The Slippery Rock University women’s track and field team traveled to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania this past weekend to compete at the Bison Outdoor Classic. The meet, hosted by Bucknell University, provided the team another chance to see how they match up with some strong out of conference competition.
The Green and White performed well as a whole, reaching 24 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying marks. There were also several strong individual performances, as four women reached the NCAA provisional qualifying mark. SRU head coach John Papa sees this kind of performance as one of his team’s major strengths.
“Our strength is that we have outstanding performers in all the event areas. Sprints, relays, throws, distance, jumping,” Papa said. “We have a decent amount of depth as well. We can overcome some injury problems or other issues.”
The meet was highlighted for the Rock by several top ten finishes and the four national marks. Junior Sam Taylor was one of the standouts on the weekend, finishing first among collegiate athletes and second overall in the javelin throw. Taylor’s 46.35 meter throw was just shy of her season best and was over the national qualifying mark.
Winning a couple of awards form the event was junior jumper Ashley West. West earned both the SRU athlete of the week and the PSAC field athlete of the week awards for her second place finish in the high jump. West cleared 1.71 meters, currently the eighth best jump in the nation and good for another national qualifier. Joining West was fellow junior Paige Kassab, who finished in 10th place and beat the conference qualifying mark with a 1.61 meter jump.
Kassab also earned a conference qualifier in the long jump, coming in 13th place with a 5.21 meter jump.
Also beating a national qualifying mark was freshman Courtney McQuaide who cleared 3.72 meters and finished in fifth place.
Sophomore Megan Matrisciano cleared 3.27 meters, beating the conference standard and coming in 18th place. With a 51.06 hammer throw, senior Brittany Christiansen earned her third NCAA provisional mark.
Christiansen has also set a new program record at SRU in the hammer throw this year with a 53.36 meter throw that currently ranks as the 19th best throw in the nation.
“Brittany has done a great job with the hammer throw. She has improved each year, Papa said. “This year all the hard work and the little things that she has done over the course of the past four years is translating to her outstanding performances.”
The final field PSAC qualifying mark was hit by freshman thrower Anna Frengel. Frengel reached the conference mark in the shot put with an 11.84 meter throw.
On the track, junior Jasmine Bailey reached multiple PSAC qualifying marks in both the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. Bailey finished in 12th place in 25.19 seconds in the 200-meter and fourth place in 56.85 seconds in the 400-meter. Joining Bailey in reaching the PSAC mark in the 400-meter was sophomore Lauren Harvey (59.38), freshman Aerial Dukes (59.82) and freshman Josette Dawson (59.9).
With a 13th place finish, Senior Janine Powis lead a pack of runners who earned a PSAC qualifier in the 800-meter run.
Junior Jenny Picot and freshman Tessa Dombi earned conference qualifiers in the 5,000-meter run. Picot finished in 13th place with a time of 17:22.74 and Dombi finished in 18:31.53. In the 10,000-meter run graduate student Stephanie Beaudette hit the conference mark with a time of 37:53.32.
Junior Casaundra Swartzbaugh (1:04.87) and freshman Katie Teed (1:05.45) reached the PSAC standard in the 400-meter hurdles while freshman Sophie Mazza (15.75) hit it in the 100-meter hurdles.
The final qualifying mark on the day was reached by sophomore Kaylee Haberkam in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Haberkam finished the event with a time of 11:58.36.
The Rock will return home next week to compete at the Dave Labor Memorial Invitational for their second of two home meets as they move ever closer to the PSAC championships.
“I think that since our PSAC Championships are during the last week of class and right before finals week, it is significant challenge to balance the PSAC Championships and finals week,” Papa said. “Our student/athletes need to start preparing now by getting ahead with studying and other yearend projects all the while preparing for a significant challenge of competing at the PSAC track and field championships. With this being said, our athletes must focus and be ready to give their best efforts.”