LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Slippery Rock University women's indoor track and field team won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship and the SRU men's team took third place at the event that concluded Sunday at Bucknell University.
SRU women's team dethroned four-time defending champion Shippensburg to win the team title with 108 points. The championship is the fourth indoor title in program history.
The Rock and Lady Raiders have dominated the women's indoor track conference meet in the last decade, combining to win the last eight titles. SRU has won four titles, three outright (2014, 2009, 2007) and one shared (2008), while Shippensburg has won five (four outright (2010-13), one shared (2008). No other team has won a PSAC indoor title since Kutztown won in 2006.
"We got a total team effort," said head coach John Papa, "We dealt with some injuries to top athletes and everyone on this team stepped up. The athletes and coaches were all outstanding this weekend. It was quite a special performance."
East Stroudsburg nipped Shippensburg for the runner-up spot by one point, knocking the Lady Raiders out of a trophy position for the first time since 2007. ESU finished with 86.5 points to Shippensburg's 85.5 points. Edinboro placed fourth with 70 points and California rounded out the top five with 51 points.
SRU earned two individual titles and broke one school record at the meet. Kaitlyn Clark, an undeclared major from Shepherdstown, W. Va., won the pole vault with an NCAA provisional mark of 3.72 meters, and Janine Powis, a physical and health education major from Telford, won the 800-meter run in a time of 2:18.13. Her win moved SRU into the lead in the team standings for good.
Powis also anchored the 4x800-meter relay team to a new SRU record and a second place finish in 9:28.43. She was joined by Angelica Bagwell, a psychology major from Pittsburgh, Jenny Picot, an exercise science major from Boonton, N.J., and Creanna Martin, a sport management major from Greensburg, on the relay.
The men's team set two school records and recorded four NCAA provisional qualifying marks to finish third at the event. Shippensburg took its fourth consecutive title with a team score of 211 points. East Stroudsburg passed SRU in the final two events to place second with 109 points. The Rock finished with 100.5 points. Lock Haven took fourth with 85.5 points, and Seton Hill rounded out the top five with 51 points.
Slippery Rock won two individual titles on the weekend, with Jordan Pacheco, a exploratory major from Rockaway, N.J., winning the pole vault with an NCAA provisional mark of 4.81 meters and Hans Lubich, a physical and health education major from Jefferson, winning in the heptathlon with an NCAA provisional score of 4,976 points, the ninth best among all NCAA Division II athletes.
Hunter Williams, a geology major from Zelienople, broke his own school record in the 400-meter dash, recording two, top three individual finishes and anchoring the school record breaking 4x400-meter relay. He placed third in the 400m with an NCAA provisional time of 49.02 seconds (#20 in Division II), breaking his previous record of 49.37 seconds from last winter. He then went on to place second in the 200-meter dash in 22.33 seconds before running a 48.65 second split to anchor the relay to a school record time of 3:19.90 seconds, breaking the previous record of 3:19.94.
Nathaniel Helfferich, an exercise science major from Latrobe, Jacob VanHouten, an exercises science major from Youngsville, and Trevor Foley, a health and physical education major from Titusville, joined Williams on the record setting relay team.
The NCAA National Championships are scheduled for March 14-15 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Slippery Rock will learn its qualifiers later this week.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.