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The Slippery Rock men’s indoor track set two school records on their way to a third place finish at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships (PSAC) this past weekend.
The Rock also recorded four NCAA provisional marks. Slippery Rock men’s track finished Sunday, the last day of the two-day event, with 100.5 team points. This mark placed them behind East Stroudsburg with 109 points, and the 211 points put up by the four time consecutive PSAC champions Shippensburg. SRU men’s indoor track earned 12 top-10 finishes and 27 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference points.
Freshman Jordan Pacheco won the pole vault title at the PSAC Championship on Saturday leading SRU men’s track to a third place finish overall for day one and senior Hans Lubich won the heptathlon on Sunday.
“Jordan Pacheco has accomplished quite a bit in his freshman year,” head coach John Papa. “He is a consistent performer and has a great deal of poise and maturity for a freshman. He has a bright future here at the Rock as a pole vaulter.”
Pacheco had a clearance of 4.81 meters, which was an NCAA provisional clearance.
“I knew I was capable of winning as long as I stayed focused,” Pacheco said. “I went into the meet with a clear mind, but I also made sure I had fun while competing.”
Sophomore Cody Colagrande also cleared a personal best in the pole vault of 4.81 meters taking second place due to misses. Senior John Piserchio finished 6th at 4.36 meters. Sophomore Keiffer Reed was 8th at the same height. Slippery Rock scored 21.5 points total in the pole vault event.
The men’s 4×4 team took second place on Saturday with a time of 7:51.29. The team was made up of freshman Stephen Shephard, junior Ryan Thompson, senior Morgan Elliot junior and Tyler Melius.
The distance medley team placed fifth with a team effort from sophomore Dalton Zebrak, senior Nathaniel Helfferich, freshman Zac Patton and freshman Tyler Palenchak with a time of 10:35.44.
Lubich finished day one of the PSAC Championship with 2,837 points, which gave him a lead of 237 points. Fellow sophomore teammate Nate Zigler followed Lubich in sixth with a score of 2,431 points. There were still three more events to come on day two of the PSAC Championship. Lubich finished the last three events of the heptathlon on day two with a total score of 4,976 points to land him his first individual title. Zigler placed fifth with 4,364 points on day two.
“Hans has come a long way as an athlete here at the rock. His performance shows what four years of hard work and commitment to track and field can do,” Papa said.
Other top-ten finishes included senior Victor Santoyo in the long jump with a leap of 6.78 meters to land him in fourth place. Senior Michael Beegle placed seventh in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 15:13.22, and the final points of the day were by junior Nick Turk with a weight throw of 16.42 meters to land him in 8th place for the event. Santoyo went into day two and took fourth in the high jump with a clearance of 1.97 meters, and placed 6th in the triple jump with a leap of 14.10 meters.
The rest of the events for day one were qualifiers. Lubich qualified to compete in Sunday’s 60 meter dash with fellow qualifier freshman Brandon Vanderbrook. Vanderbrook and Lubich had the seventh and eighth best times going into the finals. Lubich earned an eighth place finish on day two with a time of 7.26 seconds. Vanderbrook took seventh in the event with a time 7.22 seconds on day two.
Junior Hunter Williams reached the NCAA provisional mark on Saturday in the 400 meter dash with a time of 49.76 seconds. Williams also qualified for Sunday’s 200 meter dash with a time of 22.39 seconds, which was the 3rd best time of the prelims. He proceeded to break his own school record in the 400 meter dash and had two top-three finishes on day two. Williams placed third on day two in the 400 meter dash with a time of 49.02 seconds, an NCAA provisional time. This mark puts him at number twenty for best times in Division II. He then proceeded to take second place in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.33 seconds.
The men’s 4×4 broke the previous school record of 3:19.94 with a new current time of 3:19.90. The team was made up of Helfferich, freshman Jacob Vanhouton, senior Trevor Foley, and anchored by Williams who ran a 48.65 second split to help earn the new school record.
Junior Trevor Miller and junior Jerrod Galloway earned second and fifth in the men’s shot put. Miller placed second with a toss of 16.17 meter, which is an NCAA provisional throw. Galloway took 5th at 15.35 meters.
Melius earned the final points for SRU men’s track on day two in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:56.54 to place him in seventh for the event.
This was the last meet of the men’s indoor track season, but the NCAA National Championships are scheduled for March 14-15 in Winston-Salem, N.C.