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NCAA Predictions: Midwest women set to battle it out

Published by
Martin Bingisser   Mar 10th 2011, 6:06am

While few of the top men faced each other, all of the top women have faced each other repeatedly so far this season. The top four women are neck and neck with each other and it showed as they traded wins thoughout the season. Take a look at the series of matchups:

Saluki Fast Start - (1) D'Ana McCarty, (2) Jeneva McCall, (4) Gwen Berry
Saluki Open - (1) McCall, (2) Berry
Gladstein Invitational - (1) Berry, (2) McCall, (3) McCarty
McCarvy Invitational - (1) Berry, (2) McCarty, (3) McCall
GVSU Big Meet Friday - (1) McCall, (2) Felisha Johsnon, (3) Berry
GVSU Big Meet Saturday - (1) Berry, (2) McCall
Missouri Valley Conference Championships - (1) McCall, (2) Johnson, (3) Berry

The two biggest meets so far this season have been the GVSU Big Meet (7 NCAA competitors present) and the Missouri Valley Conference Championships (5 NCAA competitors present). Jeneva McCall of Southern Illinois won both competitions. In additions, her average results this season has been nearly 22 meters. That is why she is my pick to win this weekend.

After winner her first competition in December, two-time defending champion D'Ana McCarty (Louisville) had a rough start to the new year. Unlike last season where she was a heavy favorite, competition emerged all around this year and she suffered a few losses. However, the last few weeks she has rounded back into form and she is always a good championship performer and will give McCall a tough fight. Felisha Johnson (Indiana State) and Gwen Berry (Southern Illinois) are also capable of winning the meet and have picked up good wins this year. Johnson placed second to McCall at both of the big meets and Berry has already beated both McCall and McCarty several times earlier in the season.

After the top four, the women's field falls off quickly and the rest of the finals spots will be up for grabs. Mallory Barnes (Dayton) should be able make the finals even on poor day, but everyone else will need to be near their best. Freshman Dani Bunch (Dayton) has thrown a personal best at her last two competitions and seems to be getting in top shape at just the right time. Another wildcard may be another freshman: Ida Storm (UCLA). Storm competed in just two meets this year and has not faced any of the other NCAA competitors, but her personal best of 20.70m shows she is capable of placing high. Dorotea Habazin (Virginia Tech), last year's runner up in the hammer throw, seems to be coming around in the weight throw too and might be a surprise.

Click here for complete entry lists.

Women Weight Throw Predictions
     Name                        Year School            Seed Mark
  1  Jeneva McCall                 JR So. Illinois         22.54m
       Performance List: 3rd   Average 2011 Result: 21.89m
       Win-Loss versus NCAA Competitors: 22-6
  2  D'Ana McCarty                 SR Louisville           22.40m
       Performance List: 4th   Average 2011 Result: 21.62m
       Win-Loss versus NCAA Competitors: 12-3
  3  Felisha Johnson               SO Indiana State        22.62m
       Performance List: 2nd   Average 2011 Result: 21.86m
       Win-Loss versus NCAA Competitors: 17-2
  4  Gwen Berry                    SR So. Illinois         22.71m
       Performance List: 1st   Average 2011 Result: 21.56m
       Win-Loss versus NCAA Competitors: 15-8
  5  Mallory Barnes                SR Dayton               21.33m
       Performance List: 5th   Average 2011 Result: 20.42m
       Win-Loss versus NCAA Competitors: 1-0
  6  Dorotea Habazin               SR Virginia Tech        20.81m
       Performance List: 7th   Average 2011 Result: 20.15m
       Win-Loss versus NCAA Competitors: 1-4
  7  Dani Bunch                    FR Purdue               20.54m
       Performance List: 8th   Average 2011 Result: 19.66m
       Win-Loss versus NCAA Competitors: 5-10
  8  Ida Storm                     FR UCLA                 20.70m
       Performance List: 8th   Average 2011 Result: 19.67m
       Win-Loss versus NCAA Competitors: 3-17

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