WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita State track & field officially kicks off the men's and women's outdoor seasons this weekend, as Shocker student-athletes split up to compete in three meets.
The majority of the team will compete in the Arkansas Spring Invitational starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark. A handful of Shocker distance runners will travel across Wichita to run in the women's and men's 5,000 meters at the Friends University Enduro Classic starting at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Shocker throwers will travel to Emporia, Kan., to participate in the ESU Spring Open hammer throw, javelin, discus and shot put starting at noon Saturday.
The Wichita State women concluded the indoor season with a second-place team finish at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships, just 22/3 points behind champion Missouri State in late February. The Shocker men finished third as a team and 18½ points behind winner Southern Illinois. Wichita State student-athletes combined for eight individual championships during the indoor conference meet and 14 Shockers finished with all-conference honors in a combined 20 events.
Shockers Audacia Moore and Dylan Hartnett were named 2012 MVC Most Valuable Athletes. Wichita State's Aliphine Tuliamuk and Todd McKown were named 2012 MVC Most Outstanding Track Athletes. Tuliamuk went on to receive First Team All-America honors in the 3K and 5K for her top-eight finishes at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The Shocker women enter the 2012 outdoor season as defending MVC champions after winning the 2011 outdoor team title with 194 points. The WSU men finished third in a tight team race last spring, finishing with 163 points - just five points behind champion Indiana State.
The WSU women were led by 2011 MVC Most Valuable Athlete Moore, who won individual titles in the outdoor 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100-meter relay. Returner Tuliamuk won the MVC outdoor 5,000 meters in 2011.
On the men's side, McKown won the men's most outstanding track athlete award last season. He won the outdoor 110-meter hurdles title in 2011. Hartnett, who won the 400 meters and 4x400-meter relay, and Austin Bahner, part of the winning 4x400-meter relay team, also return for the Shockers.
Tuliamuk, a 2011 All-American in the outdoor 5K and 10K, as well as Moore, McKown, Hartnett and Bahner are scheduled to compete in Fayetteville this weekend.
Wichita State's multi-event student-athletes got a jump-start on the season last week, opening their outdoor schedule at the Trinity University Heptathlon-Decathlon March 22-23 in San Antonio, Texas.
Tanya Friesen currently ranks sixth in the nation in the women's heptathlon after posting 5,139 points in San Antonio. She also ranks 21st nationally in the long jump (19-5 ¼). Friesen is scheduled to compete Saturday at Arkansas.
Bahner currently ranks second in the nation in the men's decathlon after posting 7,188 points last week in San Antonio. He is scheduled to participate in sprints at Arkansas this weekend.
- Wichita State -