Oklahoma Baptist University has a tall order to fill in defending its women's national indoor title while the men try to match or better their No. 2 finish last season.
The NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships begin Thursday in Johnson City, Tenn., and the Lady Bison hope to get the most out of their 16 athletes in eight events. It will be a difficult task. The 2007 Lady Bison competed in 10 events, but only scored in six in capturing the national title.
OBU is in all three women's relays and is the favorite in the 4x400 with a top national time of 3:48.91. Marissa Moseley, Aletha Hubbard, Yesenia Avila, Sherene Pinnock, Montouya Moore and Andrea Mellontree will be used at different stages to try to maximize the effort in the 4x400.
The Lady Bison are ranked 11th in the 4x800 (Shayna Legg, Kirsten Morrow, Melissa Farias, Emily Haynes and Optimum Baker) and 17th in the distance medley relay (Haynes, Legg, Sarah Patterson and Morrow).
Moseley is the favorite in the 400 meters as well with a time of 56.40 this season.
Depth is the name of the game for the women's 200 and 600. In the 200, Pinnock is ranked third, Moseley sixth, Aletha Hubbard 15th and Moore 16th. Pinnock has the best time in the NAIA in the 600 this year at 1:30.87,while Avila is ranked second and Optimum Baker is fourth.
The Lady Bison field eventers are Oliva Boisse in the weight throw, ranked 21st, and Nicole Cummins (seventh) and Abby Lewis (20th) in the triple jump.
The men's team sends 20 athletes to compete in 14 events.
Like the women, the Bison will compete in all three relays, but are expected to score in just one - the 4x400. That squad, which will include Adam Betterton, Ethan Mignard, Ross Harlan, T.J. Lightsey and Dominique Matthews, is ranked first.
The DMR is ranked ninth and will be made up of Justin Stroup, Bradley Jimerson, Jack Coppedge and Justin Duncan. The 4x800, which included Prophet Bailey, A.J. Carter, Billy Christy and Tracey Drew, is ranked ninth.
Lamar Baskin is ranked No. 1 in the 60 meter hurdles and, in a rare season for OBU, is the only hurdler scheduled to compete at nationals.
Matthews has the top time in the 200 meters at 21.72 and will be joined in the event by teammate Ola Bashorun, who is ranked eighth.
Those two also compete in the 60 meters, where Bashorun is ranked eighth and Matthews 11th.
OBU also has two entries each in the 400 and 800. T.J. Lightsey is ranked third in the 400, with Bradley Jimerson ranked 12th. In the 800, A.J. Carter is the No. 4 runner in the NAIA and Prophet Bailey is rated 11th.
Stroup (ninth) represents OBU in the mile and Durrell Williams (fourth) is the lone Bison in the 1,000 meters.
Jonathan Hilton (second) in the heptathlon is the lone multi-eventer in the group.
The field event athletes include Seth Brown (eighth) in the pole vault and John Armstrong (23rd) in the weight throw.
OBU also is sending Kurt Thomas from the men's side and Lady Bison Megan Henley.
Thursday, March 6
1 p.m. - Men's Heptathlon Start (Jonathan Hilton)
4:45 p.m. - Women's 4x800 relay semifinals
5:15 p.m. - Men's 4x800 relay semifinals
5:45 p.m. - Women's 4x400 relay prelims
6:15 p.m. - Men's 4x400 relay prelims
6:45 p.m. - Women's Distance Medley Relay semifinals
7:15 p.m. - Men's Distance Medley Relay semifinals
Friday, March 7
10 a.m. - Men's Heptathlon FINAL (Jonathan Hilton)
1 p.m. - Men's Weight Throw FINAL (John Armstrong)
1:20 p.m. - Men's 60 Hurdles prelim (Lamar Baskin)
1:50 p.m. - Men's 60M prelim (Olasubomi Bashorun, Dominique Matthews)
2:20 p.m. - Men's Mile semifinals (Justin Stroup)
2:40 p.m. - Men's 60 Hurdles semifinals (Lamar Baskin)
2:50 p.m. - Women's 400 semifinals (Marissa Moseley)
3:05 p.m. - Men's 400 semifinals (T.J. Lightsey, Bradley Jimerson)
3:20 p.m. - Women's 600 semifinals (Sherene Pinnock, Yesenia Avila, Optimum Baker)
3:35 p.m. - Men's 600 semifinals (Ross Harlan)
4 p.m. - Men's 60 semifinals (Olasubomi Bashorun, Dominique Matthews)
4 p.m. - Women's Weight Throw FINAL (Olivia Boisse)
4:25 p.m. - Men's 800 semifinals (A.J. Carter, Prophet Bailey)
4:55 p.m. - Men's 1,000 semifinals (Durrell Williams)
6 p.m. - Women's 200 semifinals (Sherene Pinnock, Marissa Moseley, Aletha Hubbard, Montouya Moore)
6:20 p.m. - Men's 200 semifinals (Dominique Matthews, Olasubomi Bashorun)
7:50 p.m. - Women's 4x800 Relay FINAL
8:05 p.m. - Men's 4x800 Relay FINAL
Saturday, March 8
10 a.m. - Women's Triple Jump FINAL (Nicole Cummins, Abby Lewis)
12:30 p.m. - Men's Pole Vault FINAL (Seth Brown)
12:35 p.m. - Men's Mile FINAL (Justin Stroup)
12:50 p.m. - Men's 60 Hurdles FINAL (Lamar Baskin)
12:55 p.m. - Women's 400 FINAL (Marissa Moseley)
1 p.m. - Men's 400 FINAL (T.J. Lightsey, Bradley Jimerson)
1:05 p.m. - Women's 600 FINAL (Sherene Pinnock, Yesenia Avila, Optimum Baker)
1:10 p.m. - Men's 600 FINAL (Ross Harlan)
1:25 p.m. - Men's 60 FINAL (Olasubomi Bashorun, Dominique Matthews)
1:35 p.m. - Men's 800 FINAL (A.J. Carter, Prophet Bailey)
1:55 p.m. - Men's 1,000 FINAL (Durrell Williams)
2:35 p.m. - Women's 200 FINAL (Sherene Pinnock, Marissa Moseley, Aletha Hubbard, Montouya Moore)
2:40 p.m. - Men's 200 FINAL (Dominique Matthews, Olasubomi Bashorun)
3:30 p.m. - Women's Distance Medley Relay FINAL
3:50 p.m. - Men's Distance Medley Relay FINAL
4:05 p.m. - Women's 4x400 Relay FINAL
4:15 p.m. - Men's 4x400 Relay FINAL