The Slippery Rock women’s indoor track and field team traveled to Youngstown State University Friday for the YSU College Invitational, recording 24 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying marks, two NCAA qualifying marks, nine top-five finishes and two event wins.
Head Coach John Papa said the team had a good week of practice before the YSU track meet.
The two event wins and NCAA provisional marks came from seniors Ashley West and Kaitlyn Clark. West finished first in the high jump with a leap of 1.65 meters. Senior Paige Kassab finished in third place with a clearance of 1.60 meters and Sabrina Anderson followed in fifth place with a clearance of 1.55 meters.
Clark won the pole vault with a season-high clearance of 3.80 meters. That mark also ranks as the sixth best among all NCAA Division II athletes.
“With many solid performances this past weekend, we are solidifying ourselves as one of the top teams in the PSAC,” Papa said.
Junior Sabrina Anderson, sophomore Aerial Dukes, senior Jasmine Bailey and senior Casaundra Swartzbaugh led The Rock to a second place finish in the 4×400-meter relay with a season-best time of 3:54.56. Bailey also took second place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.42 seconds.
Anderson also hit two PSAC marks at Friday’s meet, finishing the 60-meter dash in 7.93 seconds and the 60-meter hurdles in 9.13 seconds.
Two top-five finishes for The Rock came from seniors Jenny Picot and Leah Anne Wirfel. Picot finished in fourth place at 5:03.13 and Wirfel followed in fifth place at 5:04.91. Both times were season bests for the women as they just missed the NCAA provisional mark of 5:00.30.
“Leah Anne is focused and committed on doing everything she can to help our team contend for the PSAC indoor Championships,” Papa said.
Wirfel and Picot will be two of three SRU runners racing at Penn State this upcoming weekend for the PSU National Invite.
“There will be outstanding distance races at Penn State and they (Wirfel and Picot) are competing with the intent of running national caliber times,” Papa said.
Senior Sam Taylor added another top-five finish for SRU in the long jump. She took fourth place with a leap of 5.36 meters. Taylor also hit the PSAC standard in the triple jump with a leap of 10.58 meters.
The Rock will be back in action on Friday and Saturday at the SPIRE Midwest Open at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
“Our approach for this weekend does not change because the meet is going to be big,” Papa said. “We just get more excited because there will be plenty of good competition.”