GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) released its indoor track & field preseason coaches' polls on Tuesday (Jan. 16) afternoon.
Both the Franklin teams sit in the middle of the pack in the preseason rankings, checking in sixth place in both the men's and women's polls.
On the men's side, the Grizzlies garnered 46 points in the poll and are sandwiched between Manchester and Earlham in the rankings. Four Grizzlies were named to the league's "Athletes to Watch" list in senior Nathan Adams and sophomores Reed Sauter, Clayton Brumfield and Matt Steinke.
In the Grizzlies' first event of the year back in December, Adams set a new program record in the weight throw (15.64m), a mark that put him at top of the HCAC in the early going. Adams is expected to be the anchor in the throws this year for the Grizzlies.
Brumfield and Sauter are coming off all-conference years as freshmen. Brumfield is the reigning conference champion in the 1600m while Sauter recorded top-three finishes in the 400m and 800m a year ago. Steinke is coming off a year that saw him finish as the runner-up in the 60m hurdles as a freshman.
The Franklin women garnered 49 points in their poll and enter the bulk of their indoor season slotted between Earlham and Anderson in the rankings. The FC women's team also placed four student-athletes on the league's "Athletes to Watch" list in senior Rachel Bowden, junior Kelsey Bowling, sophomore Sarah Miller and freshman Morgan Clarke.
In Bowling and Miller, the Grizzlies return their two top scorers from the 2016-17 campaign. Bowling finished third in the league in the triple jump last year and cracked the top-five in both the 60m hurdles and the long jump. Miller returns as the Grizzlies' top sprinter after taking second place in the 200m dash and fifth place in the 60m dash during her freshman campaign.
Bowden is expected to lead the way for the Franklin distance squad during the indoor season. The New Albany, Ind.-native is coming off a strong cross country campaign that saw her take the top spot among all Franklin runners in their final event of the fall at the Great Lakes Regional. Clarke will look to pick up valuable points in jumps and sprints in her first indoor season.
Rose-Hulman was selected as the top team on both the men's and women's sides in the preseason rankings. A complete list of the rankings can be found at the top of the page.
Franklin returns to competition this Friday (Jan. 19) night, traveling to Terre Haute, Ind. for the Rose-Hulman Friday Night Invitational. The event starts at 6:00 p.m.