The Slippery Rock men’s indoor track team placed second overall at the past weekend’s PSAC championships. The performance was helped by winning two events, and scoring points in 12.
Action started Saturday and was highlighted by the distance medley relay team. Graduate student Monte Chapman, junior Tyler Palenchak, junior Zac Patton and senior Ryan Thompson finished second in the event, earning eight points for Slippery Rock. The team also shattered a nine-year-old school record, running the event in 10:16:47, almost three full seconds faster than the previous record of 10:19:29. All four of these men were also selected to the NCAA All-region team. Chapman also earned three additional points for Slippery Rock on Sunday when he finished sixth in the 200-meter dash.
Senior Marcus Carter, a former Rock football wide receiver, gave the track team eight more points, placing second in the long jump. He leaped 6.97 meters, just behind Shippensburg’s All-American LaQuan Chapman.
Sophomore Jeremy Parsons was The Rock’s top finisher in the 5,000 meter, but finished 13th and failed to earn any points. Junior JJ Ollio missed points by one spot, finishing ninth in the weight throw with a 15.56-meter toss. Ollio was also selected to the NCAA All-Region team and earned points on Sunday with a sixth-place finish in the shot put.
Slippery Rock picked up seven more points across two events to finish Saturday’s competition. Sophomore Andrew Koksal, who was named to the NCAA All-Region team, vaulted 4.51 meters in the pole vault to earn five points.
The team of Patton, senior Charlie Frank, senior Andrew Schroder, and junior Stephen Shepard placed seventh in the 4×800 relay to capture the final two points for The Rock heading into the final day of competition with the team sitting in fifth place.
The team’s performance on Sunday was highlighted by two event wins. First was by reigning heptathlon winner, sophomore Noah Bostick. Bostick scored 5,014 points in the event, seven points shy of the school record. Bostick also took eighth place in the high jump with a leap of 1.89 meters. Senior Nate Zigler placed in the heptathlon as well, scoring 4,636 points and placing fifth. Both Bostick and Zigler were named to the NCAA all-region team.
The other win came at the end of the day in the 4×400 meter relay. Chapman, sophomore James Chandler, freshman Collin Darby and junior Jacob VanHouten continued their fantastic season by claiming victory in the last leg, running a 3:17.83. Chandler and VanHouten, joined by Schroder, all earned points in the 400-meter dash as well. VanHouten placed third, Chandler fourth and Schroder eighth. Darby also placed fifth in the 60-meter dash, joining junior Brandon Vanderbrook who placed eighth in the event.
A duo of Rock runners combined for 11 points in the mile. Thompson barely lost the event to the championships MVP, Shippensburg’s Kieron Sutton, with a time of 4:21.11. Palenchak picked up five more points for his team, finishing sixth in the event.
Two triple jumpers quietly provided fantastic performances on Sunday. NCAA-All Region selection sophomore Caleb Smithco and senior Adam Leeper placed second and third, respectively, with 14.78 and 14.55 meters. Both student-athletes also hit NCAA provisional marks.
Junior Jordan Pacheko was kept out of the PSAC Championships by injury, but he was also named to the NCAA-All Region team.
None of the men’s NCAA qualifiers will be participating in the NCAA Championships in two weeks, where five Rock women will be competing.
However, the outdoor men’s track season starts in two weeks at Myrtle Beach for the Coastal Carolina Open.