The Slippery Rock Women’s track and field team started its outdoor season at the Seahawk Invitational at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington March 10 and 11, followed by the Mount Olive Invitational this past weekend. The Rock women recorded 30 total Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) qualifying marks at the two meets and won two events at the Seahawk Invite and 12 event wins at Mount Olive. In addition, there was also one NCAA qualifying mark from senior Kennedy Evans in the 400-meter hurdle event at Mount Olive.
At the Seahawk Invitational, it was Evans leading the way winning the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.53 with junior Katie Teed behind her in fifth at 1:07.55, and running a leg of the winning 4x400m-meter relay along with senior Jasmine Bailey, junior Arial Dukes, and freshman Emily Hortsman. Evans also finished sixth in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 15.07 seconds. Hortsman and Bailey finished third and sixth in the 100m dash finishing in 12.29 and 12.50 seconds respectively. In the 800-meter dash sophomore Madison Przicina ran 2:21.16 to finish fifth. Also in the distance events, junior Melissa Rains finished fifth in the 5000-meter race with a time of 19:06.57.
In the field events, junior Anna Frengel led the throwers in the shot put with a throw of 12.63 meters to place sixth with senior Kelci Yale and freshman Abby Way behind her in 10 and 11with throws of 11.59 and 11.34 meters. In the javelin freshman Emily Cropper finished eighth with a throw of 35.99 meters. In the high jump, senior Sabrina Anderson finished 10, clearing 1.50 meters, and in the pole vault freshman Erika Thomas placed fourth with a vault of 3.05 meters.
At the Mount Olive Invitational, The Rock came away with 12 event wins and were once again led by Evans with wins in both the 100-meter hurdles in 14.75 and in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:01.13 seconds which is an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Other wins in the sprinting events came from Hortsman in the 100-meter in 12.31 and Bailey in the 200-meter in 25.38 and in the 400-meter with a time of 57.23 seconds. Evans was joined in the 100-meter hurdles by senior Jenna Bracken in third in 15.31 and junior Sophie Mazza in fifth in 15.54 seconds, and in the 400-meter hurdles by Teed who finished fifth in 1:06.06 seconds. The 4×100-meter relay of Erica Hans, Evans, Hortsman, and Bailey came away with the win in 48.04.
In the distance events Melissa Rains won the 1500-meter run in a time of 4:56.19 while freshman Kacey Raible finished third in the 800-meter in 2:25.58 followed by freshmen teammates Taylor Kaseler in fifth with 2:26.41, Brianna Witherel in sixth with 2:26.45, and Hannah Kenawell in seventh with 2:27.27. In the 3000-meter steeplechase senior Kaylee Haberkam came away with the win in 11:48.51 with junior Matti Dunham and sophomore Sabrina Palmieri in third and fifth with 12:08.23 and 12:15.98 respectively.
Finishing in the field events The Rock came away with wins in the high jump from senior Sabrina Anderson with a jump of 1.60 meters, and in the pole vault from junior Courtney McQuaide with a vault of 3.45 meters. In the throws, Frengel won the shot put with a throw of 12.97 meters while Way won the discus with a throw of 35.20 meters and junior Kaelyn Keane won the javelin throwing 36.24 meters.
After this start to the season, head coach John Papa said that some of the athletes looking good so far are Courtney McQuaide in the pole vault, Kennedy Evans in the hurdles, and Jasmine Bailey in the 200 and 400-meters.
“We are working on consistency with our performances. We also are working on making adjustments with the weather, especially the wind” Papa said about what he has the team focusing on this early in the season. Papa is looking forward to the rest of the season saying, “we are looking for more PSAC qualifiers, and NCAA national qualifier, we have plenty of significant performances on the horizon.”.
The Rock returns to action this weekend split sending some athletes to the Adidas Raleigh Relays at NC State University Friday and Saturday while the rest of the team will compete at the California University Early Bird invitational Saturday.