The Slippery Rock men’s outdoor track and field team closed out the last of their southern meets this season at the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina last weekend, adding several PSAC and NCAA qualifying marks.
SRU was led by senior Kevin Jewel’s record-breaking 800-meter performance on Saturday.
Jewel ran the 800m in 1:49.86, the fastest time of any Division II athlete this season. Jewel broke his previous school record (1:51.19 in 2011) and earned first place in his heat at Raleigh.
“I looked at the clock as I finished and saw it change to 1:50,” Jewel said. “I knew I’d gone under and just lost it. It’s a huge blessing, I don’t think I could be happier than I am right now.”
Head coach John Papa said that everything seemed to fall into place for Jewel that day and he’s proud of the fantastic performance he had.
“Kevin had a goal this year to break 1:50,” Papa said. “He’s very competitive and loves to win and the conditions were perfect down in Raleigh.”
Jewel said that there are still goals he can set for himself, but he’s still in awe of his recent accomplishment and still taking it all in.
The time is also the fifth-best time out of all NCAA runners this season. The top-four times were recorded by Division I athletes.
“What’s done is done,” Jewel said. “No one can take that from me, win or lose.”
Jewel’s time guarantees him a spot at the NCAA Division II National Championships in May.
Senior Cameron Daugherty looks to join Jewel in May and defend his national title.
Daugherty won the pole vault at Raleigh with a clearance of 4.95 meters, meeting NCAA provisional qualifying standards.
“Cam consistently vaults high and wins,” Papa said. “He’s going to be ready to defend his PSAC and National titles in May.”
Slippery Rock also added several PSAC qualifiers at the Raleigh Relays.
On day one of the competition, sophomore Hunter Williams met conference standards in the 400-meter dash (50.36 seconds) and the 100-meter dash (11.30 seconds).
Senior DJ Chisom ran 10.91 seconds in the 100-meter dash and finished 27th.
In section two of the 3,000-meter steeplechase, senior Eric Geddis took 10th with a time of 9:39.94.
Junior Travis Arrigoni took 15th in section four of the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:25.98.
Junior Jonathan Boyd ran 15.18 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles for the final PSAC qualifying mark of day one.
Day two of the Raleigh Relays brought six more PSAC marks for the Green and White.
Freshman David Reinhardt and junior Eric Rischer met PSAC marks in the javelin throw. Reinhardt placed 10th with a throw of 57.09 meters and Fischer took 16th with a throw of 54.83 meters.
Senior Alex Koksal placed 13th in the second section of the 10,000-meter run with a time of 32:06.01.
Chisom added another PSAC mark in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.32 seconds to earn 15th place.
Boyd also added a second PSAC mark in the 400-meter hurdles, winning his heat with a time of 55.32 seconds.
Slippery Rock’s 4×100-meter relay team of Chisom, Williams, sophomore Nick Shrift, and senior Mason McLaughlin placed 10th with a time of 41.90 seconds.
The Green and White will finish out the remainder of their regular season with meets in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and one in Michigan.
They will host the SRU Open Friday, welcoming in competition from California University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University, Thiel College, and Grove City College.
Papa hopes to see many of his athletes improve and hit PSAC standards in their events.
“Many of our athletes still need to qualify for the PSACs,” Papa said. “Others need to become more consistent and gain more experience.”
The SRU Open will take place at the Mihalik-Thompson Stadium at 3 p.m. Friday.