual conference champions include steeplechase champion Micah Aldrich (Indianapolis/Warren Central) and hammer throw champion Greg Larmore (Deerfield, Ill.). 2011 HCAC Freshman of the Year Andrew Thompson (Mundelin, Ill./Vernon Hills) returns in the middle-distance events.
On the women's side, 2011 indoor and outdoor high jump national champion Liz Evans (Bicknell/North Knox) leads the returnees. Evans also won four conference titles last year and is a three-time NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year.
Other returning conference champions from last season on the women's side include relay champion Gloria Boxell (Zionsville/Covenant Christian); 400-meter and relay champion Creasy Clauser (Crawfordsville/Southmont); pole vault champion Tanya Colonna (Brecksville, Ohio); 2011 freshman of the year and 200-meter champion Erin Cox (West Harrison/Franklin County); and relay champions Katherine Moravec (Seymour); and Abby Sowers (Delaware, Ohio/Bishop Watterson).
Rose-Hulman will open its home season with the Friday Night Invitational on Jan. 20 at the Sports and Recreation Center.