As the indoor track season comes to a close, celebration is in the air as the men finished third at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship and the women brought home second place, just short of first.
The men finished third, tied with Kutztown at 80 points. Shippensburg won, to earn their ninth straight title, with 134 points followed by East Stroudsburg who finished in second with 98 points. The women just fell short of first place as Kutztown took it with 100.5 points, The Rock would take second with 89.33 points. The women’s second-place finish marks the eleventh time in the past 13 seasons that they placed inside the top two at the PSAC championship.
The two-day championship became one as there were high winds expected in the forecast for Sunday, so Friday night the decision was made to condense the meet. This added some more challenges for multi-event athletes.
Senior Steven Girgash and senior Madison Prizicina both overcame the challenging circumstances. Girgash is coming back from early season injuries, but that did not stop him as he won the five-event pentathlon title with 3,600 points, his second straight indoor title. As for Prizicina, she started off by being a part of the winning distance medley relay in the 800-meter leg, followed by winning the 800-meter run in 2:18.74. Przicina was also a part of the 4×400-meter relay, but a trip knocked her down. However, she got up, finished her leg and The Rock took tenth place in the event.
Prizicina was joined by sophomore Juliet Ryan, junior Kacey Raible and sophomore Alexis Marchando. They combined to win the 800-meter leg in 12:09.43, just edging out Seton Hill’s team, who finished in just a tenth of a second behind them.
Ryan also joined freshman Julianna Stevens in the mile as Stevens placed seventh in 5:20.74. Ryan finished eighth in 5:22.80 shortly after the 800-meter leg. Ryan also placed eighth in the 3,000-meter run in 10:35.02.
Junior Dylan Colcombe placed in the pentathlon, following behind Girgash in fifth place with 3,246 points. Colcombe also placed fifth with a 4.29-meter clearance in the pole vault. Freshman Jakob Graff finished right behind him in sixth, with a 4.14-meter clearance.
Also, in pole vaulting, redshirt senior Courtney McQuaide won her second indoor title with her season-best 3.95-meter clearance. Junior Maddy Marshall finished in second with her season-best 3.85-meter clearance, and freshman Sarah Schneider continued the top three sweep for Slippery Rock with her season-best 3.60-meter clearance. All three of the clearances notched provisional marks for the NCAA, the women will find out next weekend if they get the chance to participate in the NCAA Division II National Championships.
For the men, senior JJ Ollio finished in second place in both the shot put and weight throw. His weight throw was a 17.07-meter toss which was followed by his 16.52-meter shot put mark. Freshman John Eakin joined Ollio with a 15.31-meter toss to grab fifth place. Ollio will now wait until next weekend to see if he will get the chance to participate in the NCAA Division II National Championships. Senior Caleb Smithco, who earlier hit the NCAA provisional mark in the triple jump, will also await the possible NCAA invitation.
Also on the field was junior Abby Way, as she tossed a 12.82-meter shot put to finish third. In the weight throw, she finished eighth with a 15.20-meter toss.
Senior Jesse Romanchak finished third in the triple jump with a 14.20-meter leap. Followed by junior Josiah Davis, who finished seventh with a 13.59-meter leap. Romanchak also finished fourth in the long jump with a 6.75-meter leap, while Davis placed seventh with a 1.89-meter clearance in the high jump.
Sophomore Regan Hess would also place with a 5.42-meter leap in the long jump. Hess also has the chance to participate at the NCAA Division II National Championships as she hit the NCAA provisional mark earlier in the season.
Freshman Kaitlyn Boncyzk finished off the jumping in both the triple and high jump. She placed eighth in both events, with an 11.05-meter leap in the triple jump and a 1.55-meter clearance in the high jump. Freshman Cecily Greggs also competed in the high jump, taking fifth in the with a 1.60-meter clearance.
Back on the track, junior Jill Norris, junior Bri Witherel, junior Hannah Kenawell and freshman Lexie Firment placed third in 9:38.41 in the 4×800-meter relay.
Junior Kyle Edgar, freshman Troy Shattuck, junior Daniel Janyska and junior John Marenkovic teamed up to take third place in the distance medley relay with a time of 10:22.92. Janyska and Marenkovic both placed in the mile, Janyska in 4:25.50 in fourth and Marenkovic in 4:26.63 in sixth.
Both Kenawell and Edgar were awarded the Champion Scholar awards, which are given to the highest cumulative GPA at the championships: Kenawell with a 4.0 and Edgar 3.96.
Senior Aerial Dukes placed fifth in the 400-meter dash with her season-best 58.91 second time.
Senior Collin Darby placed in both the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. In the 60-meter, Darby placed fifth with a 6.92 second time, and in the 200-meter, he placed eighth in 22.32 seconds.
Junior Emily Horstman joined in the 60-meter dash for the women and took home fifth place in 7.79 seconds. Horstman started her day in prelims, marking her career-best time of 7.72 seconds, just 0.02 seconds off of a Rock record.
In the 4×800-meter relay, the men’s team of sophomore Tim Ferguson, sophomore Dillon McConnell, freshman Alex Dickson and junior Gunner Coleman finished fifth in 8:09.32.
Junior Kadin Hinish hurdled her way through the 60-meter hurdles to finish eighth in 9.42 seconds.
Ending things off for the men was freshman Zach Wise, he placed eighth in the 60-meter hurdles as he finished in 8.81 seconds.
Closing things out for the women was junior Asia Broadus, who placed fifth overall in the pentathlon with 3,017 points.
As the indoor season comes to an end for most of the athletes, six SRU athletes still have the chance to participate in the Division II National Championships. They will find out if their indoor seasons continue next weekend.