The Slippery Rock University women’s outdoor track team was able to secure two NCAA qualifiers and 12 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference qualifiers at the Adidas Raleigh Relays last weekend.
The event was held in Raleigh, North Carolina and was hosted by North Carolina State University. SRU was in competition with strong Division I schools, such as Duke University, the University of North Carolina, Rutgers University, George Mason University, Coastal Carolina University, Wake Forest University and Dartmouth College.
Despite the strong competition, the Green and White still managed to win an event and notch two other top 10 finishes.
In a field of strong D1 javelin throwers, junior Sam Taylor was able finish on top and pick up the event win.
“Going to these bigger meets, I feel like it pushes me to be better,” Taylor said. “I just got into the meet telling myself that I am the underdog and that I need to just do everything right and show those girls that I deserve to be there.”
Taylor showed that she belongs there with an event-winning 46.59 meter throw, currently the best throw by any PSAC athlete this season and the sixth best throw by any Division II athlete. In honor of her performance, Taylor was named the PSAC Field Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive time.
“Samantha is one of the best javelin throwers in the region, Division I, II or III,” Papa said. “To throw 46.59 (152’10”) in those windy conditions is truly a significant performance. Samantha has worked hard to become one of the top throwers in Division II.”
The other top 10 finishes for the Rock came from senior thrower Brittany Christiansen and freshman Courtney McQuaide. Christiansen hit two PSAC qualifying marks, finishing seventh in the hammer throw with a 49.72 meter throw and ending the shot put event with an 11.46 meter throw. McQuaide cleared 3.5 meters in the invitational pole vault event, finishing in eighth place.
“In many of the events, our athletes did not finish near the top, but many met the PSAC standard,” Papa said. “For this time of the year, we believe that hitting the standards is more important than the place. Once the athletes have qualified, the focus turns to competing and beating competitors rather than hitting standards.”
Junior Jenny Picot reached the NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the 10,000-meter run, crossing the finish line in 36:46.08.
This was the first meet that graduate student Stephanie Beaudette donned a uniform for the Rock. The former Indiana University of Pennsylvania undergraduate student reached the PSAC standard in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:06.47.
“Stephanie is a great addition to our team, and she has a great deal of experience and is a solid, consistent performer,” Papa said. “Steph will make us a stronger team this year at the PSAC Championships.”
Sophomore Kennedy Evans and juniors Bailey, Lexie Nowakowski and Emily Moroco ran the 4×100-meter relay for the Rock, coming in 12th place with a time of 48.51, their fastest time of the season. Nowakowski, Bailey, Teed and sophomore Lauren Harvey ran the 4×400-meter relay for the Green and White in 3:58.77 to come in 18th place.
The Rock’s next competition is on April 9 in Kutztown, Pennsylvania at the Mondshein Multi Day One event.