The Rock’s men’s and women’s indoor track teams visited Youngstown State University for the third and final time this season to take part in the two-day National Mid-Major Invitational. Both the men and women had 19 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) marks throughout Friday and Saturday.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have reached double-digit PSAC markings throughout every meet so far this season.
“It’s a good sign that we are consistently performing well,” Slippery Rock coach John Papa said.
Papa also added that the freshmen crew can be among the top athletes in the PSAC in the years to come. Plus, the seniors and juniors are also performing very well.
“We’re just starting to hit strides. We’re excited about what’s coming up here in a couple weeks with our championships and everything in between, too,” Papa said.
Starting off for the men, they picked up one win as senior Collin Darby, senior Isaac Moodie, senior Jeff Bailey and senior Caleb Smithco won the 4×400-meter relay in 3:19:32. SRU men also had three second-place finishes to add to their success.
As for the women, redshirt senior Courtney McQuaide and junior Maddy Marshall continued their pole-vaulting success as they both hit NCAA provisional marks. This time Marshall finished third for The Rock leading the two women with a 3.81-meter clearance, her best of the season.
McQuaide was just behind her, clearing 3.71-meters and coming in fourth. Freshman Lily Plute also joined the fun as she hit the PSAC mark as she cleared 3.26 meters and finished ninth overall.
Freshman Jakob Graff also finished second for the men in the pole vault as he cleared 4.31 meters.
Back on the track for the men, Darby, joined by Bailey and junior Nathan Kibbie made PSAC marks with their 60-meter dash times. Darby finished eighth in 7.09 seconds, Bailey in No. 13 place in 7.14 seconds and Kibble followed in No. 14 in 7.16 seconds.
Three Slippery Rock men also hit PSAC marks for the 400-meter dash. Moodie finished No. 12 overall as he finished in 50.78 seconds. Freshman Kayden Kutchman was right behind him in No. 13 as he was in at 50.97 seconds and junior Kyle Edgar grabbed No. 15 as he was finished in 51.04 seconds.
On the track, the Rock women were led by Senior Madison Przicina as she placed second overall in the 800-meter run with her season-best time of 2:17:73. Right behind her was junior Kacey Raible as she finished in 2:18:18 to take home fifth place.
“Lot of our seniors are big parts of our team so [Przicina] is among that group. They’ve been around long enough; they’ve competed at a high level and are the go-to people,” Papa said.
Papa also said how Przicina and the rest of the upperclassmen will lead the team to continued success.
“She’s one of many, but we’re going to count on her and a lot of our other old ladies,” Papa joked.
Przicina also helped The Rock pick up another second-place finish as she joined senior Aerial Dukes, freshman Morgan Donatelli and junior Emily Horstman in the 4×400-meter relay in 4:00.90 seconds.
Donatelli and Horstman both led trios to PSAC marks as Donatelli finished in eighth place in 1:00:00 in the 400-meter dash. She was followed by sophomore Alexis Marchando who was No. 11 and finished in 1:00:45 and junior Courtney Nunley in No. 14 in 1:00:72. Horstman led her trio of women in the 60-meter dash as she grabbed sixth place in 7.88 seconds.
Senior Megan Stephenson finished No. 11 in 7.98 seconds and was followed by sophomore Amanda Oliver in No. 12 place in 8.02 seconds.
Sophomore Juliet Ryan and senior Sabrina Palmieri joined junior John Marenkovic and junior Daniel Janyska as they all hit the PSAC mark in distance running. Ryan finished seventh in the mile run in 5:13.63 and Palmieri followed her in No. 12 in 5:24.11. Marenkovic also ran the mile and finished in fifth in 4:22.17 and Janyska came in No. 13 in the 3,000-meter run in 8:54.21.
In the heptathlon, junior Dylan Colcombe finished in second with 4,600 points. Colcombe received two PSAC marks out of the seven total heptathlon events as he cleared a 4.45-meter pole vault along with his 9.04-second finish in the 60-meter hurdles.
The women had freshman Megan Miller place No. 14 the 60-meter hurdle in 9.59 second to hit a PSAC mark.
Sophomore Ryan McQuown finished fourth in the heptathlon with 4,272 points and was followed by senior Steven Girgash who placed fifth with 4,254 points. McQuown hit two PSAC marks with his 7.16 second time in the 60-meter dash and his leap of 6.50 meters in the long jump. Girgash recorded a PSAC mark as he finished the 60-meter dash in 7.19 seconds. Sophomore Ethan McGinnis finished in No. 11 place with 3,455 points.
For the throwers, senior JJ Ollio led the men with a career-best in the weight throw. He hit the 17.00-meter mark for the first time to place third as he recorded a mark of 17.32 meters. Ollio finished fourth in the shot put with a 15.84-meter throw, just topping freshman John Eakin who finished fifth with his season-best 15.29-meter throw.
As for the women, senior Rachel Demaria made her season debut in the shot put and almost hit an NCAA mark. She finished fifth place with a 13.04-meter toss, just off the 13.61-meter NCAA standard. Junior Abby Way finished No. 11 in the shot put with a toss of 11.77 meters and also hit a PSAC mark with her seventh-place finish in the weight throw with a mark of 14.44 meters.
“[Demaria] had some injury issues and she’s has been out for a while, but she’s a mega-talented lady. What we’re looking for is consistency from Rachel, and we know she can do it. And she does too. She’s had the one meet so, let’s hope in the next couple weeks she maintains that consistency when championships roll around. She’s ready to give everything for us and the team,” Papa said.
Ending things off for the women was the pentathlon. Junior Asia Broadus led the way as she finished third overall with 2,984 points. Broadus recorded two PSAC marks as she finished the 60-meter hurdles in 9.78 seconds along with her clearance of 1.61 meters in the high jump. Junior Jolene Yon finished sixth in the pentathlon with 2,731 points. Junior Hali Olson followed Yon as she finished in No. 10 with 2,463 and closing it out was junior Kadin Hinish in No. 11 with 2,330 points.
The last PSAC marks for the men came from sophomore Mitch Vleminckx as he placed fourth in the long jump with a 6.53-meter leap.
Slippery Rock will be back in action next Friday, Feb. 8, in Allendale, Michigan at the GV Big Meet hosted by Grand Valley State University.
“We’re giving everybody that experience where they can do something great and still get beat up pretty good. And some of our athletes have been winning pretty much every time out, so it will give them a look what it’s like to compete against really great athletes. And sometimes for some athletes, it brings out the very best in them,” Papa said.