TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been selected by Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference as the preseason favorite to earn its 10th consecutive outdoor league title, in a preseason poll of league coaches released on Tuesday.
The Fightin' Engineers were the unanimous choice of the coaches in the league poll with 100 points and 10 first-place votes. Anderson was picked to finish second, followed by Hanover and Bluffton.
The women's track and field team was a strong choice in the HCAC preseason poll as well, earning the third position with one first place vote. Hanover was picked first with six first place votes, followed by Manchester with three first place votes, then Rose-Hulman and Transylvania.
The men's projection comes after Rose-Hulman enjoyed a dominant performance in the 2017 indoor conference championships. The Fightin' Engineers scored 247.5 points in the HCAC Indoor Championship meet -- a mark that ranks as the most points scored by any team in NCAA Division III men's track and field conference championships this season.
Rose-Hulman returns seven men's event champions from the 2016 HCAC Outdoor Championships that resulted in the ninth straight title for the Fightin' Engineers. Returning conference titleists from the 2016 outdoor season include Nathan Green (pole vault); Matt Hill (3,000 steeplechase and 5,000); Josh Himes (discus); Trey Sykes (triple jump); and Ben Wewe (javelin). The team also returns three runners from the 4-x-400 relay championship team and three 4-x-100 winners.
The men's team completed the indoor season with a 43-1 dual meet record and were the seventh ranked team in the final NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region rankings.
Rose-Hulman opens the 2017 outdoor track and field season this weekend, with the Early Bird Invitational at the William Welch Track & Field Complex on Saturday.