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Odalis Mejia, senior from Owasso High School, competes in the pole vault event. The Prentice Gudgen High School Invitation was held at Robert W. Plaster Center on Saturday, Jan. 19. Hannah Meier

Track and Field teams voted MIAA favorites in preseason coaches’ polls

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams were selected as the preseason favorites in the MIAA Indoor Track and Field Preseason Coaches Polls released on Friday, Jan. 11. The men accumulated 10 first place votes and 121 points while the women gathered 11 first places votes and 141 points to be the No. 1 team in the polls.  

Head coach Russ Jewett believes the votes are based on last year’s Indoor Track and Field standings.  

“When coaches vote on those, it is at a time where they are basically voting on last year… I look at it as a compliment.” Jewett said. “It is humbling to be selected by the other coaches in the conference as the favorite. We understand that it is way too early in any sport and even in our sport for anybody to really know how good anyone is… Now it would be easier in some ways, psychologically or emotionally, to not be ranked first but we take it as a compliment… We understand that there are a lot of other really good teams in the conference and we have our work cut out for us based on where we are right now and what we are seeing in the first three or four competitions already. Both teams certainly have their work cut out for them and we will have to get a lot better in order to be in a position to live up to those rankings.”  

According to Jewett, being ranked as the favorite does not change much for either team, however it does motivate both teams to work harder. 

“(It does not change) really anything other than you can tell you have respect, (that) they hold you in high regard the other folks in the conference and again, that is somewhat flattering and humbling at the same time,” Jewett said. “It needs to be something that motivates us, (something that is) not a burden… You have that target on your back and it is something that will motivate you to train hard every day.”  

The NCAA Division II National Outdoor Championships will be held in Kingsville, Texas on May 23-25.

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