After remaining competitive throughout the entire season, the Slippery Rock University women’s cross-country team has put a successful 2014 season in the books. The Rock finished the season by taking seventh place at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships. SRU can also boast a fifth place finish at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships as well as top-five finishes in all four of their regular season races. The Green and White started the season with back to back second place finishes at the SRU 125 Invitational and the Don Cathcart Invitational. The team closed out the regular season with a third place finish at the Mack Cooper College Invitational and a fifth place finish at the Lock Haven Go Fast River Run.
The two top runners for the Green and White, junior Jenny Picot and senior Janine Powis, provided the team with high levels of production all season long. Their consistent running earned both athletes spots on the All-Conference and All-Region teams.
Picot was the top runner for the Rock all season long. She was the fastest runner for SRU in every race she competed in, scoring in all five races. Picot was a top five individual runner throughout the regular season and had top-20 performances at the PSAC and regional championships.
With Picot in the top spot, Powis was routinely right behind her, finishing as the second fastest Rock runner four times, scoring in all six races. Powis finished individually in the top-10 two times and never finished outside of the top-25 in her final season running for the Green and White.
Powis is proud of the season she had and feels that she accomplished whatever she set out to do.
“I am overall very happy with my cross-country season,” Powis said. “It was my goal to get both all conference and all region for quite some time.”
Head coach John Papa expected great seasons from his top two runners, and was glad that the underclassmen on the team were able to see Picot and Powis have success.
“Our top ladies did what we thought they would this year,” Papa said. “Our younger ladies learned what it will take for them to succeed moving forward.”
Other consistent producers on the Rock were senior Angelica Bagwell, junior Brittany Fagan, and sophomore Kaylee Haberkam. Bagwell’s season was highlighted by three top-20 finishes in the regular season, as she scored four times. Fagan scored five times for the Rock throughout the season and her best finish was in 15 place at the team’s home opener. Haberkam also scored a total of five times, boasting a 12 place finish at the Don Cathcart Invitational as her best race.
The rest of the scoring for SRU came from junior Jessica Bennett and three freshmen: Erin Allison, Tessa Dombi, and Rebekah Zee. Bennett scored as the Rock’s fifth runner at the Regional Championships, Allison scored in two races both times being within the top-35 runners, Dombi notched a 13 place finish at the Don Cathcart Invitational for her only score of the season, and Zee had a top-30 finish at Lock Haven as her score.
Picot has high hopes for her younger teammates moving forward, as many of them showed flashes of potential during the season.
“I definitely think that there’s so much room for improvement; they can be a much stronger team,” Picot said. “There’s still a lot of potential because as a freshman you don’t know how long the season is or how much to train.”
With the cross-country season now over, many of the ladies and Papa will be turning their attention to the upcoming indoor track and field season, hoping to have as much success indoors as they had outdoors. However, Papa remains as excited as ever for cross-country’s return next year.
“I don’t know about them, but I’m already excited for next year,” Papa said.