NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University was picked for a pair of top-five finishes with the announcement of the 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference outdoor track and field preseason coaches polls Wednesday, March 14.
On the women's side of the ledger, Coach Brian Cashdollar's team received 73 ranking points, trailing only preseason favorite Rose-Hulman (99 pts. – nine first-place votes); Bluffton University (81 points); and Hanover College (79 pts. – one first-place vote). The three-time defending champions were represented on the Athletes to Watch section by senior thrower Jacey Cauhorn (Kendallville, Ind.) who was the indoor shot put champion at Anderson University's Kardatzke Wellness Center last month and ended in the first five of the shot put, discus, hammer throw and javelin a year ago at AU's Macholtz Stadium; junior sprinter Dasia Beck (Indianapolis, Ind.) who was second team all-conference indoors this season due to placing second in the 60 and outdoors in 2017 after a runner-up mark in the 100; and sophomore distance runner Hannah Wappes (Columbia City, Ind.) who is coming off an indoor nationals appearance in the mile and was the league's indoor track Athlete of the Year in 2018 after winning the 800 and mile and was the Freshman of the Year last spring outdoors after claiming the 800 and 1500.
MU's men registered 73 points to rank fourth in their poll, too. Rose-Hulman was the favorite, earning all ten first-place votes and 100 ranking points, while Anderson University (87 points) and Hanover College (80 points) were neck-and-neck in second and third. A quartet of Spartans were named to the Athletes to Watch Section, as junior sprinter Austin Coughlin (Fairland, Ind.), an honorable mention all-HCAC indoor selection after running with the third-place 4x200 squad at AU; senior sprinter Harrison Hollis (Lebanon, Ind.) also an honorable mention all-conference pick due to being on the third-place 4x200 team; indoor championships' Freshman of the Year and sprinter Travis Murr (Franklin, Ind.) who was a runner-up in the 60 and 200 and competed with the third-place 4x200 and fifth-place 4x400 teams; and sophomore jumps specialist Austin Roberts (Indianapolis, Ind.) who is a returning honorable mention outdoor awardee and was tabbed second team indoors after placing third last spring and runner-up last month in the long jump were recognized.
The Spartans are scheduled to open their 2018 season Saturday, March 31, at Hanover College's Invitational.