Indoor track fine-tunes events at Kent State

Christian Stangroom, Rocket Contributor
February 25, 2014

The Slippery Rock men’s and women’s indoor track teams earned a combined 52 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference marks at the Kent State Tune Up last Saturday.

The women’s team led SRU with 36 PSAC marks and 17 top-10 finishes while the men’s team earned 16 PSAC marks and eight top-10 finishes.

Rock pole vaulters had the top performances of the day with senior Julia Cain and  freshman Jordan Pacheco both reaching  NCAA provisional marks. Pacheco won his event, which ranked him with the 10th best mark in Division II for men’s pole vault, with a clearance of 4.90 meters.

“4.90 meters was a bar that has been on my mind for a while,” Pacheco said. “Clearing it would be my ticket to competing at nationals, so getting it on my first attempt was an amazing feeling.”

Cain had a clearance of 3.57 meters to earn third place in her seeded section.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Clark and freshman Megan Matrisciano also cleared PSAC standards in the pole vault. Clark finished seventh with a clearance of 3.42 meters and Matrisciano won the unseeded section with a clearance of 3.27 meters.

“Our top lady vaulters, Julia Cain and Kailtyn Clark, have been improving their consistency,” head coach John Papa said. “We believe they will be ready for some outstanding performances at the upcoming PSAC Championships.”

Sophomore Ashley West reached the PSAC standard in the long jump and high jump with a clearance of 1.65 meters (high jump) and a leap of 5.34 meters (long jump). West placed fourth in both events.

Fellow high jumpers sophomore Paige Kassab and freshman Sabrina Anderson took 5th and 6th place in the event with clearances of 1.65 meters.

Sophomore Emily Price also met the PSAC qualifying mark with a 1.55 meter clearance.

Sophomore Sam Taylor and sophomore Mariah Burns both reached the PSAC qualifying mark in the long jump and triple jump.

Taylor placed sixth in both events with a 5.15 meter leap in the long jump and a 10.97 meter leap in the triple.

Burns took ninth in the long jump at 5.05 meters and tenth in the triple jump at 10.83 meters.

Kassab also reached the PSAC qualifying mark in the triple jump with a mark of 10.34 meters.

The women’s team had four athletes reach standards in the 60-meter dash.

Sophomore Jasmine Bailey led the Green and White runners with a seventh place finish at 7.87 seconds.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without such support from awesome teammates and coaches,” Bailey said. “I was very shocked when those numbers came across the board after my race. It gave me a boost of confidence going into the PSAC Championship.”

Bailey was followed by sophomore Emily Moroco in 12th at 8.00 seconds and freshman Julie Galante in 19th at 8.10 seconds.

In the 200-meter dash, junior Katelyn Wetzel with a time of 25.44 seconds and finished fourth while Bailey placed ninth with a time of 25.96 seconds.

Freshman Ava Bonetti had a ninth place finish in shot put with a toss of 12.42 meters. She was followed by junior Brittany Christiansen in 10th with a 12.19 meter toss, and sophomore Breanna Northcott in 11th with a toss of 12.09 meters.

The men’s team earned another NCAA provisional mark in the pole vault when sophomore Cody Colagrande cleared 4.75 meters.

This mark was Colagrande’s season best and is the 19th best in the nation for Division II men’s pole vault.

“The vault coaches were pleased to see Pacheco and Colagrande have their best day vaulting so far this indoor season,” head coach John Papa said. “We hope the momentum continues through the upcoming PSAC Championships at Bucknell University. With the pole vault, it is critical that vaulters develop consistency.”

SRU throwers had strong performances and were led by  junior Trevor Miller, junior Jerrod Galloway, and freshman Kaleb Kingston.

Miller had a 16.39 meter toss in the shot put, which is a season best and reached the NCAA provisional mark. The toss gave Miller a fourth place finish and the 22nd best throw in Division II.

Galloway followed in eighth with a 15.62 meter throw and Kingston in 20th with his PSAC qualifying toss of 13.68 meters.

SRU earned two PSAC qualifying marks on the track in the 800-meter run. Junior Tyler Melius placed eighth with a time of 1:55.01 and freshman Stephen Shephard finished in 13th with a time of 1:57.82.

Senior Hans Lubich had a seventh place finish in the high jump with a clearance of 1.92 meters

Junior Hunter Williams finished the 200-meter dash with a 22.24 second run that earned him a tenth place finish in the event.

Slippery Rock heads to Bucknell University this weekend for the PSAC Championships.

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