4×400 relay victory highlights men’s track at SPIRE

Published by , Author: Cameron Bildhauer - Rocket Contributor, Date: February 4, 2016
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The Slippery Rock men’s indoor track and field team recorded 20 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying marks, eight top-five finishes and three event wins on Saturday at the SPIRE Midwest Open at the SPIRE Institute.

Head coach John Papa was satisfied with the sprints, team relay and pole vault competitors.

Junior Jacob VanHouten, graduate student Monte Chapman, sophomore James Chandler and sophomore Caleb Smithco won the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:18.05, just shy of the NCAA provisional mark of 3:17.5.

Senior Ryan Thompson earned a first-place finish in the mile with a time of 4:15.81, following it up by placing sixth in the 800-meter run with a PSAC qualifying time of 1:56.91.

“Ryan had an outstanding effort in the mile and was a great impact for the team,” Papa said.

Senior Marcus Carter also picked up a first-place finish with a leap of 6.87 meters in the long jump, the fourth best in the PSAC this year.

Carter recently joined the track team this semester after finishing his SRU football career in the fall.

“The multi-sport athletes are not tough to manage,” Papa said.

Slippery Rock also got top-five finishes from freshman Collin Darby, VanHouten, junior Tyler Palenchak and sophomore Andrew Koksal.

Darby placed fourth in the 60-meter dash in 7.00 seconds and followed that up by placing fifth in the 200-meter dash in 22.13 seconds.

“We are getting better as weeks go on,” Papa said. “Barring any significant injuries, we are going to go to the PSAC Championships and compete with every team there.”

Palenchak placed third in the 800-meter with a time of 156.36 and Koksal placed fifth in the pole vault with a clearance of 4.58 meters.

VanHouten took fourth place in the 600-meter dash in 1:23.77.

Jeremy Parsons was the only male from Slippery Rock to compete in the Penn State National Invite on Friday.

Parsons finished the 5,000-meter run in 10th place with a time of 15:17.85.

“We need to develop some consistency to develop quality marks time and time again,” Papa said. “Some guys haven’t had their season bests yet so we are looking forward to that as a team.”

The Rock will be back in action this weekend at Youngstown State University for the YSU National Invite Friday and Saturday.

“We hope to leave this weekend healthy and with everybody having a good outlook on the rest of the season,” Papa said.

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