The Slippery Rock University’s women’s indoor track team recorded 24 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) provisional marks in an impressive showing over the weekend at the YSU National Invitational in Youngstown, OH.
Highlighting the weekend were junior Courtney McQuaide who won the pole vault with a clearance of 3.67 meters and senior Kennedy Evans who won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.86 seconds, narrowly missing the NCAA provisional mark of 8.85 seconds.
McQuaide, who missed the 2015-2016 season with an ankle injury, has only competed in three events this season and has already recorded a career high in the pole vault. Rock head coach John Papa spoke about her struggles, saying that “She’s showed a lot of determination and persistence after a series of frustrating injuries. She’s stayed with it despite not being a hundred percent and is doing the best she’s done since coming to SRU.” Papa hopes that McQuaide can stay healthy for the rest of her junior and senior years.
The Rock women recorded four more provisional marks on day one behind McQuaide in the pole vault, with junior Maria Darling and freshman Madeline Marshall each reaching a height of 3.52 meters, then senior Megan Matrisciano with a height of 3.37 meters and sophomore Julia Schuler with a height of 3.22 meters. The team also recorded four Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) marks in the weight throw on the same day, where senior Kelci Yale led the Rock women with a tenth-place finish at 14.56 meters. Behind her were junior Caroline McMahon with a distance of 13.06 meters, junior Anna Frengel with a distance of 13.02 meters, and freshman Abby Way with a distance of 12.92 meters.
Also on day one, senior Sabrina Anderson recorded a PSAC mark in the shot put with a toss of 11.35 meters and the high jump with a height of 1.59 meters and freshman Kadin Hinish recorded a PSAC mark in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.60 seconds for a total of 12 PSAC marks in the first day of the meet.
On the second day of the YSU National Invitational, the team again recorded 12 PSAC marks, including Evans’ first-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, where senior Jenna Bracken recorded a mark with a time of 9.12 seconds as well as junior Sophie Mazza with a time of 9.28 seconds. In the 4×400 meter relay, the Rock recorded a PSAC mark with the group consisting of Evans, junior Aerial Dukes, star freshman Emily Horstman, and sophomore Madison Przicina at a time of 3:55.77, which was third in the competition. Horstman also recorded a mark in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.72 seconds, Dukes recorded a mark in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.71 seconds, and Przicina recorded a mark in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:12.22.
Also recording marks in the 800-meter run were junior Caitlin Janeda with a time of 2:19.31 and junior Melissa Rains with a time of 2:23.75. In the 60-meter dash, senior Julie Galante recorded a mark with a time of 8.10 seconds and in the shot put, Frengel recorded a mark with a distance of 13.37 meters, just off the NCAA provisional mark of 13.40 meters, and Yale recorded a mark with the distance of 11.72 meters.
In any sport, when it comes to freshmen the biggest challenge they face is making the transition from high school sports into the collegiate world. When it comes to the Rock’s women team, three freshmen stand out to coach Papa: runner Emily Horstman, pole-vaulter Madeline Marshall, and thrower Abby Way.
“To be one of the better athletes in the conference, qualifying typically isn’t an issue for you,” Papa said, and for these three freshmen, who all record PSAC marks this weekend, qualifying is definitely no problem. Papa even went on to say that Horstman could be among the top few of the conference, “we’re excited about her, she has progressed nicely. Fortunately, she has stayed healthy and hasn’t missed any of the meets because of injury, and it’s tough especially on the new athletes because they’re not as strong as the older ones.”
Needless to say, The Rock has a good group of young women ready to take over when seniors such as Evans depart from the team.
The Rock heads out to Allendale Michigan this weekend where only 12 women will compete in the GV Big Meet. Riding with the team are Bracken, Darling, Dukes, Evans, Frenge, Horstman, Marshall, Matrisciano, Mazza, McQuaide, Rains and Katie Teed. The team hopes to continue their success with the PSAC championships approaching at the end of the month, then the NCAA Nationals after that.