2018 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships host Liberty has been picked to sweep the event's men's and women's team titles by the conference's head coaches, it was announced today.
Head Coach Brant Tolsma's men's squad has captured all 20 team titles in the history of the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, marking the longest active conference championship streak in NCAA Division I men's indoor track & field. This year's squad received six of the seven first-place votes and 48 total points for the No. 1 spot in the preseason poll.
The Flames return three conference champions from the 2017 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, including Jovaine Atkinson (60 hurdles), Jahquez Durham (400) and Carson Waters (pole vault). Additionally, Durham, Jeff Jacobs and Michael Todd are all back from Liberty's Big South champion men's 4 x 400 relay quartet.
Campbell, which placed second to Liberty in 2017, earned the remaining first-place vote and 43 total points for second place in the poll. The Camels were followed by Charleston Southern (32 points) and High Point (31 points), who placed third and fourth, respectively.
Winthrop (fifth place, 19 points), Gardner-Webb (sixth place, 14 points) and UNC Asheville (seventh place, 9 points) round out the men's poll.
On the women's side, Liberty is favored to capture its third straight Big South title, garnering seven first-place votes and 63 points.
Liberty's 2018 women's squad features six returning Big South champions from the 2017 meet, including Tanner Ealum (400), Jessie Glynn (pole vault), Dasiana Larson (shot put), Delaney McDowell (800), Kylie Polsgrove (pentathlon) and Erin Zappia (high jump). Ealum and McDowell are also back from the Lady Flames' first-place 4 x 400 relay squad.
2017 runner-up Campbell claimed the remaining first-place vote and was picked to finish second with 56 points, followed by High Point in third place with 49 points.
The next three teams in the women's poll were separated by only nine points, including Charleston Southern (fourth place, 37 points), Winthrop (fifth place, 30 points) and Radford (sixth place, 28 points). Gardner-Webb (seventh place, 13 points) and UNC Asheville (eighth place, 12 points) round out the poll.
Liberty will begin its 2018 indoor track & field season at the Keydet Invitational, Jan. 19-20 at VMI's brand-new Corps Physical Training Center.
The Flames' four-meet home schedule during the second year of competition at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex will get started the following weekend (Jan. 26-27) with the Liberty Kickoff.
For the first time in meet history, Liberty will play host to the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. The meet will be contested Feb. 23-24 at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex.
2017-18 Big South Conference Men's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Poll 1) Liberty (6 first-place votes) – 48 points 2) Campbell (1) – 43 3) Charleston Southern – 32 4) High Point – 31 5) Winthrop – 19 6) Gardner-Webb – 14 7) UNC Asheville – 9
2017-18 Big South Conference Women's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Poll 1) Liberty (7 first-place votes) – 63 2) Campbell (1) – 56 3) High Point – 49 4) Charleston Southern – 37 5) Winthrop – 30 6) Radford – 28 7) Gardner-Webb – 13 8) UNC Asheville – 12