Four meets into the season and Slippery Rock men’s track and field is showing out.
Numerous eye-opening performances have paved the way for an impressive beginning to the SRU team’s 2024 campaign.
Junior AJ Virata looks unstoppable with six top-ten finishes in the first four meets. This includes a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash at the Jud Logan Memorial meet from Kent State. Prior to this, Virata and SRU began their journey at the Youngstown State University (YSU) Icebreaker where he solidified a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash. Most recently, Virata tallied two second-place finishes at the Ashland Invitational from Ashland University. One came from the 200-meter while the other was scored in the 60-meter.
Virata is not the only one putting up monster performances to kick off the season. However, he has led the way and shown how effective he can be on his own as well as in team relays.
Finishes of seventh, second, and fourth are how the White and Green have begun their season in the 4×400 meter relay.
At the YSU Icebreaker, Virata competed with sophomore teammate Matthew Crow, freshman teammate Jacob Thompson and freshman teammate Kyle Rauchut. Here, they finished seventh with a time of 3:22.73.
Virata, Rauchut, Thompson and sophomore Tyler Morosky followed up with an even better performance posting a time of 3:19.36 in the same event at the Jud Logan Memorial meet.
Finally, the men showed out once again at the Ashland Invitational where they scored their best finish to this point in the season. Virata and Rauchut teamed up with sophomore Kadin Johnson and freshman Vinson Eggelston to record a 3:18.52 score.
While Virata’s name may be the most occurring on the score sheet, The Rock has seen strong performances to start up and down events.
Graduate student Dan Hyatt has dominated pole vault in the early stages of the season. His 4.95m jump remains his best finish thus far this season. This came at the YSU Icebreaker which was enough for him to finish third. His top placement, however, came at the Ashland Invitational where he won the event posting a 4.91m score.
Graduate student Joseph Cintavey would not be left out of the first-place finishers list as he reigned victorious in the mile run at the Ashland Invitational. The Delaware native tallied a 4:18.07 time in his win.
Ashland Invitational saw two more first-place finishes as they came from the shot put and triple jump events.
Senior Joshua Gose took first with a score of 16.72, barely defeating sophomore teammate Seaton Wozniak who recorded a 16.52m score.
Lastly, graduate student Taye Lynch won the triple jump event by posting a 14.00m score, his second top-five finish this season.
On Saturday, the White and Green found themselves at the Jim Wuske Invitational from Alliance, Ohio where they looked to continue their hot start to the season.