Wichita State track and field coach Steve Rainbolt's roster owns a Missouri Valley Conference indoor sprint champion who isn't fast enough to use on a relay team at the outdoor meet.
That provides a clue to the strength of WSU's men's team.
It's depth, and more depth. The Shockers should be the favorite to win the MVC outdoor title when the meet begins Friday in Normal, Ill.
"Indoors, we scored four or more athletes in the high hurdles, the heptathlon, the 400 meters, the long jump and the high jump," Rainbolt said. "We've got a deep and well-balanced team. Plus, outdoors we add our terrific javelin throwers."
The MVC performance chart gives WSU a 60-point edge over Southern Illinois. Rainbolt calls that misleading. However, the chart clearly indicates the Shockers are loaded in several events.
Dylan Harnett (47.65 seconds), Justin Smith and Chris Dickman own the top times in the 400. Dickman is the favorite in the 100 and 200. Todd McKown is the 110-meter hurdles leader, with four other Shockers in the top eight. Three Shockers rank in the top eight of the 400 hurdles and the high jump. The top five long jumpers are Shockers, led by Tyler Simmons at 24 feet, 8 1/4 inches. Josh Crawford (51-1) leads the triple jump. Trent Mazanec (231-4) is the javelin favorite, with three teammates in the top eight. Dickman (7,074 points) is second in the decathlon, with four Shockers behind him.
The chart tells a different story for the women, who come in second in the pre-race calculations behind defending champion Southern Illinois.
The Shockers aren't deep. Those who score, score big.
Audacia Moore owns the top time in the 100 (11.61) and the 200 (23.75). Tonya Nero owns the top times in the 5,000 (16:21.72) and 10,000 (33.32.84) by wide margins. Teammates Irene Kosgei and Leah Thompson are also near the top in distance events. Rachel York (10:45.80) is a contender in the steeplechase. La'Taish Brown (20-10 1/2) tops the long jump chart by more than a foot.
Both approaches worked in the indoor meet, when WSU swept the titles.
"We've got to go there and capitalize on our strength, which is consistency and depth," Rainbolt said. "On the women's side, our strength is we've got some stars."
The WSU men will try to win their fourth outdoor title under Rainbolt and their first since 2004. The women own four titles under Rainbolt, most recently in 2007.
Down the stretch — WSU needs a strong finish from its baseball, softball and track and field teams to win the MVC All-Sports Award.
Illinois State leads the standings with an average finish of 2.69, just ahead of WSU at 2.82. Missouri State is third at 3.80.
WSU and Illinois State are close in the baseball race. They are expected to be close competitors in women's outdoor track. Illinois State will finish well ahead of the Shockers in softball. Only in the men's track meet is WSU expected to significantly outperform the Redbirds.
WSU, which is the defending all-sports champion, owns MVC titles in women's cross country, men's and women's indoor track, men's golf and women's tennis. Illinois State won titles in women's soccer, women's basketball, women's golf and men's tennis.
In and out — P'Allen Stinnett's tumultuous career as a Creighton basketball player is finished.
New coach Greg McDermott dismissed Stinnett on Friday, according to the Omaha World-Herald. He declined to comment. Stinnett, a senior-to-be, was suspended on Jan. 25 for conduct not acceptable to the team by former coach Dana Altman. He did not play for the remainder of the season.
Stinnett, from Las Vegas, was well-known for accumulating technical fouls. He will be remembered by WSU fans for one he didn't get after punting the basketball into the student section during a game at Koch Arena, a move that escaped the notice of the referees.
Creighton will have senior-to-be Kenny Lawson, who withdrew his name from the NBA draft last week. Lawson, a center, did not sign with an agent.
Golf for scholarships _ The Al Littleton Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on June 12 at Braeburn Golf Course.
Littleton, a former WSU coach and player and two-time Kansas Amateur champion, died in October. Proceeds will go to the Al and Donna Littleton Golf Scholarship at WSU, which benefits the men's and women's programs.
Cost is $50 per player or $200 per team. For information call Brian Baxter at (316) 249-3928 or go to allittletonmemorial.com.
Former WSU bowler honored _ Former Wichita State bowler George Lambert IV won the PBA's Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award. Lambert, who bowled at WSU from 2005-08, is Canadian and the first international player to win the award.
Notes — The summer session of Rainbolt's Shocker Fitness runs May 24-July 30 at Cessna Stadium. The cost is $45 for 30 sessions, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Times are 5:30 a.m., 7 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. Rainbolt is also offering yoga and weight-training classes. For information call 316-978-5543.... WSU men's golfer Anders Engell was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete team.... WSU tennis player Lutfiana Budiharto and the doubles team of Stephanie Dalmacio and Delia Damaschin will play in the NCAA Individual Championships in Athens, Ga., beginning May 26.... Redshirts Austin Bahner (6,692 points) and Toby Boese (6,454) qualified for the United States Junior National Outdoor in the decathlon last week at Cessna Stadium.