Waynesburg track and field teams compete with D-II teams

The Waynesburg men’s and women’s track & field teams reached the halfway point of their respective seasons this past Saturday at the Dave Labor Invitational at Slippery Rock University. The Yellow Jackets competed with fellow NCAA Division III teams as well as Division II schools. There was no team scoring for the event.

Junior Mike Trax had a good feeling about how he and his teammates competed over the weekend.

“Overall, I think the team did pretty well,” Trax said. “It was a high competition meet and I thought that everyone held their own and did what they needed to do.”

The distance runners led the way for the men’s squad. Freshman Silas Mays took seventh out of 61 runners in the 800 meters with a time of 1:59.2. Sophomore Nate Jecelin also had a standout performance in the 1,500 meters. He finished 14th out of 72 competitors with a time of 4:14.3. Sophomore Matt Durgin took bronze in the co-ed 10,000 meter run after finishing with a time of 35:06.2.

Jecelin and Mays also competed in the 4×400 meter relay with freshman Micah Kurka and sophomore Dorian Hardy. The team placed ninth with a time of 3:29.8.

The men’s team was led by sophomore Ryan VanTine in the field events. He placed 10th in the shot put after recording a launch of 13.13 meters.

The women’s team also featured success in the distance events at the invitational.

The Yellow Jackets had two top-20 finishers in the 1,500 meters with freshmen Aubrey Wingeart and Gloria Reed. Wingeart took seventh with a time of 4:53.8 while Reed placed 15th with a time of 5:02.6.

Senior Teghan Simonton was the runner-up in the 5,000-meter event. She finished in just under 19 minutes at 18:59.1. Sophomore Gianna Pugliano rounded out the top-10 in the race, finishing with a time of 20:27.2.

Simonton was content with her performance, but she is looking to improve in the future.

“My 5K was decent, but there is definitely room to improve,” Simonton said. “I am hopeful for a solid race at PAC’s.”

Sophomore Nicole Shelton continued her success on Saturday, clinching another top-three finish for the Yellow Jackets. She logged a time of 12:13.8 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Sophomore Amber Yauch and junior Jordan Simpson shined in the field events for the women.

Yauch took top-10 finishes in both the long and triple jump. She took seventh in the long jump with a leap of 5.02 meters while taking sixth in the triple jump with a mark of 10.45 meters.

Simpson competed in the javelin and shot put for the Jackets. She took third in the javelin with a heave of 39 meters while placing 13th in the shot put with a throw of 10.9 meters.

Simonton was pleased with the team’s overall effort.

“I think the team as a whole did very well,” Simonton said. “A lot of athletes set personal records or responded well with the competition. Overall, I’m proud of how everyone did.”

The men’s team will compete Saturday at Bethany College at the Bethany Outdoor Classic, while the women’s team will travel to Westminster College to compete.