After winning the indoor PSAC Championship less than three weeks ago, the Slippery Rock women’s outdoor track and field team began the road to the outdoor championship with 23 PSAC qualifying marks at the Shamrock Invitational at Myrtle Beach.
“Winning the indoor PSAC is an indicator that our women can do very well at the outdoor PSAC,” head coach John Papa said. “The other PSAC teams will be gunning for us, so we need to do our best.”
During his time with the program, Papa has coached his teams to PSAC Championships in the indoor and outdoor events during the same year. The women’s team dominated the championships from 2007-2009, winning each championship over the three years. Papa hopes to see this team accomplish the same feat.
“Our goal is to win this outdoor PSAC meet as well,” Papa said. “It’s a big challenge to get everyone at their best for a championship performance like the one we had at the indoor PSAC, but I think the athletes and coaches will be ready.”
The Shamrock Invitational gave the athletes the opportunity to train and compete in their events away from the harsh weather in Pa.
“The poor weather will have an impact on our training,” Papa said. “We will have to adapt and adjust to get in the training that we feel the athletes need.”
Sophomore Sam Taylor took advantage of the warmer temperatures in Myrtle Beach and hit the NCAA provisional standard in the javelin for the second week in a row. Taylor threw for 42.68 meters and finished fourth.
“My goals are to keep working to help my team succeed in hopefully taking home the outdoor title,” Taylor said. “For nationals, I want to come home an Academic and Athletic All-American.”
Taylor’s marks have already guaranteed her a spot in the national championship.
Junior Janine Powis placed seventh in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.57.
The 4×100-meter relay team of freshman Julie Galante, sophomore Emily Moroco, junior Katelyn Wetzel and sophomore Jasmine Bailey ran a time of 47.34 seconds and finished seventh.
Sophomore Breana Northcott qualified in the hammer, discus and shot put events at the invitational. She threw 40.33 meters in the hammer, 39.42 in the discus and 11.90 meters in the shot put.
“I think the team is more motivated than ever for the outdoor conference meet,” Taylor said. “We know we have to work hard to produce the times, distances and heights necessary to win the outdoor title.”
Sophomore Mariah Burns qualified in the triple jump with a mark of 11.38 meters while sophomore Ashley West qualified in the high jump with a clearance of 1.60 meters.
In the pole vault, sophomore Michaela Kasik qualified with a 3.20 meter clearance.
Throughout the heptathlon event, freshman Sabrina Anderson, freshman Caryl Evans, sophomore Kelly Beyer and senior Tara Catone reached PSAC marks.
Anderson qualified during the high jump with a clearance of 1.67 meters and also during the 100-meter hurdles at 15.73 seconds.
Evans qualified during the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.86 seconds. Beyer qualified in the high jump with a clearance of 1.58 meters and Catone qualified in the javelin at 38.69 meters.
Catone led the heptathlon athletes with a 13th place finish at 3,857 points.
Sophomore London Parris finished ninth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.20 seconds.
Junior Angelica Bagwell and freshman Kaylee Haberkam hit PSAC marks in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with times of 11:34.14 (Bagwell) and 11:55.07 (Haberkam).
SRU will look to qualify more athletes for the PSAC Championships and take advantage of the warmer weather this weekend when they compete in the Raleigh Relays at North Carolina State.