The Slippery Rock University men’s indoor track and field earned 23 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference qualifying marks at the Youngstown State College Invitational on Jan. 23.
Held at the Watson and Tressel Training Site, the Rock was one of 21 teams competing at the meet, including five Division I teams and 10 Division II teams. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania, Clarion and the University of Pitt-Johnstown joined SRU in the teams competing from the PSAC.
The Green and White had a successful performance at YSU, bringing home five NCAA provisional qualifying marks and one broken school record, to go along with the 23 PSAC qualifying marks.
The 4×400 meter relay team not only met the PSAC qualifying mark, but they also met the NCAA provisional qualifying time and broke the school record. Last year, the record was set at 3:19.90 by Jacob VanHouten, Hunter Williams, Trevor Foley and Nathaniel Helfferich.
Last Friday, the relay team, consisting of VanHouten, Williams, James Chandler and Monte Chapman, ran a time of 3:16.18. The men’s time is currently ranked as the sixth fastest time in the entire Division II.
“This is my first time being a part of a record breaking relay, so it is very memorable and an honorable experience,” Chapman said. “What’s crazy about it is we have even more potential. Our coach told us after the meet that what makes our relay so special is that individually we are good, but together we work great.”
Chapman said the 4×400 meter relay team accomplished only one of their goals at the meet.
“We have big goals for this season and that was one of them,” Chapman said. “From here, we just have to keep getting better and better, and hopefully win the PSAC title and even go nationals.”
Also on the sprints side was Noah Bostick, who placed fourth in the 60 meter hurdles in 8.51, qualifying for the PSAC. Other runners in the 60 meter hurdles included VanHouten in 11th at 8.87 seconds and Ben Kloepping in 12th at 8.9 seconds. All three men qualified for the PSAC meet in this event. Other qualifiers include Eric Record and Chapman, who ran in the 60 meter dash, placing ninth and 15th with times of 7.13 and 7.22 respectively. Record also ran the 200 meter dash, qualifying with a time of 22.72.
The highest finish in an individual event came from Tyler Melius, who placed third in the 800 meter run with a PSAC qualifying time of 1:56.49. Melius is currently ranked fourth in the PSAC with his 800 meter time.
The last qualifying running event came from distance runner Theo Reynolds, who placed 21st in the 5,000 meter run with a qualifying time of 15:43.00.
There were also many other solid performances in the field, especially from the men’s throwers. Trevor Miller was the only individual win of the meet for SRU in the shot put. Miller threw a distance of 16.76 meters, just shy of the 16.85 meter school record. His distance did, however, qualify him for the PSAC meet and is the twelfth best throw in the nation so far this season. Miller also qualified in the weight throw with a distance of 16.20 meters, placing seventh.
Joining Miller in qualifying for the PSAC shot put throw was Jerrod Galloway in seventh at 14.11 meters, and David Reinhardt in fourteenth at 13.60 meters.
Reinhardt and Nick Garruccio also competed in the weight throw, finishing 10th and 13th with distances of 15.43 and 14.72 meters respectively. Men’s jumps also had a successful night, with Caleb Smithco and Adam Leeper placing fifth and eighth in the long jump with distances of 6.68 and 6.51 meters respectively. Both men also competed in the triple jump, with Smithco placing fifth with a jump of 13.75 meters and Leeper placing fourth at 13.78 meters. Both men qualified in both events.
The men’s pole vault had four athletes in the top six spots.
Followed by unattached SRU alum and national champion Cameron Daugerty, Jordan Pacheco took second placed with 4.85 meters.
This clearance is the seventh best clearance in the country this season. Following close behind in third and fourth were Cody Colagrande and Andrew Koksal, with matching clearances of 4.75 meters.
This clearance puts the men at the fifteenth best clearance in the nation this year. Kieffer Reed finished sixth with a clearance of 4.45 meters. All four men qualified for the PSAC meet.
“Overall, we had a great meet,” SRU head coach John Papa said. “We had the best vault performance yet, good throw performances all around, an impressive run from the distance squad and another school record broken.”
The Rock is set to compete this weekend at the DII Challenge, held at the SPIRE in Geneva, Ohio.
The 5,000 meter run will take place Friday night, followed by the remainder of the meet on Saturday afternoon.