Q: The WSU men’s team finished second last season in the MVC Indoor Championships behind Indiana State. What are your team’s strengths this season?
A: I like our balance and depth. Our distance crew will run well. Ugis Jocis. Chris Burnett. Ryan Hocker. That’s a good crew. When I think about us competing in the Missouri Valley Conference event by event by event … I get excited because I think we’ll represent everywhere. The men’s multis will be a strong group. The throws will be a very strong group with Skylar Arneson and with Taylor Goldsmith and with Weston Cottrell. Weston Cottrell is a guy who, a year ago got second in the outdoor hammer throw. It looks like he’s really improving and developing beautifully and he’s just one of three. Then there’s Zach Loesch in the shot.
Q: What events are strongest for your women’s team?
A: The pentathlon, indoors. We’ll have some good distance runners, so we’ll be pretty effective in something like the mile or the 3k. I could see us going 1 through 4 in the league (in the pentathlon). That’s Nikki Larch-Miller and Breanne Borman and Jenny Pinkston and Jaclyn (Weber). The top three are going to be tough for the rest of the league to beat.
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Q: The women also finished second behind Indiana State. How does the MVC meet look this season?
A: Southern Illinois, on the women’s side, looks awfully good, like the team to beat. The projection we came up with before the season) had us winning the men and Southern Illinois winning the women and us getting second. Now, is it going to play out that way? It’s way premature. There will be some surprises. I was excited to try to look at it, because I was excited about our team and I figured we would project out on top on both sides, like convincingly. And we didn’t. The league is getting tough, man. We feel like we continue to improve our program, in terms of depth and balance. So is everybody else. Southern Illinois’ women’s throwers are so good this year it’s mind-boggling.