Graduate student David Reinhardt broke an NCAA provisional mark in the weight throw competition with a 17.55-meter toss this past weekend when The Rock traveled to the SPIRE institute in Geneva, OH for the SPIRE Midwest Open.
Two weeks ago on Jan. 20 when The Rock traveled to Youngstown, OH for the YSU Invitational, senior Ryan Thompson ran the third fastest mile in program history with a time of 4:10.01, taking first place and breaking an NCAA provisional mark. Thompson was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Athlete of the Week after his performance in the mile. Head coach John Papa had high praise for Thompson after the event.
“It was a significant effort by him (Thompson),” Papa said. “Almost breaking a school record is a big deal.”
All together this past weekend, the Green and White collected 18 PSAC qualifying marks, one NCAA mark, and 14 top ten finishes. Reinhardt placed second in the weight throw and moved from 33rd to 28th on the national list among Division II throwers. Right behind Reinhardt was senior JJ Ollio who placed 5th in the event and made a PSAC mark with a throw of 15.52 meters. Ollio also placed 4th in the shot put event with a distance of 15.13 meters, breaking another PSAC mark.
Senior Jacob VanHouten finished first in the rarely seen 600-meter dash with a time of 1:20.75. The 600-meter dash in not contested in PSAC meets. Jacob’s brother, Freshman Noah VanHouten, also competed in the event and placed ninth with a time of 1:25.48. Jacob also ran with sophomore Collin Darby, fifth-year senior Adam Schroder, and senior Savon Salter in the 4×400 meter relay. The group finished third in the event and broke the PSAC mark with a time of 3:21.40.
“We have a lot of very good athletes,” Coach Papa said. “But with our conference meet coming up in three weeks, we still have a lot to accomplish.”
In the 60-meter hurdles, freshman Ian Nieves led the charge for The Rock, breaking a PSAC standard with a time of 8.45 which placed him ninth in the event. Senior Brandon Vanderbrook made a PSAC qualifying in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.00 placing him third in the event. Darby was right behind Vanderbrook placing fifth with a time of 7.06, also a PSAC mark. Darby continued to burst in the 200-meter dash placing third in the event with a time of 22.20, adding another PSAC mark.
This is the second meet since the Green and White returned from winter break and staying in shape over break is something coach Papa makes sure to remind his athletes.
“Many students do have access to the proper facilities for training and some don’t,” Coach Papa said. “It’s really up to the students to go out and stay in the shape the way we’d like them to be in.”
The Rock will now travel back to Youngstown, OH this Friday and Saturday to compete in the YSU National Invite over the weekend.