The Slippery Rock women’s track and field team was split this past weekend with a select group competing at the Adidas Raleigh Relays at NC State University, while the rest of the team stayed north to compete at the California University Early Bird Invitational. The Raleigh Relays were highlighted by two NCAA Provisional qualifying times and the Early Bird Invite had 16 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying standards.
In Raleigh, the 4×400-meter relay of junior Ariel Dukes, senior Jasmine Bailey, freshman Emily Hortsman and senior Kennedy Evans ran an NCAA qualifying time of 3:47.93 and placed seventh overall against multiple Division I teams. The time is also currently the fastest in the PSAC so far. The 4×100-meter relay of Evans, Bailey, Hortsmana nd senior Erica Hans also ran a PSAC-leading time of 48.17 seconds to place 14th overall.
The other NCAA time from Raleigh came from Bailey in the 400-meter with a time of 55.89 to place eighth overall. Also competing in the 400-meter was Dukes who placed 60th with a time of 59.49 seconds. Hortsman placed 33rd in the 100-meter dash with a 12.46 and junior Sophia Mazza placed 40th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.41 seconds. In the 400-meter hurdles Evans ran a would-be personal best of 1:00.46 to place third overall, but was disqualified from the race later on due to dragging her trail leg below a hurdle during the race. Junior Katie Teed also competed in the 400-meter hurdles and ran a 1:05.51 to place 39th.
The lone distance runner competing for the women at Raleigh was senior Jenny Picot who recorded a time of 17:27.03 in the 5000-meter to place 39th.
The Early Bird Invitational at California University was highlighted by a win in the shot put by junior Anna Frengel with a throw of 12.87 meters. Placing seventh in shot put was senior Kelci Yale with a throw of 11.47 meters. Junior Caroline McMahon placed second in the javelin throw with a toss of 36.66 meters. Wrapping up the field events, the Rock took sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 11th places in the pole vault led by juniors Maria Darling and Courtney McQuaide both clearing 3.60 meters, while freshman Erika Thomas and senior Megan Matrisciano both cleared 3.45 meters and sophomore Julia Schuler cleared 3.30 meters.
In the sprinting events, The Rock took second and third in the 100-meter hurdles with senior Jenna Bracken and freshman Kadin Hinish running 14.90 and 15.03 respectively. Freshman Courtney Nunley ran PSAC qualifying time of 1:00.03 to place fourth.
Finishing up with the distance events, the Rock women had a strong showing in the 800-meter run with sophomore Caitlyn Janeda running 2:18.03 to take second, with sophomore Madison Przicina following in 2:20.55 to take third, while freshman Kacey Raible ran 2:21.31 to take fifth. In the 1500-meter run junior Melissa Rains took fifth with a time of 4:56.04 with senior Kaylee Haberkam following her in seventh with a time of 4:57.59.
Head Coach John Papa said that though it’s still early in the season, he and the other coaches are “encouraged by several quality performances”.
“It is early, however many athletes have qualified for the PSAC (championship),” Papa said.
The Rock will stay at home for its next meet hosting the Dave Labor Invitational at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium this Saturday.
“The home turf is an advantage especially in the field events because the athletes are accustomed the surroundings which can be an advantage,” Papa said. “Field event areas tend to be different at each facility. Runners also like to run on the track they use for practice”.
Papa is expecting the competition to be high as several good teams will be attending the meet. The running events will follow a rolling schedule with women first in all events after a combined 10,000-meter run at 9:00 a.m. The field events will start at 10:00 a.m with hammer throw, discus and long jump.