Wichita State has never won a men's indoor Missouri Valley Conference track and field title.
The times, heights and distances don't indicate that will change this weekend in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Shockers are picked fourth behind favorite Southern Illinois, Indiana State and 10-time defending champion Northern Iowa.
WSU coach Steve Rainbolt is thinking second place, with an eye on first if things go right.
"I'm greedy," he said. "We have to out-perform our form chart in several places."
Rainbolt feels good about events such as the heptathlon, where Chris Dickman is ranked seventh nationally and Justin Taylor Is No. 25. Tyler Simmons is the long jump favorite with a distance of 24 feet, 10 inches. Josh Crawford leads the triple jump at 48-3 1/4.
Events such as the 60-meter hurdles will determine how high the Shockers finish. Chris Allen is ranked second (8.15 seconds), ahead of teammate Todd McKown (8.16). Two weeks ago, at Iowa State, Allen and McKown finished ahead of Indiana State's Michael Roberts, the favorite.
"If the conference championship went that way... we'd go 18 points instead of 14 points," Rainbolt said. "And we'd knock Indiana State from 10 points to six points."
The WSU women, who finished second in 2009, are picked second behind Southern Illinois.
WSU is strongest in the sprints and distance running.
Audacia Moore is ranked first in the 200 meters (23.90 seconds) and second in the 60 (7.52). Teammate Shamoya Pruitt is third in the 60 (7.66).
Tonya Nero is ranked first in the 5,000 and second in the mile and 3,000. Leah Thompson is second in the 5,000 and third in the mile and 3,000.
La'Taish Brown ranks first in the long jump with a distance of 20-5 3/4.
Softball win _ Sophomore catcher Heather Gerritse hit a grand slam in the second inning as Wichita State beat Texas Southern 8-5 to open the Texas-Arlington Classic on Friday. Left fielder Kersti Rowan went 3 for 4 with two runs.
Tennis (outside), anyone? —The WSU played their first outdoor match of the spring, beating Bethany 7-0 at the Coleman Tennis Complex. The Shockers play host to Washburn at noon today.