Rock adds 14 qualifiers

PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTS INFORMATION

Freshman Ashley West approaches the high jump bar at the National Collegiate Athletic

Cody Gray, Rocket Contributor
February 7, 2013

The Slippery Rock University women’s indoor track and field team finished ninth at the NCAA Division II Team Challenge last Saturday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

The Green and White had 14 athletes reach PSAC qualifying performances in individual events.

Head coach John Papa was once again very pleased with his team’s performance, but acknowledges that they are still a work in progress.

“They did a pretty nice job this weekend,” Papa said, “The coaches are doing a great job getting the athletes motivated. We’re making progress, but we still definitely need to make some strides before the season is over.”

“I am confident they can make those strides,” Papa added, “I am looking for more consistency out of everyone.”

The Rock was led by impressive winning performances from a duo of freshman field event athletes.

Freshman Ashley West took first in the high jump with an NCAA provisional qualifying jump of 1.74 meters. The mark is so far the best in the PSAC this season and currently ranks third in the nation.

Freshman Kaitlyn Clark claimed first in the pole vault with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 3.65 meters, just one centimeter off her PSAC-leading mark of 3.66 meters, which also ranks 15th in the country.

Joining Clark was senior Angela Schroeder in reaching the PSAC mark in the pole vault. Schroeder, who is the reigning PSAC champion, finished in fourth with a clearance of 3.20 meters.

“It wasn’t one of my best performances,” Schroeder said. “For next weekend I’m hoping to put everything together that I’ve been doing at practice.”

The pole vault was one of four events on Saturday that Slippery Rock had two PSAC qualifying marks in.

Freshmen Lexie Nowakowski and Jasmine Bailey each reached the standard in the 400-meter dash, with Nowakowski claiming 15th in 1:00.15 and Bailey taking 18th in 1:00.29.

“I feel like I performed really well in the 400 meter,” Nowakowski said, “but I still need to improve on the 200 meter and my block work to get a good start.”

Sophomore Ang Bagwell reached the standard in the 3,000-meter run finishing in seventh place and setting her personal record in the event with a time of 10:35.88. Finishing not far behind was freshman Jenny Picot in 10th in 10:38.13.

Papa acknowledged that Picot and Nowakowski were two of his most improved athletes from last week’s meet.

In the triple jump, freshman Mariah Burns and junior Dilshani Madawala each reached their PSAC mark. Burns placed sixth with a leap of 11.11 meters, while Madawala was 12th at 10.32 meters.

Burns also reached the long jump standard with a ninth place finish and a leap of 5.12 meters.

Sophomore Katelyn Wetzel reached the PSAC standard in two events to lead the sprinters. She placed 12th in the 60-meter dash in 8.07 seconds and was 18th in the 200-meter dash in 26.60 seconds.

The final qualifying performances came on Saturday in the throwing events. Sophomore Brittany Christiansen finished in 10th place in the weight throw with a toss of 14.09 meters and freshman Breanna Northcott took 15th in the shot put with a toss of 10.87 meters.

“I would really like to qualify for nationals and get the school record this year,” Christiansen said, “I feel that I could improve a lot in my speed, lifting, and my three turn.”

The Rock will travel to Baldwin-Wallace in Berea, Ohio Friday night for the Baldwin-Wallace Invitational.

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