Season Outlook

The Wittenberg University men's and women's track and field teams head into the 2003 outdoor season with high expectations. Both rosters are stocked with talented underclassmen hoping to break through and tap their potential, as well as accomplished upperclassmen who have already tasted collegiate success on the track and, in several cases, on other fields of play.

Leading the men, who capped a fine 2003 indoor season with a second straight runner-up finish in the North Coast Athletic Conference championships, are juniorsSkip Ivery (Columbus, Ohio/Groveport-Madison) and Demetrius Ellison (Cleveland, Ohio/Garfield Heights Trinity). Ivery has three indoor high hurdles conference titles and one outdoor high hurdles conference crown already to his credit, and he was the 2003 indoor 55-meter hurdles national runner-up, by himself earning the Tigers a 23rd place finish in the NCAA Division III Championship meet team standings. Ellison came off an injury-plagued 2002 season to win two of the three sprint events in the NCAC indoor championships and anchor the winning 1600-meter relay en route to earning Sprinter/Hurdler of the Year honors.

Ivery and Ellison are hardly alone in scoring big points regularly for the defending NCAC men's outdoor track and field champions. Sophomore Joe Rumschlag (Maumee, Ohio/Toledo Christian) is a force in the jumps, sprints and relays, seniorJoel Drake (Springfield, Ohio/Shawnee) is the defending outdoor shot put champion and won his first indoor title in the event in March, senior Mark Trempe (Springfield, Ohio/St. Paris Graham) offers depth in the sprints and leadership in the relays and junior Tim Gaal (Amanda, Ohio/Clearcreek) was 11th in the nation in the javelin and second in the NCAC in the decathlon last year.

Tiger women's track athlete throws shot put

The women have a great deal of depth and talent in 2003, elements that will help the Tigers compete for an NCAC title. Leading the charge will be juniors Kristen Mumper (Cincinnati, Ohio/Purcell Marian),Geri Woessner (Dayton, Ohio/Oakwood) and Kelly Zilli (Dayton, Ohio/Kettering Alter) and senior Abi Gerstle (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont), but they likely won't be alone as the Tigers try to improve upon their team standing.

Mumper is a tremendous all-around talent who posted NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the triple jump and 400 meters during the 2003 indoor campaign. She placed in four events during the indoor conference championship meet. Woessner, an all-conference women's soccer player, is coming off a knee injury that sidelined her for the entire 2002-03 women's basketball season. Still, the two-time NCAC Women's Outdoor Field Events Athlete of the Year is expected to be in fine form to defend her heptathlon crown.

Zilli is a middle distance runner who holds several school records. Gerstle is a two-time NCAC cross country champion who missed the 2002 track and field season while studying abroad. She was an outdoor national qualifier as a sophomore in the steeplechase event.