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Southeast women's track teams looks to start new OVC win streak
The Southeast women saw a string of seven straight OVC titles end at the indoor meet.
The Southeast Missouri State track and field program saw its string of Ohio Valley Conference titles end in February during the league's indoor meet.
Southeast hopes to start a new streak this weekend when the OVC outdoor championships are held in Charleston, Ill., with competition today and Saturday.
But coach Joey Haines expects Southeast, which has been hampered by injuries to both its teams, to be hard-pressed to sweep both outdoor titles for the third straight time
Southeast's women entered the year having won seven consecutive OVC meets, four outdoors and three indoors.
The Southeast men have captured two straight OVC outdoor crowns.
Neither squad prevailed during this year's indoor meet as the women finished third and the men placed second.
"It's just been one of those years where we've had more injuries than normal," Haines said. "We're not the favorites on either side, but we're going to compete as hard as we can and see what happens."
During this year's indoor meet, Southeast's women scored 100 points and placed third. Eastern Illinois won with 132 points and Tennessee State was second with 117.
At last season's outdoor meet, Southeast's women totaled 149 1/2 points to ease past runner-up Jacksonville State (115 1/2).
The Redhawks have a pair of returning individual outdoor champions in senior Lindsay Zeiler (1,500) and junior Lindsay Hearne (javelin).
At this year's indoor meet, freshman Ashley Brewer captured the shot put title.
"Our women have a chance to win. It should be a dogfight between us, Eastern Illinois, Tennessee State and Jacksonville State," Haines said.
Southeast's men placed second at this year's indoor meet with 135 points, which was well off the pace set by Eastern Illinois, which claimed its eighth straight indoor title with 207 points.
Southeast's men bested Eastern Illinois in a thrilling 2006 outdoor competition. The Redhawks prevailed by winning the final event, the 1,600 relay.
Only Chris Poindexter returns from that relay group. The Redhawks' only other returning defending champion, junior Kevin McNab (steeplechase), is out with an injury.
During this year's indoor meet, sophomore Chris Williams won the 200 and was second in the 400, while the 1,600 relay team of David Reid, Poindexter, Myron Pettigrew and Williams prevailed.
Williams will try to help make up for the loss of all-American Miles Smith, who would have been favored in the 400 and 200 this weekend. Smith is out with an injury.
"Eastern Illinois is the heavy favorite on the men's side," Haines said. "We're just not taking enough bullets."
Two athletes honored
Sophomore Brandon Karcher and freshman Brandon Colbert received two of the OVC's top outdoor track and field honors.
Karcher was named the league's co-male track athlete of the year, while Colbert captured the conference's male field athlete of the year award.
Karcher has the OVC's top times in the 5,000 (14:47.39) and 10,000 (30:14.75).
Colbert has already qualified for the NCAA regional in the shot put and discus as he holds the OVC's top distances in those events with throws of 55 feet, 2 inches and 172-7, respectively.