The Slippery Rock women’s track and field team had its final warm up meet before the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championships this past weekend at the Ashland Alumni Open in Ashland, Ohio. In order to get extra rest before the championships, many of the Rock’s top athletes either sat out or competed lightly at the meet.
“Everyone knows what they’re getting into next week,” Slippery Rock head coach John Papa said. “We have quality people in each event and everyone can have a shot at an individual title.”
Slippery Rock athletes garnered 13 PSAC qualifying marks, one NCAA provisional qualifying mark, and an event win.
The top competitor for Slippery Rock was junior Ashley West, who earned the team’s lone NCAA mark in the high jump where she placed second with a 1.7 meter jump. West, who also competed in the long jump, came in seventh place with a 5.2 meter PSAC qualifying jump.
Sophomore Sabrina Anderson competed alongside West in the high jump, earning a PSAC mark of her own with a 1.65 meter jump that landed her in fifth place. Anderson will look for a good performance in the championships, where she will be competing in the heptathlon.
Also taking part in the 100-meter hurdles, Anderson had a PSAC qualifying time of 15.47 seconds that landed her in twelfth place. Freshman Sophie Mazza in 11th place, also earning a PSAC mark with a time of 15.18 seconds.
In the 400-meter hurdles, junior Casaundra Swartzbaugh and freshman Katie Teed both hit the PSAC standard. Swartzbaugh came in fifth place with a time of 1:05.86 and Teed finished in seventh with a time of 1:06.36. The single event win for the Rock came in the 4×100-meter relay. The team comprised of sophomore Kennedy Evans, junior Jasmine Bailey, Swartzbaugh, and junior Lexie Nowakowski ran a time of 47.96 seconds that was enough for the win.
The relay team is currently ranked as the second best in the conference and they will look to claim the conference title for a second straight year for SRU.
The Green and White had a strong showing in the pole vault, with four athletes earning PSAC marks and placing in the top 12.
Junior Kaitlyn Clark and freshman Courtney McQuaide tied for second place with matching 3.5 meter clearances, sophomore Megan Matrisciano came in ninth place with a 3.35 meter clearances, and junior Michaela Kasik finished in 12th place clearing 3.2 meters.
Rounding out the meet for the Rock was the shot put event, where freshman Anna Frengel and senior Brittany Christiansen earned PSAC qualifiers and finished in the top 10. Frengel (12.39 meters) finished in fifth place and Christiansen (12.15 meters) ended in eighth.
Slippery Rock can now fully turn its attention to the conference championships where they will try to claim the team title after barley being edged out by the Shippensburg University team at last year’s championships.
“This year will be very similar to last year,” Papa said. “Every event will be critical and our ability to win individually will help us in scoring points. It’s not just us and (Shippensburg) though, all the teams are there to win and we need to remember that.”
The PSAC championships will be held Thursday April 30 through Saturday May 2 at East Stroudsburg University.