The Rocket

Rock wins 12 events at home and hit 19 PSAC marks last week

Stephen Cukovich, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Rock men’s outdoor track team was able to seal up 12 event wins as they played host to the Slippery Rock Open last Thursday, along with 19 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) marks last Saturday at the Penn State Behrend Invite.

On Thursday, the men’s team hit 19 PSAC qualifying marks in the process of their 12 event wins, while dealing with the uncooperative Western Pa. weather in below 30-degree temperatures.

The Rock won seven field events and five track events with the biggest story coming from senior thrower JJ Ollio who won the shot put event with an NCAA provisional mark of 16.9 meters which is he best of the season which keeps him ranked first in the PSAC and 19th in the nation.

Ollie also racked up a win in the discus with a toss of 48.05 meters, while freshman Austin Labesky won the javelin with a throw of 54.43 meters which helped the Green and White secure wins in three of four throwing events.

In the jumping events, sophomore Josiah Davis took two wins in the triple jump with a leap of 13.88 meters and the high jump with a clearance of 1.85 meters.  Senior Caleb Smithco won the long jump after his first leap in more than a year after injury, with a jump of 6.73 meters.

The pole vault event saw senior Jordan Pacheco leap 4.76 meters to take first place in the event, while sophomore Liam Okal lead the way for The Rock on the track with a win in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.75 seconds and a win in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.79 seconds.

When the weekend rolled around, Ollio nearly broke his season best from Thursday with a toss of 16.87 meters but was able to hit the NCAA provisional mark in the process.  Ollio again won the discus throw with a toss of 49.28 meters.  The Rock won three of the four throwing events with a win from senior Anderson Novalin in the hammer with a throw of 44.57 meters.

Both horizontal jump events went to SRU with freshman Mitch Vleminckx winning the long jump with a leap of 6.5 meters and senior Jared Geist took number one in the triple jump with a leap of 12.86 meters.  Freshman Zach Wise took first place in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.29 seconds, while sophomore Ian Nieves won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.79 seconds.

In total The Rock won four events on the track, capped of with wins from junior Isaac Moodie in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.48 seconds, while Nieves, junior Collin Darby, freshman Dillon Butz, and Okal teamed up to take first place in the 4×100 meter relay with a time of 41.89 seconds.

The final NCAA provisional mark of the day comes from sophomore Daniel Janyska with a second place finish in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 4:03.88.

Up next for The Rock comes a trip to Ashland, Oh. on Friday and Saturday for the Ashland Alumni Invitational at Ashland University.

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Rock wins 12 events at home and hit 19 PSAC marks last week