2012 Western Oregon Track and Field Previews

Outlooks on both men's and women's teams

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WOU freshman and Central High grad Ty Phillips, right, is shown here in the 200-meter race in Saturday's Willamette Invitational.

Western Oregon University Men's Outdoor Track and Field

FIVE TO WATCH

Brett Campbell

(soph., hurdles): 2011 outdoor conference champion in 110 hurdles, 2012 GNAC indoor champ in 60 hurdles.

Matson Hardie

(soph., jumps): 2012 GNAC indoor champ in triple jump.

Ryan Hansen

(soph., distance): 2012 NCAA Division II National Indoor Championships qualifier in 800; 2012 GNAC Indoor Newcomer of the Year.

Connor Kasler

(jr., distance): 2011 NCAA Division II National Outdoor Championships qualifier in 800, fourth at 2011 GNAC Outdoor Championships.

Will Crook

(jr., throws): NCAA Outdoor All-American in javelin (eighth at NCAAs), 2011 GNAC Outdoor champ in same event.

OUTLOOK

The WOU men's team suffered a few losses to graduation, but still appears primed to make a run at its sixth Great Northwest Athletic Conference Outdoor championship. Replacing 2011 shot put champ Jason Slowey's 12 points at last year's GNAC Championships will be the biggest challenge.

Will Crook

The Wolves do return three conference champions in Campbell, Crook and Kyle Larson (800), and should be bolstered by Hardie, who missed all of last season with an ankle injury. Kody Rhodes (soph., hurdles) should compete near the top in the 400 hurdles, while Robert Alexander (jr., sprints), Anthony Yakovich (jr., sprints), Tyler Thomas (jr., sprints), Kasler and Kyle Lane (soph., long jump) will all aim to be at their best come conference championship time. The sky may be the limit for Hansen, a Dallas native (Santiam Christian High School), who should continue to improve in his second year in outdoor competition.

Matson Hardie

Other local athletes competing for the WOU men's side include Central High grads Ty Phillips (fr., sprints) and Gabe Mendenhall (soph., jumps).

Western Oregon University Women's Outdoor Track and Field

FIVE TO WATCH

Ashley Potter

(sr., jumps): 2012 NCAA Division II Indoor All-American in triple jump, 2012 GNAC indoor and 2011 outdoor triple jump champ, 2012 GNAC Indoor Athlete of the Year.

Lexi Pola

(jr., sprints): Second in 400 and third in 200 at 2011 GNAC Outdoor Championships; Dallas High grad.

Amanda Schumaker

(jr., throws): 2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor All-American in javelin, eighth at NCAA Championships.

Janelle Everetts

(sr., distance): 2012 NCAA Indoor National meet qualifier (800).

Amanda Schumaker

Katie Pelchar

(soph., jumps): Second place in high jump at 2011 GNAC Outdoor Championships.

OUTLOOK

Potter certainly had a breakout season on the indoor track, but she'll have plenty of support as the squad prepares to do damage at the GNAC Outdoor Championships May 11-12. Schumaker has already tabbed an NCAA provisional standard in the javelin, while Pola and Madison McClung (soph., sprints) return from a 4 x 100 relay team that took second at the GNAC Outdoor Championships in 2011. Pelchar, the 2012 indoor champ in the high jump, is back, along with hurdlers Ali Mosher (sr., third in the 400 hurdles in the 2011 Outdoor Championships) and senior Janna Vander Meulen, who set the school record in the 60 hurdles during the indoor season. Johnson said Seabre Church (soph., javelin) and KayAnna Cecchi (sr., 10,000) should also have breakout seasons, while Audrey Hellesto (fr., sprints) and Everetts joined Pola and Meryl Butcher (sr.) on the 4 x 400 indoor relay team that broke the school record and took second at the 2012 GNAC Championships.

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