Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships Preview
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Bemidji, Minn. - The conference championships are back in Bemidji after a two-year break. Craig Hougen, in his 14th year as track and field coach, says that there are advantages and disadvantages for the meet to be in Bemidji.

“ It is nice for the kids to have their friends and families cheering them on and they have a familiarity of their surroundings. But there can also be negatives such as too many friends being there and distracting them. But I think that overall, the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages.”

Seniors Melanie Hoheisel (Pengilly, Minn.) and Steve Leuer (Maple Grove, Minn.) will be the big producers and have impact on BSU’s fortunes. Hoheisel set the school record in the 55/60m hurdles at the Super 8 Open (1/25/03) hosted by BSU. Also, she has provisionally qualified on four occasions in the same event and currently stands eighth in NCAA Division II rankings with a mark of 9.08 at the St. Cloud State Open (2/22/03).

Leuer has taken first place three times this season, including a school record in the 3,000m at the Super 8 Open (1/25/03). In addition, Leuer set the Olson Forum facility record in Moorhead, Minn., at the Cobber Duals (2/1/03) and the Cobber Invite (2/15/03) in the 1,000m.

“Steve and Melanie will both have very big days for us,” said Hougen. “They might have their legs run off of them with all the events that they will be in. I do not anticipate Melanie doing anything but very well in the hurdles. I also see her doing well in the pentathlon, 100m and possibly anchor the 4x400. She could have a chance to be female athlete of the meet.”

“Steve will be a big part of the 4x800, mile run, 600m, 1,000m and possibly the 4x400. If he is as successful in all those events as we expect, then he could very well be the male athlete of the meet.”

With seven events under their belts this season, both squads seem to be finding their stride at the best possible time.

“Our distance runners are primed and ready to go,” said Hougen. “(Christa) Pribula and (Martha) Miltich are running very well right now. Our young throwers on the men’s side in Adam Wilson, Michael Rydberg, Josh Haugan and Jacob Wojcechowski could be exciting to watch. Steve Schreiber in the high jump is just one-half inch off of provisionally qualifying, so I expect big things from him.”

Besides a couple of injuries to Amy Taylor (knee) and Carla Perry (hamstring), both programs seem to be healthy.

“Taylor could be out and Perry pretty much is out for the weekend,” said Hougen. “Perry was going to score some nice points for us.”

Last season at the league meet, the BSU men took second behind Minnesota-Duluth while the women placed seventh. The Bulldog women are looking for their 10th straight title.

Action starts tomorrow with the pentathlon at 4:00 p.m. All results will be posted on the official website of Beaver athletics at /athletics/.