The Slippery Rock University men’s and women’s outdoor track team hosted the Dave Labor Invitational on Saturday walking away with a combined 10 wins, 43 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying marks, and five NCAA provisional marks.
This is the first of three meets that The Rock will host this spring. This meet is named in honor of the late former Slippery Rock sprints and hurdles coach Dave Labor.
Senior JJ Ollio and sophomore Austin Labesky recorded the two NCAA marks for the men’s team. Ollio recorded a 16.68-meter shot put toss which also grabbed him the win. Ollio also placed third in both the discus and the hammer throw. Recording PSAC marks for both with a 48.56-meter discus toss and a 47.42 meters hammer throw. Labesky hit his season best with a 58.87-meter javelin throw to hit the NCAA mark and a second-place finish.
“I think that there definitely is a home field advantage, those are the facilities we practice on so we know them the best. We had great weather too,” Head Coach John Papa said.
For the women’s team, junior Maddy Marshall won the pole vault with her 3.85-meter clearance and was followed by redshirt senior Courtney McQuaide who placed second with 3.70-meter clearance. Both of the women hit the NCAA marks with the jumps. Junior Elaina Powell also recorded an NCAA mark with her 42.64-meter winning throw in the javelin. Freshman Lauren Naylor was right behind Powell with her PSAC mark throw of 39.76 meters in the javelin.
“We’ve had a few meets so far and I think we are finally getting into the groove, and I think a lot of are athletes are heading in the right direction,” Papa started. “A combination of the weather, having a few meets and being at home, I think that led to a lot of solid performances.”
Back to the men’s team, freshman Dylan Close finished behind Labesky with a 52.88-meter throw in the javelin, which got him eighth place. Also for the throwers, freshman John Eakin finished in seventh with a 13.85-meter shot put. Sophomore Ryan Ferner also placed seventh but in the discus with a 43.90-meter throw. Ferner also finish ninth in the hammer throw with a 42.60-meter throw, just behind sophomore Alec Morris who placed eighth with a 43.30-meter hammer throw.
Junior Abby Way took home one of the women’s first place wins as she won the hammer throw with a 44.66-meter mark. Behind her was junior Kati Palski who was in fourth with a 40.60-meter throw. Senior Rachel Demaria placed fourth in the shot put with a 12.30-meter toss, just ahead of Way who had a 12.19-meter toss. Demaria also finished in seventh in the discus throw with a 35.15-meter mark.
Also, on the field junior Josiah Davis won the high jump with his 1.97-meter clearance. Behind him was senior Seth Armstrong who finished third with a 1.92-meter clearance. In the triple jump Davis finished second with a 13.84-meter leap. Junior Daron Cooper finished fourth with a 13.19-meter leap and sophomore Ethan McGinnis finished seventh with a 12.87-meter leap.
Freshman Kaitlyn Bonczyk took home first place in the high jump with her 1.63-meter clearance. Just behind her was freshman Cecily Greggs who finished with a 1.58-meter clearance. Sophomore Reagan Hess took home a win in the long jump with a 5.49-meter leap. Also, in the long jump was junior Kadin Hinish, who finished third with a 5.14-meter leap and junior Jolene Yon who was fourth with a 5.05-meter leap.
Closing things out on the field was junior Dylan Colcombe who finished in second with a 4.45-meter pole vault clearance. In the long jump senior Jesse Romanchak finished fourth with a 6.50-meter leap and senior Caleb Smithco finished with a 6.40-meter leap.
On the track, the women won three events as well as grabbing 10 PSAC marks. Junior Emily Horstman won the 100-meter dash in 12.03 seconds. In the 4×400-meter relay, Horstman, freshman Rayna Stevenson, sophomore Alexis Marchando, junior Brenna Kloes won with a 4:04.63 time. Horstman ended her day by placing third in the 200-meter dash with a 25.41 second time.
Hess also joined Horstman in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as she hit the PSAC mark for both. She finished the 100-meter in 12.23 seconds and a third-place finish and placed seventh in the 200-meter dash in 25.78 seconds.
In the 100-meter dash for the men, junior Liam Okal led The Rock with a 10.91 second fifth place finish. He was followed by freshman Parker Reed who finish seventh in 11.06 seconds, senior Steven Girgash in eighth in 11.07 seconds and senior Collin Darby in 11.15 seconds. Okal, Reed, Darby and junior Nathan Kibbie also placed second in the 4×100-meter relay in 41.95 seconds.
Girgash also recorded a PSAC mark in the 200-meter dash with his time of 22.02 seconds. He also joined the 4×400 meter relay with Colcombe, junior Gunner Coleman and sophomore Ryan McQuewn as they finished fourth in 3:25.94.
In the 400-meter dash Stevenson was joined by Kloes and Senior Madison Przicina. Stevenson placed third in 59.81 seconds, just passing Kloes who finished fourth in 1:00.37. Przicina followed behind in fifth with a 1:00.40 time.
Closing things out for SRU were the hurdlers. For the men, sophomore Zach Wise placed second in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.96 seconds. junior Kyle Edgar placed fifth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.38 seconds. For the women, freshman Megan Miller won the 100-meter hurdles in 15.71 seconds and placed second in the 400-meter in 1:06.90 seconds. Also, in the 100-meter hurdles, junior Asia Broadus placed fourth in 15.98 seconds and freshman Emma Fox behind her in fifth in 16.11 seconds.
Slippery Rock looks to split the team next weekend as some will go to the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic on Saturday and Sunday as others will go to the Westminster Invitational on Saturday.
Papa added about 75% of the top Slippery Rock athletes will be going to Bucknell as it does have some qualifying standards. However, some of the team’s best athletes will go to Westminster.
“I know that our pole-vaulters and most of our jumpers are going to stay at Westminster. Our vault coach and our jump coach, Coach Jordan, he really likes the facilities at Westminster,” Papa said.
Papa also did line up for a race against one of the athletes, however when asked about joining the team he laughed and said, “Oh yeah, right, I’m out of eligibility. I graduated in 1979, that was my last year of track at The Rock,” Papa joked.