Men’s track and field competes in first outdoor home meet

Published by adviser, Author: Jeffrey Cupp - Rocket Contributor, Date: April 4, 2017
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Slippery Rock University hosted the Dave Labor Invitational over the weekend, which was the first of two home matches for the Rock this season. The meet was met with cold weather that put an extra burden on some of the athletes during the events.

Rock head coach John Papa said the team performed well in the cold weather.

“The running events, with the wind and cold, you’re not going to get much,” Papa said. “But some of the field events you can manage to do quite well in the chill.”

The Rock men recorded 19 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) marks in the, including one NCAA provisional mark and five event wins at the home meet.

In the 100-meter dash, The Rock had three runners in the top five, which were sophomore Jeff Bailey in fourth place with a time of 11.13, sophomore Colin Darby in third place with a time of 11.12, and senior Brandon Vanderbrook who won the competition with a time of 10.87. Freshman Ian Nieves won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.07, followed by senior Jacob VanHouten in third place with a time of 15.71. Jacob VanHouten also won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.80, while Nieves participated in the 4×100-meter relay team along with Darby, Bailey, and Vanderbrook which won the event at a time of 42.20.

In the 4×400-meter relay, Darby, senior Logan Mooney, senior Tony Tomasi, and freshman Noah VanHouten came in second with a time of 3:29.43. In the high jump, senior Seth Armstrong placed third with a height of 1.85 meters, in the long jump, junior Jared Geist placed third with a distance of 6.55 meters, followed by junior Caleb Smithco in fourth place with a distance of 6.51 meters, and in the triple jump, sophomore Jesse Romanchak placed third with a distance of 13.21 meters.

In the pole vault, the Rock recorded four marks, their most of the day in a single event, which consisted of junior Andrew Koksal in eighth place with a clearance distance of 4.01 meters, followed by sophomore David Duffey in fifth place with a distance of 4.16 meters, then tied for second were senior Mike Horrigan and junior Jordan Pacheco with clearance distances of 4.31 meters.

Papa said that the cold had an effect on the pole vaulters, but in fair conditions, it is the team’s top event.

In the discus, graduate student David Reinhardt and senior JJ Ollio each took first and second place, respectively with distances of 42.08 meters and 41.61 meters. Ollio also placed second in the shot put with a distance of 15.82 meters, and Reinhardt placed sixth in the javelin with a distance of 51.54 and met an NCAA provisional mark in the hammer throw with a distance of 59 meters.

Papa said the team is about where he wants them to be.

“I like where we’re at, we’ve had a few good opportunities down south with some good weather, so even though we do have a long ways to go in the season, I think we’re sitting in a good spot,” Papa said.

The Rock will look to compete at the Liberty University Multi Day meet in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the PSAC West invitational in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

“The competition will be good,” Papa said. He also said to expect similar weather from this weekend at both events, even though the Liberty University meet is further down south than Slippery Rock. If the weather holds off, the Rock men could be prepared for season bests at either meet.

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