Women compete at Mt. Union, PAC Championships next

The Waynesburg University women’s track and field team competed in the last meet of the regular season at the Jim Wuske Invitational held at the University of Mount Union.

This was head coach Michelle Cross’ first meet back, and she thought the meet was a success for the team.

“The meet went well, it was my first meet back to look at everybody so it was nice to see how things are going and if there is progress,” Cross said.

Runner Becca Volz was also happy with the team’s performance.

“Mount Union is always a tough meet because it is a very long day,” Volz said. “To have people performing well through that adversity is always a good sign.”

As usual, the Jackets were led by sophomore distance runner Aubrey Wingeart. Wingeart took first in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10:33.60. That time puts her in first in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. Wingeart also posted a top five finish, placing fifth in the 800 with a time of 2:29.02.

Along with Wingeart, junior distance runner Nichole Shelton placed in the 3,000-meter race. She finished seventh with a time of 11:14.46.

The Jackets distance medley relay team also posted the fastest time in the PAC this season at  13:44.84.

Moving into the field events, the Jackets were led by two freshmen in jumper Katherine Henderson and thrower Becca Dolce. Henderson took second in the high jump clearing 1.50 meters. Dolce placed 14th in the weight toss with a distance of 12.08 meters which gives her the number two spot in the PAC.

Cross also mentioned the success of Dolce’s performance at the past meet.

“Dolce has been learning weight toss which is very technical,” Cross said. “It really clicked for her this weekend and we were very excited about that.”

With the completion of this meet, the Jackets will have more than two weeks off of meets, and Volz feels the time off can benefit the team before the PAC championship— if the team uses the time wisely.

“Having a longer period of time off can be tricky,” Volz said. “On one hand the team gets much needed rest period, but at the same time there is also time for us to get distracted by outside factors like schoolwork. But if we hold each other accountable it can benefit us.”

With the championship meet coming up, Cross knows it will be challenging for the team to reclaim the title.

“We did not get the preseason votes to win this season but we did get some,” Cross said. “Comparing this year to last year, we have bigger numbers so that will help us but it is always a battle and it will bring out big performances from the athletes and that is what I always like to see so I believe we have a chance.”

As it comes closer to the indoor championship, Volz says the team needs to take everything in stride.

“Taking it one day at a time over the break is going to be crucial,” Volz said. “Just being consistent with our training and continuing to grow as a team will help us going into the PAC championship.”

The Jackets will be back in action at the indoor PAC Championships Feb. 27 at Youngstown State University.