Badger Athletics - Spring Hill College News
Sophomore Phillip Travis
Sophomore Phillip Travis
Men's Outdoor Track & Field - Fri, Feb. 21, 2014

The Spring Hill College Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field teams return for their second season on the cinder following an outstanding premier season. Head coach Craig McVey was pleased with the performance of his fledgling program in 2013 and looks for even better things to happen in 2014. "Last year was a good start," he says. "We accomplished many of our goals, but this year we look to have a more experienced squad on both the men's and women's sides and we are definitely a deeper team with our talent. We brought in a number of really good freshmen, so we are a new team, but we are also a better team."

With the men, McVey believes the Badgers have two runners who have the ability to qualify for the NAIA National Championships to be held in Gulf Shores, Ala., in May. "I expect brothers Phillip Travis (SO, Poplarville, Miss.) and Jordan Travis (SO, Poplarville, Miss.) to compete for spots at Nationals," he says. "Phillip in the 400 meters and Jordan in the 800 meters are both running well right now and Jordan just missed making the National Meet by a hair last year." McVey has also been impressed by the off-season work of John Russell (JR, Cullman, Ala.). "John has transformed his body this year and it is paying off for him. He is pushing himself hard and that's going to be important for our team."

McVey also sees Wesley Pietri (SO, Mobile, Ala.) challenging for a national spot in the jumps. "Wesley has really worked hard and will be a major point-scorer for us this year." The Badger head coach points to his throws team of Harrison McNab (JR, New Orleans, La.) and Justin Rooks (SO, Mobile, Ala.) as another pillar of the 2014 team. "We have good throwers," he says. "That is one of the areas where we will be significantly improved."

The relay teams excite McVey for the upcoming year. "We have another quality team in both the 4x100 and the 4x400," he says. "We'll do well in our relays."

For the women, McVey immediately mentions his group of throwers as an important cog in the machine. "Our throws are solid this year," he says. "With more experience in Esperanza Pace and the addition of some new young throwers we will have good depth in the shot, the javelin and the discus."

The Badger sprints team was already a quality team and has only gotten stronger especially in the relay events. "Our 4x400-meter relays are pretty good," says McVey. "And our 4x100-meter team could be very good."

The Spring Hill middle and long distance runners are the most experienced runners on the team and McVey is encourage by his senior leadership in those events. "Anna DeWine and Emily Dolan are both running well," he says. "Emily will run in the 1500-meters and Anna has been working hard to become the first steeplechase runner in SHC history."

In the jumps, the Badgers will look to freshmen Christeen Madsen, Jennifer Medlock and Kourtney Jones for good performances. "Our triple jump will have very nice depth this year," McVey says. "Madson, Medlock and Lones are going to be excellent additions to our program."

Overall, McVey is happy with where the Spring Hill College Track & Field programs stand and where they are headed. "This year I can't say that we are excellent in any one thing, but we are good in just about everything. For a young team, you need to build the foundation first and that's exactly what we are doing. The thing I like as a coach is when I hear the athletes encouraging, pushing and helping each other. That's what good teams are built on."

Spring Hill opens the 2014 outdoor season on Saturday at the Mississippi College Season Opener in Clinton, Miss.