The Slippery Rock University women’s indoor track team secured five NCAA provisional qualifying marks, 35 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying marks, and 13 top five finishes at the YSU National Invite on Friday and Saturday.
The competition was highlighted for The Rock by junior thrower Breana Northcott who set a new SRU record in the weight throw event. Northcott’s 16.76 meter throw broke the previous record of 16.56 meters set by current SRU senior thrower Brittany Christiansen in the 2013-14 season. Northcott finished second at the competition, her throw is currently the best mark by any PSAC athlete this season, and earned her NCAA provisional qualification.
SRU assistant coach and strength and conditioning coordinator Megan Shadeck believes that the best is yet to come for Northcott and her fellow throwers.
“Breana setting a school record is just the start of great things for the entire group of lady throwers,” Shadeck said. “We all couldn’t be happier for her to have that achievement, but it’s only the beginning. The PSAC championships will bring out the best in everyone.”
Also competing in the weight throw, Christiansen finished in fifth place and earned a PSAC qualifying mark with a 16.29 meter throw, the third best in the PSAC thus far.
In the shot put, Christiansen led a group of four athletes who all reached the PSAC standard. Christiansen finished in fifth with a 13.13 meter throw, freshman Anna Frengel came in 13th with a 12.15 meter throw, Northcott with a 11.59 meter throw for 17th place, and sophomore Caitlin Whalen landed in 18th place with an 11.57 meter throw.
“The lady throwers have been working very hard in practice and are just now starting to see how good they really are,” Shadeck said. “The main reason is they’re a very tight knit group, they cheer for and motivate each other through everything, practice or a meet. They care about each other’s success as well as their own.”
The Green and White experienced more success in the pole vault, an event that The Rock not only won but also placed four athletes in the top five spots. The current PSAC leader, junior Kaitlyn Clark, won the event with a 3.6 meter clearance and earned another NCAA qualifying mark in the process.
The final three NCAA provisional qualifying marks were all earned by athletes competing in the pentathlon. Sophomore Sabrina Anderson and juniors Ashley West and Paige Kassab all participated in the five event competition. Kassab finished in fourth place with 3,079 points, the sixth best total in the PSAC so far, and West finished in 14th with 2,424 points. All three ladies earned their NCAA mark in the high jump, where Anderson and West tied for the best jump with 1.68 meters. Kassab had a 1.65 meter jump as the second best height behind Anderson and West.
On the track the 4×400 meter relay team made up of juniors Jasmine Bailey, Lexie Nowakowski, freshman Katie Teed, and sophomore Lauren Harvey improved on their season best time by a full five seconds as they ran the race in 3:55.48 minutes, beating the PSAC standard and setting the new best PSAC time this year and finished in second. Individually, Bailey earned a PSAC mark and finished in second place in the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.28 seconds.
The rest of the relay team and two other runners all achieved PSAC qualifying marks in the 400 meter dash. Nowakowski led The Green and White runners with a time of 58.88 seconds in fifth place. Harvey came in ninth in 59.32 seconds, Teed finished in 15th with a 1:00.49 minute time.
On the 60 meter hurdles sophomore Kennedy Evens, freshman Sophie Mazza, and junior Summer Weinheimer all earned PSAC qualifying marks. Evans came in seventh place with a 9.15 second time, Mazza finished in 9.65 seconds for 19th place, and Weinheimer came in 21st with a 9.71 second time.
SRU senior Janine Powis was the most productive of the distance runners as she earned two PSAC qualifying marks. In the mile, Powis finished in third place and turned in a time of 5:09.81 minute, the sixth best PSAC time this season. In the 800 meter run Powis was joined by fellow senior Angelica Bagwell in reaching the PSAC standard. Powis finished in eighth place with a 2:19.87 minute time and Bagwell came in 19th place with a 2:22.44 minute time.
The Green and White ladie will have this weekend off before returning to action on February 21st at the Kent State Tune Up.
The Rock will try to defend its PSAC title at the Conference Championships on Feb. 28.
“Our goals are always to bring and give our best efforts at the PSAC championships,” Coach Shadeck said. “I know the girls will continue to compete and show everyone how good they are as a team.”