The Slippery Rock University’s men’s track and field team, led by the pole vault team, had a successful weekend at the Youngstown State University National Invite on Feb. 6.
Held at the Watson and Tressel Training Site, the Rock attended one of their final tune up meets before the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference meet on Feb. 28.
Starting off the meet on Friday night was the pole vault crew, led by Jordan Pacheco, who won the event with a clearance of 4.80 meters. This clearance tied the meet’s record and made it his fourth time hitting the national provisional standard. Pacheco is currently ranked ninth this season. Following this performance was Michael Horrigan, Kieffer Reed and Andrew Koksal finishing in second, third and fourth place respectively. All three men had impressive clearances at the meet.
“The pole vault squad had another excellent day spearheaded by Jordan Pacheco,” SRU head coach John Papa said.
The heptathlon squad also had an outstanding performance on Friday night. Noah Bostick led the, pack placing second with 4,834 points. Nate Zigler followed close behind with 4,581 points. Bostick and Zigler are currently ranked first and second in the PSAC. Ben Kloepping finished the seven events with a total of 3,994 points, putting him in fifth place at the meet and tying him for 10th among the PSAC. Only top 12 scores are accepted to compete at the conference meet.
“The heptathlon guys have been working hard and performing at a high level,” Papa said.
Redshirt sophomore Ben Kloepping echoed Papa’s thoughts and said that the men are headed in the right direction.
“We have really come together as a team this season,” Kloepping said. “Our coaches push us to reach our full potential and we all have the goal of winning the PSAC in our sights.”
On the sprints side, the 4×400 meter relay consisting of Hunter Williams, James Chandler, Monte Chapman and Jacob VanHouten had another great race, finishing in first place with a time of 3:18.59 on Saturday. All four men also competed in the 400 meter dash. Currently ranked third in the PSAC, Williams finished second with a time of 49.29 seconds. VanHouten and Chandler followed close behind in fourth and fifth place with times of 49.67 seconds and 49.99 seconds.
Caleb Smithco hit the PSAC mark for the first time this season with a time of 50.62 seconds placing eighth. Chapman rounded out the top 15 with a time of 51.19 seconds. Erik Record also had a good day placing second in the 60 meter dash at 7.89 seconds and 10th in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.62 seconds.
Middle distance was led by Tyler Melius, who took second place in the mile with a time of 4:15.54. Melius is currently ranked second in the PSAC. Zac Patton and Tyler Palenchak followed behind in 14th and 15th, both hitting PSAC qualifying times of 4:22.67 and 4:23.99 respectively. Caleb Smithco also competed in the field in both triple and long jump. Smithco took second place in the triple jump with a distance of 14.03 meters and 12 place in the long jump at 6.36 meters.
The throwing squad had a successful day, starting with David Reinhardt and Nick Garuccio in the weight throw. Reinhardt took seventh place with a distance of 15.50 meters and Garuccio placed eighth at 15.02 meters. Both distances were qualifying measures. Jerrod Galloway rounded out the throws in the shot put with an eighth place finish at 14.67 meters.
“The entire team is getting ready for a great PSAC at the end of this month,” said Papa.
The Green and White’s next meet is on Feb. 21 at the Kent State Tune Up in Kent, Ohio.