The Slippery Rock University men’s indoor track team earned 21 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifications at the Kent State Tune Up last weekend.
The men came out of the meet with three NCAA provisional marks and one school record broken, along with the multiple PSAC qualifications.
On top of that, the team had nine improvements on season bests and two new PSAC marks met.
“The Kent State Tune-Up this year was an opportunity for us to just step on the track, runway, throwing circle or whatever the case may have been in order to make our final competition preparations as we look ahead to our main focus, which is the PSAC Indoor Track and Field Championships this upcoming weekend,” Rock senior Tyler Melius said.
The meet started out with Caleb Smithco winning the triple jump and breaking his own school record with 15.23 meters. Smithco’s jump is currently first in the PSAC and fifth in Division II. He also competed in the long jump, placing fourth with a jump of 6.61 meters.
“Caleb broke his own record, which is truly a significant performance,” SRU head coach John Papa said.
Adam Leeper joined Smithco in the long jump and Shawn Lacue took 12th place in the high jump with a distance of 1.90 meters. Jordan Pacheco, Andrew Koksal and Keiffer Reed had a successful day pole vaulting with vaults of 4.73 meters, 4.58 meters and 4.43 meters. Pacheco’s vault met the NCAA provisional mark. Rounding out the field events were Trevor Miller and Jerrod Galloway in the shot put placing fifth and 16th with throws of 16.23 meters and 14.22 meters. Miller’s throw once again met the provisional mark. David Reinhardt took 18th in the weight throw at 15.25 meters.
The sprinters also had a good day on the track, starting with the 200 meter dash. Hunter Williams, Monte Chapman and Brandon Vanderbrook took sixth, 13th and 19th with times of 22.24 seconds, 22.59 seconds and 22.78 seconds respectively.
This race was the first time Vanderbrook met the PSAC qualification mark this season. Ben Kloepping finished 20th in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.85 seconds, and Jacob VanHouten took 23rd in the 60 meter hurdles at 8.94 seconds. Erik Record placed sixth in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.06 seconds.
“Our 800-meter runners are rounding into form, led by Tyler Melius and Ryan Thompson,” Papa said.
The middle distance crew finished off the meet with a strong performance in the 800 meter run, led by Tyler Melius. Melius took third place with a time of 1:55.27. Ryan Thompson, Zac Patton and Tyler Palenchak followed closely behind placing fifth, 10th and 14th. The men had times of 1:55.89, 1:57.22 and 1:58.02 respectively. This was Palenchak’s first time hitting PSAC qualification, just in time for this weekend’s meet.
“There’s no question we’ve competed very well this indoor season up to this point, and we have the ability to do great things both individually and as a team,” Melius said. “As a result, we’ll be expecting more personal bests, more school records and then ultimately a PSAC Championship trophy once the final scores are added together at the end of the meet.”
John Papa echoed Melius’ thoughts and said that the team is looking for a great effort and expecting some of the best performances from their athletes this coming weekend.
The Green and White will compete at their final indoor meet of the season at Edinboro University on Saturday at the PSAC Championship meet.