oThe Slippery Rock University men’s and women’s indoor track and field team were in command on Saturday at the Al Hall of Freedom games at Edinboro University. The men won eight events and recorded 18 qualifying marks for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) as well as two NCAA professional markings. The women also recorded 18 qualifying marks for the PSAC and had two NCAA professional markings as they won nine events.
Senior JJ Ollio recorded a 16.60 meter in the shot put as he qualified for the NCAA professional markings for his third straight week. Ollio also hit a PSAC mark for weight throw at 16.51 meters.
“He’s the guy to beat in our conference. JJ is definitely a senior veteran getting back into form,” Rock head coach John Papa said.
Papa added that the next week after Youngstown State, the Grand Valley Meet in Michigan will include several throwers of Ollio’s caliber at the national level.
“He’ll definitely have a lot of great competition and that’s kinda when he rises to his best when the competition is at a very high level,” Papa said.
Senior Caleb Smithco also came back and out jumped everybody in his return from injury with a 14.61-meter triple jump marking the second men’s NCAA mark.
Papa mentioned that Smithco may not triple jump again until the regional tournament at the end of February due to his previous injury in the event.
Smithco was followed by junior Josiah Davis with a mark of 13.84 meters. Sophomore Jason Goodman finished fourth with a mark of 13.42, with fifth and sixth also going to the Rock men. Sophomore Ethan McGinnis (fifth) finished with a mark of 13.00 meters and sophomore Mitch Vleminckx (sixth) with a mark of 12.92 meters.
As for the women, redshirt senior Courtney McQuaide and junior Maddy Marshall continue to shine this season as they both cleared 3.80 meters in the pole vault. McQuaide, who earlier in the season recorded at 3.87, finished first as Marshall was right behind her in second. Both women made the qualifying mark for the NCAA.
“We know they have it in them and, now that they’re competing at that level, we’d like to see them consistent at that level. And once they develop consistency there, that’s when they’re really going to start to see bigger and better marks,” Papa said.
Freshman Sarah Schneider also placed for the women as she came in third, also making the PSAC mark for pole vaulting with a 3.35-meter vault. Followed by Freshman Lily Plute who finished fourth vaulting 3.20 meters.
Closing out the field events there was three high jump placements for the men and one for the women. Davis finished with a mark of 1.95 meters which secured second place. Senior Seth Armstrong finished in third with a mark of 1.85 meters and McGinnis in fifth with a mark of 1.85 meters. For the ladies, freshman Cecily Greggs placed second in high jump with a mark of 1.60 meters, and freshman Kaitlyn Bonczyk placed second in the triple jump with a jump of 11.20 meters.
Dashing for the men, Senior Colin Darby took home wins in both the 200-meter dash in 22.45 seconds and the 60-meter dash in 7.01 seconds. Senior Jeff Bailey raced his way to third in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.09. Followed by junior Nathan Kibbie in fourth (7.13) and freshman Parker Reed in sixth finishing with a time of 7.20. All of them hitting the PSAC mark.
SRU women took home six wins on the track Emily Horstman led things off by winning in both the 200-meter and 60-meter dashes. A 26.08-second finish in the 200 meters and 7.76 in the 60 meters. Horstman was accompanied by senior Megan Stephenson who finished second in the 60-meter dash and hit the PSAC mark with a time of 7.90 seconds. Freshman Zach Wise took home also hit the PSAC mark in the 60-meter dash as he placed third with a time of 8.76 seconds.
Senior Aerial Dukes finished at the top for the women’s 400-meter dash as the women dominated taking home the top six spots. Dukes finished in 1:00:07 right before senior Madison Przicina who grabbed second at 1:00.9. Third place went to sophomore Alexis Marchando as she finished in 1:00.32 and freshman Morgan Donatelli finished in 1:00.35 to place fourth. Junior Courtney Nunley and junior Brenna Kloes both finished with a time of 1:01.57 to grab fifth and sixth place.
The women also took home relay wins as junior Kacey Rabile, freshman Julianna Stevens, junior Jill Norris and senior Ellie Pearson won the 4×800-meter relay in 10:35.76. Duke, Horstman, Donatelli and Nunley also finished first in the 4×400-meter relay in 4:07.68.
Junior Daniel Jansyska and Rabile took home wins in mid-distance races. Jansyska won the mile in 4:26.99 for the men and Rabile won in 5:17.82 for the women. Stevens finished right behind Raible with a time of 5:25.59.
Freshman Megan Miller also hurdled her way into a PSAC mark as she completed the 60-meter hurdles in 9.62 seconds.
“We’re going to expect some personal bests, some seasonal bests from a lot of our athletes. Youngstown, we’ve been going there three times a year now for quite a few years so our kids all know that facility. It’s 45 minutes away, and it’s kinda like a home race for us; we like it there. It’s like a home away from home,” Coach Papa said.
The indoor track team will compete at Youngstown State University for the third time next Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2 part of the YSU National Invite.