Graduate student David Reinhardt made his third straight NCAA provisional mark in the weight throw and junior Andrew Koksal hit a NCAA mark in the pole vault when The Rock traveled to Youngstown, Ohio this past weekend in the Youngstown State University National Invite.
Reinhardt continued to break his season best in the weight throw for the third straight week when he threw 17.73 meters on Friday, placing him second in the event. Koksal placed third in the pole vault with a height of 4.66 meters, reaching the NCAA mark.
“I thought he (Koksal) could’ve gotten a higher jump,” Rock head coach John Papa said. “He’s made some great jumps and he’ll continue to improve.”
In the 3,000-meter run, senior Ryan Thompson placed third with a time of 8:27.92, which was enough to earn him a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying mark. Papa says he feels Thompson has a real good chance in breaking the school record of 4:09.33 for the mile this coming meet.
“He’s (Thompson) going to give it a shot,” Papa said. “He’ll have to work a little harder at the end, but he’s got the ability.”
Senior Brandon Vanderbrook took the only first place for The Rock over the weekend when he won the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.98, earning a PSAC mark. Vanderbrook also placed ninth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.57, with sophomore Jeff Bailey placing 13th with a time of 22.71–both PSAC marks. Then in the 400-meter dash, senior Jacob VanHouten placed third with a time of 49.34, hitting a PSAC mark as well.
The Rock placed second in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:19.24, behind the legs of sophomore Collin Darby, fifth-year Andrew Schroder, VanHouten and freshman Noah VanHouten. The foursome was able to hit the PSAC mark with their efforts.
In total, the Green and White collected 18 PSAC qualifying marks, two NCAA qualifying marks and 17 top-10 finishes this past weekend. The Rock will now travel to Allendale, Mich. this Friday with a select group of 15 male athletes to compete in the Grand Valley Big Meet at Grand Valley State University. Schools are only allowed to bring their top athletes to this event, said Papa.
“You’re going to have great competition at these types of events,” Papa said. “It’s going to be a championship-like atmosphere.”
After this weekend, the entire team will reconvene when The Rock travels to Edinboro University to compete in the Edinboro Last Chance meet on Friday, Feb. 17.