The Waynesburg University women’s track and field team will be heading to Youngstown, Ohio today and tomorrow to compete in the Youngstown State University National Mid-Major Invitational.
The Yellow Jackets will be going head to head against athletes from Division I and II schools, including Duquesne and Wheeling University.
Assistant coach Kristen Stone knows how competitive the meet will be. She also believes it’s important for the Jackets to get accustomed to the Youngstown State venue considering the Presidents’ Athletic Conference championships will be held there Feb. 27.
This is a great opportunity for them to see the track and get a feel of what it will be like in February at PACs,” Stone said.
One thing that’s unique about this meet is having athletes compete on multiple days.
“Having a two-day meet has its challenges,” Stone said. “Our roster is limited on Friday because of clinicals and student teaching, but academics come first so we take only those who don’t have conflicts,” Stone said.
One athlete who doesn’t have a conflict for the two-day event is sophomore Aubrey Wingeart
“I’m all right running on two separate days. It’ll probably help prepare me for running on two days at outdoor PACs,” Winegart said.
The highly accomplished sophomore will run in the 5,000-meter race Friday, and then drop to a much shorter event Saturday, as she will only have to run in the 800 meter race.
“The 800 isn’t one of my primary races. So it’ll be fun getting to run a different event and cheering on the team Saturday,” Wingeart said.
She’ll have three other teammates joining her in the 5,000. Juniors Nicole Shelton and Gianna Pugliano will lace up for the long race, along with senior Katie Jones.
Another performer to watch on the distance side is Gloria Reed, who will compete in the mile and 3000-meter run Saturday.
Freshman Katherine Henderson is looking to follow up her strong performance from last week in the field. Another competitor in the field events, Emma Haag, is trying to follow up a 19th place finish in the shot put from last weekend.
Although conference championships aren’t until the end of February, this is the penultimate meet of Waynesburg’s regular season schedule. Stone touched upon the importance of this meet.
“With only this and Mt. Union left before PACs it’s very important to get all our athletes into their races so they can get good seed times<” she said. “A good seed time means a more competitive heat at PACs.”
The team will use this weekend to get a feel for what the championship meet will look like in just a few weeks. After this weekend, the team will head to Alliance, Ohio, for the Jim Wuske Invitational.