WAYNE – With the Wayne State College women’s and men’s outdoor track and field team to open their season with a home event this weekend, the 2022 NSIC Preseason Coaches Polls were announced.
According to a release from Wayne State Athletics, the Wildcat women were voted ninth out of 15 teams with 86 points and the Wayne State men were selected eighth out of 12 teams with 52 points conducted by league coaches.
Senior distance runner Allie Rosener and graduate student thrower Mckenzie Scheil as well as graduate student Cole Christoffersen and senior Noah Lilly were selected as Wildcats to Watch in the NSIC this season.
Minnesota State-Mankato, who just captured the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championship, was a unanimous selection in the preseason coaches’ poll receiving 196 points and 14 first-place votes. Last year’s NSIC outdoor champion University of Mary and Augustana tied for second with 176 points each as the Vikings earned the remaining first place ballot (coaches can’t vote for own team).
Winona State was fourth in the poll at 157 points followed by Minnesota Duluth (137), Northern State (119), Sioux Falls (117), Concordia-St. Paul (107), Wayne State with 86 points and St. Cloud State 10th at 78.
Rounding out the coaches’ poll were MSU Moorhead in 11th with 72 points along with Bemidji State (68), Minot State (41), Southwest Minnesota State (31) and Upper Iowa (14).
Allie Rosener, a senior from Newcastle (Hartington/Newcastle HS), is Wayne State’s Track Athlete to Watch this season. She just missed placing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at last year’s NSIC Outdoor Championships taking ninth at 11:36.50.
Mckenzie Scheil, a graduate student from Fairmont (Fillmore Central HS), was listed as the Wildcat Field Athlete to Watch. She is the reigning NSIC outdoor champion in the hammer throw (195′ 6 ½”) and was the NCAA national runner up in the event last spring. Scheil also placed sixth in the shot put (48′ 11″) at last year’s NSIC meet.
Minnesota State-Mankato, the nine-time reigning NSIC Outdoor champion for men’s track and field, was the unanimous selection to win the conference title again this season collecting 11 first-place votes and 121 points. Augustana followed in second with the remaining first place ballot (coaches can’t vote for own team) and 110 points.
MSU Moorhead came in third at 92 points followed by University of Mary (88) and Concordia-St. Paul with 80 points in fifth. Northern State was sixth at 71 points followed by Minnesota Duluth (64), Wayne State (52), Sioux Falls (40) and Minot State (36) closing out the top 10. Southwest Minnesota State (21 pts) and Upper Iowa (17) filled out the coaches’ preseason poll.
Graduate student Cole Christoffersen (Lyons-Decatur Northeast HS) was listed as the Wildcat Field Athlete to Watch this season. Last year, Cole placed fourth in the hammer throw and recorded marks over 185 feet in every regular season meet in the event. He had a season-best NCAA provisional mark of 194′ 3″ to place fifth at the Sioux City Relays.
Senior Noah Lilly (Creighton HS) is Wayne State’s Track Athlete to Watch after earning All-NSIC accolades last season placing second in the decathlon with an NCAA provisional mark of 6,368 points while also placing fifth in the javelin at 174′ 11 ¾”.
Wayne State College is scheduled to open the 2022 outdoor track and field season hosting the Wildcat Classic at LeRoy Simpson Track in Wayne on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26. Friday events will feature the hammer and javelin throws at 11 a.m. while Saturday field events will start at 11 a.m. with running events to begin at 11:30 a.m.