After a successful indoor season, the Slippery Rock women’s track and field team turns its focus to the outdoor season. After placing third at the indoor Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championships, the team will be looking to improve to take home the team title at the outdoor championships.
“All runners, jumpers and throwers will need to be at their best. We will have almost no room for error in order to have a chance at a team title,” head coach John Papa said.
Papa expects “everyone to focus on doing their best in order to be prepared for a total team effort” when it comes time for the outdoor championships.
Papa will be looking for strong performances from each of the event groups throughout the season to prepare for the conference meet. He says that there is “more depth and quality” on the team this year that will help keep a strong balance throughout the team. Papa will specifically look to seniors Sabrina Anderson and Jenny Picot to lead the team.
“Sabrina has the respect of the team and she has the power to motivate and bring the best out of her teammates,” Papa said about Anderson. He also described Picot as “one of the elite distance runners in the PSAC” and will look to her to score in the distance events as well as lead her teammates in those events.
After not competing in the indoor season, Anderson and Picot will both be finishing out their collegiate eligibility during the outdoor season. Anderson will compete in the multi-event and Picot will compete in distance runs.
Other members of the team looking to have big seasons are senior Jasmine Bailey in the 400-meter, 200-meter and relays, senior Kennedy Evans in the hurdle and relay events and the duo of junior Courtney McQuaide and freshman Madeline Marshall in the pole vault that will be traveling to the Division II National Championships in Birmingham, Ala. After being unable to compete last indoor season due to injury, McQuaide won the pole vault title at this year’s championship and will look to continue her success to the outdoor championships.
“Outdoor season always seems to be a bit of a challenge,” McQuaide said. “I often let weather get inside of my head. After being injured, it might be a different outcome. It might not get to me. I think I’m a lot more mentally strong after what’s happened to me”.
The team will begin competition at the Seahawk Invitational at UNC-Wilmington this Friday and Saturday and at the Mount Olive Invitational a week later. The Rock will compete at home on April 1 at the Dave Labor Invitational and on April 20 at the SRU Open before the PSAC Championships at Bloomsburg University on May 4.