Bailey’s record paces Rock women at Midwest Open

Published by , Author: Cameron Bildhauer - Rocket Contributor, Date: February 1, 2016
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The Slippery Rock University women’s indoor track and field team traveled to the SPIRE Institute on Saturday for the SPIRE Midwest Open. The ladies set 14 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference qualifying marks, one NCAA provisional mark and recorded six top-five finishes on the day.

Jasmine Bailey headlined the day with a record-breaking performance in the 400-meter dash, where she was the first collegiate finisher and the second overall finisher in 56.42 seconds. That time broke the former SRU record of 57.29 seconds and marks as an NCAA provisional qualifier that ranks 10th among all Division II athletes this year.

“That is a significant performance by Jasmine and a pretty solid record,” Papa said. “She is now ranked at the top of the 400-meter dash in the conference which will help us as we go compete for the team title here at the end of the month.”

Bailey was also the top collegiate finisher and second overall finisher in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.35 seconds. She capped her day by joining Cassaundra Swartzbaugh, Katie Teed, and Aerial Dukes in the 4×400-meter relay, where they were the top Division II team with a time of 3:59.35.

“We practice a lot of relay hand-offs and that kind of thing,” Papa said. “The relays count as much as the individual events do so it is an important event for us and our athletes get excited about the team events.”

Swartzbaugh took a second-place finish in the 600-meter dash, a distance that is not contested at the PSAC or NCAA meets, with a time of 1:40.16. Teed followed in third-place with a time of 1:40.31.

Ashley West recorded the final top-five finish for The Rock with a high jump of 1.63 meters.

Slippery Rock rested many of their runners this weekend and sent distance runners Leah Anne Wirfel and Jenny Picot to the Penn State National Invite, where they both hit NCAA provisional marks.

“Jenny and Leah Anne competed against some high-quality distance fields and did a great job,” Papa said. “Both of those ladies are now ranked at the top in their events in the conference and are ready to compete and hold off the other competitors.”

Wirfel reached the standard in the 5,000-meter run Friday night and Picot posted an NCAA mark in the 3,000- meter run Saturday.

Slippery Rock will travel to Youngstown State this Friday and Saturday to compete in the YSU National Invite.

Papa hopes to develop some consistency this weekend and to get some athletes out of their slump and perform at a level that he knows they can.

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