OGDEN, Utah – The Big Sky Preseason Outdoor poll was released this afternoon, with the Northern Arizona University men's and women's teams being voted as the top squads in conference.
The men garnered all 12 first-place votes and 144 total points. For the women, they received eight of the 12 first-place tallies and 140 total points. A full list of the Big Sky preseason standings can be found here.
Coming off eight event victories to open the outdoor campaign last weekend at the UC Irvine Spring Break Invitational, the Lumberjacks are off to a great start and seem to be riding the wave of momentum that came from their two conference indoor titles in late February.
The NAU men have won five-straight Big Sky Outdoor Championships and the last 11 conference titles overall (six-in-a-row for indoors). The women, who won the conference championships in Greeley, Colo., in 2016, are looking to secure back-to-back titles for the first time since 2005-06. If they do so, it would be the team's third outdoor championship in a four season span—a feat that has only ever been accomplished one other time in the history of the NAU women's track and field program.
Early on this season, two athletes that have really stood out are throwers Brooke Andersen and Adam Keenan. Already a four-time conference "Athlete of the Week" during the indoor season, Andersen received the first such honor of the 2017 outdoor campaign. Last Friday, the redshirt-senior threw a 221-03 (67.43m) career-best mark to break the NAU and Big Sky record, as well as win her ninth-career hammer throw event. Currently, she ranks No.2 in the NCAA.
For his part, Keenan also had a great showing at UC Irvine, busting a 225-02 (68.64m) throw to secure the victory. Keenan, already the conference's record holder in the hammer after setting it last season at outdoor conference, is now No. 1 in the entire country with that mark.
The Lumberjacks have this weekend off from competition but compete next at Texas Relays and the Stanford Invitational March 31-April 1.