CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina men's and women's track and field teams head to the Southern Conference Indoor Championships in search of their first titles under first year head coach Cale McDaniel. The men and women come in ranked second in the SoCon according to the most recent power rankings. The men look to defend their 2016 titles while the women look to return to the top after a second place showing last season.
The men are three-time defending indoor champions while the women have won three of the last four titles.
The 2017 Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships are set for Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 25-26). The championships will be hosted by ETSU at the Bucs’ Mountain States Health Alliance Athletics Center in Johnson City, Tennessee. This year marks the 81st annual championship for the men and 30th for the women. The Catamounts have spent two weekends this season competing in Johnson City so they will be very familiar with the facility.
Saturday’s schedule will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the women’s pentathlon and will be followed by the first four men’s heptathlon events at 9 a.m. Events are scheduled through 6:35 p.m. on Saturday with action resuming on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with the men’s final three heptathlon events. The championship will conclude on Sunday evening with the awards ceremony slated for 4:05 p.m.
This year’s championship is free to the public. Live results, daily recaps, photos and video highlights can be found at SoConSports.com. Additionally, the finals of each event will be streamed on the SoCon Digital Network. Dailey recaps will be available on CatamountSports.com following the conclusion of each day.
In the latest men’s power rankings, which include meets through this past weekend, Samford leads the league with 179 points, followed by Western Carolina (152) and ETSU (122). Furman checks in at No. 4 with 98 points. The Citadel (51), Wofford (44) and UNCG (3) round out the group.
The women’s power rankings are highlighted by defending champion Samford, which tallied 247 points, followed by Western Carolina with 143 points. ETSU checks in third, totaling 106 points, while Furman took 77 points. VMI is fifth in the power rankings with 46 points followed by Wofford, which notched 22 points. UNCG (5), Chattanooga (3) and The Citadel (2) close out the women’s squads.
The rankings are determined by the top eight times or scores that are reported by the schools for each event that will be conducted at this weekend’s championships.
The Catamounts are led by first year head coach Cale McDaniel. The men are seeking to become the first team to win four-straight titles since Appalachian State won seven-in-a-row from 1984-90. Junior Dakota Lamont enters as the favorite on the men’s side in the 400m while the WCU men’s 4x400m squad also has the top time entering this weekend’s action. Freshman Di'Joun Huitt posted the top mark this season in the men’s triple jump and senior Scott Peretin has the top distance in the men’s shot put. WCU’s lone women’s favorite is senior Hailey Cook who turned in the top performance this season in the shot put.
Men's Indoor Track and Field Power Rankings
Western Carolina (152)
The Citadel (51)
Women's Indoor Track and Field Power Rankings
Western Carolina (143)
The Citadel (2)