Quality over quantity for WC at OAC Championships

April 25, 2013

Senior Mason Metts could be an OAC champion in two different events. (Wilmington file/Randy Sarvis)

Senior Mason Metts could be an OAC champion in two different events. (Wilmington file/Randy Sarvis)

As the Wilmington College track & field team embarks on the 2013 Ohio Athletic Conference outdoor championships, it will be more about quality than quantity as they look to improve on their preseason rankings. (Live Stats)

“We have a lot of different kids that can be all-conference,” said head coach Ron Combs. “We are not a team built around having a bunch of kids finishing seventh or eighth. If we are going to do well, it’s because we have a lot of kids finishing in the Top-3. I believe we have the smallest team competing in the OAC Championships. So, if we do well it’s because we maximized our scoring opportunities on the men’s side. That is why I think a lot of people overlooked us. We are not throwing 50 kids at you; we are throwing less than 20 that has a chance to score and compete at the meet.”

The OAC coaches predicted a seventh place finish for the Quakers, and Combs’ squad is ready to prove them wrong and bring home a Top-3 finish.

“I think we can be a lot better than that,” said Combs. “Mount Union is going to win the meet, and it’s a fight for everything after that. I think we are one of the teams that could surprise some people if we put it together Friday and Saturday.”

Leading the Wilmington contingent are senior Mason Metts (Pomeroy, OH/Meigs), junior Christian Patterson (Cincinnati, OH/Norwood) and sophomore Jake Sydnor (Batavia, OH/Clermont Northeastern). All three enter the championships ranked first in their respective events.

Patterson, who has the second-best height nationally in the high jump, is undefeated in outdoor competitions this season. However, the NCAA indoor champion is also from the OAC. Metts has a chance to be a two-time OAC champion, by winning the shot put and the hammer. Both individuals are firmly entrenched in contention for the NCAA championships.

Sydnor is the favorite to win the 400. Several other members are poised to bring home all-OAC honors by finishing in the top three. Freshman Leevi Stump (Mt. Vernon, OH/Mt. Vernon) in both the long and the triple jumps, while Alek Erwin (Springfield, OH/Northeastern) can bring home all-conference honors in the 1,500.

The 4x100 and 4x800 relay teams will be in competition as well.

The women’s side is a different animal.

“We just don’t have the numbers to compete team-wise,” said Combs. “We are focusing on some individual events that we can do well in.”

Senior Liz Delehanty (Euclid, OH/Villa Angela St. Joseph) and sophomore Jenna Parlette (Miamisburg, OH/Miamisburg) are the strongest contenders for OAC championships. Delehanty has been solid in the pole vault all season long, while Parlette has been great in distances since cross country season.

Other athletes in contention for all-league honors are Sarah Murphy (West Liberty, OH/West Liberty-Salem, 400 hurdles), Parlette (5K), Marissa Bolen (Gibsonburg, OH/Gibsonburg, shot put), Kelsie Redway (Toledo, OH/Whitmer, high jump) and Jadie Riewoldt (Morrow, OH/Little Miami, high jump).