Slippery Rock University’s men’s outdoor track team hosted the SRU open last Thursday night where they came away with 10 event victories alongside 32 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying marks, and two NCAA qualifying marks. This was the second and final home meet for The Rock this year, and they made the most of the home-field advantage, even pushing past lightning delays during the day.
“The coaches have done a great job keeping everyone focused for their events,” Rock head coach John Papa said.
In the 100-meter dash, senior Brandon Vanderbrook was second with a time of 10.67 seconds, followed by freshman Ian Nieves in third with a time of 10.76 seconds, then sophomore Jeff Bailey in fifth with a time of 10.79 seconds. Rounding out the event were sophomore Collin Darby in sixth at 10.89 seconds and junior James Chandler in 11th with a time of 11.06 seconds. In the 200-meter dash, Darby was second with a time of 21.71 seconds, followed by Nieves in fifth with a time of 22.06 seconds and Chandler in eighth with a time of 22.35 seconds. Nieves also won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.78 seconds. In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Steven Girgash won the event with a time of 49.90 seconds and in fourth place was sophomore Isaac Moodie with a time of 50.51. In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Jacob VanHouten won the event with a time of 53.72, followed by senior Logan Mooney in second place with a time of 56.26, then freshman Gunnar Coleman in fourth place with a time of 57.24.
In The Rock’s strongest event of the day, the pole vault, juniors Jordan Pacheco and Andrew Koksal tied for first place in the event with a clearance distance of 4.61 meters. In fourth place behind them was senior Mike Horrigan with a clearance distance of 4.46 meters, followed by another tie at seventh place between freshman Dylan Colcombe and sophomore David Duffey, both with a clearance distance of 4.16 meters.
“If we have a day like that from our vaulters in the championships, that will be significant,” Papa said.
In the high jump, senior Seth Armstrong and sophomore Lance Thornton tied for fourth place with a distance of 1.90 meters, followed by freshman Josiah Davis with a distance of 1.85 meters. In the long jump, junior Caleb Smithco won the event with a distance of 6.62 meters, followed by sophomore Jesse Romanchak in second place with a distance of 6.57 meters. Smithco also went on to win the triple jump with a distance of 14.90 meters, also an NCAA provisional mark. He was followed by senior Adam Leeper who has faced limited competition this season so far. Leeper finished in third place with a distance of 14.19 meters.
In the discus, senior JJ Ollio won the event with a toss of 46.12 meters, followed by graduate student David Reinhardt in second with a distance of 44.57 meters. Reinhardt went on to win the hammer throw with a distance of 57.29 meters, also an NCAA provisional mark. Ollio placed sixth behind him with a throw of 43.60 meters. Finally, in the javelin, freshman Sam Stanford placed fourth with a throw of 52.80 meters.
With the PSAC championships close to a week away, The Rock is looking to finally get by Shippensburg after a 1.5-point margin loss at the indoor championships.
“We’ll be relying heavily on Ryan Thompson in the track as well as Ian Nieves. In the field, Caleb Smithco in the jumping, and David Reinhardt and JJ Ollio will be the individuals we expect to help a lot” Papa said.
The team will have one final tune-up before the championship meet when they head to Ashland University in Ohio for the Ashland Open. The majority of the team is expected to compete in some of the events, as long as the weather stays away. However, the athletes are not going to participate in all the events that they will be competing in at the PSAC championships, which are in Bloomsburg May 4-6.