Five women qualify for championships

Trevor Leard, Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s track and field teams are running, throwing and sometimes both to earn a spot in the conference championship.

The athletes last competed Saturday at the Robert Morris University Invitational, where sophomore Erin McMahon said the team had a tough timewith cold weather, but were still able to compete well.

“The weather had been so nice all week,” she said. “We got hit with a cold day, so everyone was hurting a bit.”

The athletes are trying to qualify for the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship meet May 3 and 4 in Glenville, W.Va.

The women’s team qualified for the conference 4×100 meter relay team at the Juniata Invitational, with a time 53.6 seconds.

Relay members are freshman Brittany Davis, senior Kelsey Parfitt, sophomore Amanda Shriver and senior Stephanie Szczur.

Parfitt also qualified for the championships in the 400-meter dash, taking third place April 6 at the Frostburg State Invitational with a time of 62.88 seconds.

Szczur also has qualified in the javelin event.

The javelin event requires some of the speed that Szczur uses on the track, according to Men’s team member Zak Muto.

Szczur qualified by throwing the javelin a little over 110 feet.

Freshman Sarah Hoover also qualified for javelin with a throw of 89 feet, 11 inches at the Juniata Invitational.

The most recent person to qualify was Jen Harold who was the only person to qualify Saturday. She qualified for the 800 meter race.

“When you get more speed in your approach to throw, the better your throw will be with correct form,” Muto said.

“We all practice together and our approach is one thing we work on daily.”

Muto has still not had the opportunity to throw in his first meet as a member of the Mountain Cats, but said he has the potential and opportunity still to make championships. The team seems to be struggling to gain recognition in order to compete at a higher level.

“Both teams are really working hard to make it to championships this year,” Muto said.

“It’s cool to see all the athletes qualifying in different events, especially on the track and field.”

Even though the men’s track team is an official university sponsored sport it still has not been added the university’s athletic page.

Muto said he feels that the team has the opportunity to be successful in the coming year and will eventually be recognized.

McMahon said the team is focusing on bettering their times at their next invitational, the IUP Ed Fry Invitational in Indiana, Pa.

“We’re still focusing on getting everyone to qualify individually , but all we can do is keep up with our practices and keep working to improve our times.”