Men’s track takes first
Six event wins pushed the Slippery Rock University’s men’s indoor track and field team to a first-place finish at the Baldwin-Wallace Mid-February meet last Friday.
Event wins came in the pole vault, high jump, 200-meter dash, 500-meter dash, 55-meter dash and the 4×400-meter relay.
The Rock earned a total of 135.75 points for the win.
Head coach John Papa is satisfied with the team’s performance and looks to adjust their mentality as the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference meet approaches.
“Prior to this, we’ve been focusing on distances, times, and trying to qualify,” Papa said. “Now we need to focus on beating people and competition, regardless of times. It’s who you beat that’s important.”
Cameron Daugherty seems to already be running on this type of mentality.
Daugherty earned his third consecutive win of the year in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.03 meters. Ryan Camody cleared 4.57 meters, earning fourth place, and Michael Shiverdecker took seventh with 4.42 meters.
Claiming the top-spot in both the 200-meter and 500-meter dashes was Hunter Williams. He ran 22.73 seconds in the 200m and 1:07.43 in the 500m. Williams was joined in the 200m by DJ Chisom in second place with a time of 23.04, Mason McLaughlin in fifth (23.36), and Trevor Foley in sixth (23.43).
Foley took second in the 500m with a time of 1:07.72, followed by Ethan Geisler in fourth (1:09.42) and Monte Chapman in fifth (1:09.52).
In the 55-meter dash, Chisom ran a time of 6.45 seconds for the win, just missing NCAA provisional marks.
Dan Hedglin placed second in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.94 seconds. Geisler finished third at 8.02 seconds.
Rounding off the wins in the individual events was Victor Santoyo in the high jump with a clearance of 2.00 meters. Santoyo also placed third in the triple jump with 13.64 meters.
McLaughlin said that although many people view track as an individual sport, it’s a team effort to get the most out of the athletes every day.
“It’s an everyday effort by the team to push each other and challenge each other to make one another the best we can be,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin teamed up with Chisom, Hedglin, and Chapman for a win in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:29.36.
Papa said that there are several athletes that can fit into the spots of the 4x400m teams, so the coaching staff has to consider many factors to produce the best possible result.
“Part of it is last minute decisions,” Papa explained. “Sometimes athletes are just hot that day and running really fast. It’s not an exact science, but after years of experience you’re able to see who is more competitive and ready that day.”
Kevin Jewel earned points for Slippery Rock with a third place finish in the mile, running a time of 4:26.06. Michael Beegle took sixth with 4:28.06.
Bringing in points from the weight throw and the shot put was Kyle Toms. Toms threw for 15.75 meters in the weight throw and 14.51 meters in the shot put.
Slippery Rock will head to Kent State on Saturday for their final meet before the PSAC Championship. They look to fine-tune their event performances and add more PSAC qualifications.