TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's track and field team has been unanimously selected as the preseason favorite to win its third consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field championship, in balloting by league coaches released today.
The Fightin' Engineers captured the 2011 and 2012 HCAC Indoor Championships and have also won five consecutive conference outdoor titles entering the 2013 season.
On the women's side, Rose-Hulman was picked to finish second in the league's preseason poll. The Fightin' Engineers received 87 poll points and one first-place vote.
The men's team features five returning all-conference champion performers from the 2012 HCAC Indoor Championships. Seniors Tyler Hannan (Winchester, Ky./George Rogers Clark) and Travis Stallings (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) lead the all-conference returnees from last year's indoor meet after competing on the winning 4-x-200 and 4-x-400 relay teams.
Other men's returning indoor all-conference performers include 4-x-200 relay champion Clay Becker (Gaylord, Mich./St. Mary Cathedral); pole vault champion Collin Crowson (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome); and sophomore mile champion Stuart West (La Porte).
The women's squad features the return of both the Outstanding Track Athlete and the Outstanding Field Athlete from the 2012 Indoor Championships. Senior Creasy Clauser (Crawfordsville) earned Outstanding Track Athlete honors after winning the 400 and 800 individual titles, and competing on winning 4-x-200 and 4-x-400 relay squads.
Senior Liz Evans (Bicknell/North Knox) was named the Outstanding Field Athlete at last year's Indoor Championships after winning the high jump, long jump and triple jump championships.
Other returning indoor all-conference performers for the women include 4-x-200 meter relay champion Erin Cox (West Harrison/Franklin County), and senior pole vault champion Tanya Colonna (Brecksville, Ohio).
The indoor season continues with the Friday Night Invitational this weekend at the Rose-Hulman Sports and Recreation Center.
2011 HCAC Men's Track and Field Preseason Poll:
1) Rose-Hulman 100 (10)
2) Defiance 89
3) Manchester 76
4) Franklin 73
5) Anderson 62
6) Hanover 41
7) Earlham 37
8) Mount St. Joseph 34
9) Bluffton 27
10) Transylvania 11
2011 HCAC Women's Track and Field Preseason Poll:
1) Hanover 95 (9)
2) Rose-Hulman 87 (1)
3) Franklin 80
4) Manchester 70
5) Anderson 64
6) Defiance 53
7) Bluffton 35
8) Mount St. Joseph 29
9) Earlham 22
10) Transylvania 15