WU Women place seventh at Bethany Invite

Following an indoor track and field season that saw athletes such as Quinton Weaver make wave among the PAC, Waynesburg University’s Women Track & Field team have transitioned into the outdoor season this past Saturday when they traveled to Bethany. While the Yellow Jackets placed seventh as a team, the women were not short-handed in individual placements. 

     Six women, which include Joula Anderson and Reagan Pettis for the 3000-meter steeplechase, Ella Rishell for the triple jump, Kara Yaukey for the pole vault, and Peyton Kuhns and Megan Barry for the javelin. Of these six, along with the 4×400 meter relay, nobody placed below seventh, while Barry was able to post the lone first place notch on the day, throwing for 34.89m. 

     Kuhns, a freshman from Canon-McMillan, spoke on how working with Barry has allowed her to continue to grow despite just recently begin working with her.  

     “Megan has been a big help. I know I watch her form and she helps give me tips to fix some bad habits I have during practice which I appreciate. She’s a great teammate to look up to and learn from and push yourself to be.” Kuhns said, while elaborating further on how Barry’s standards she holds herself to makes for greater accountability overall, “In individual sports it’s easy to take short cuts but working with her and wanting to get to the level she is at, watching her accountability and drive at practice is something the freshman try to replicate.” 

     When it comes to how Head Coach Chris Hardie sees his team’s opening performance of the season, it seems that there is a constant look for improvement, although the energy is high among his group.  

     “It was a good start to the season for us.  We knew we would be a little more competitive outside when we could participate in some new events like the javelin and steeplechase.  We are optimistic because the team energy remains high and the work ethic is there.” Hardie said. 

     Hardie also spoke on Barry’s performance, noting that despite the unknown conditions going into Bethany, she stepped up well for a high-standard performance. 

     “She was really solid this week.  We weren’t quite sure if we would be throwing on grass or synthetic until a day before the meet.  With some rain in the forecast, we were nervous.  But it all fell into place.” Hardie said, while including how Barry’s approach to competition allowed for her to not only place first, but stand above some noteworthy competition, “She is a competitor and really thrives on going against the best.  Luckily, she had the chance to compete against a 2023 national qualifier this week, so that pushed her to be even more focused.” 

     Hardie is starting to see progress already from his team, and hopes to continue that trend by changing some of their training to keep them fresh as they move into weekly competition. 

    “We will start to taper and lighten the training load the first week of April in order to be fresh and explosive for the final few meets and the conference championships.” 

     Waynesburg will be moving south next, as they will be at West Virginia University on Saturday, March 23, for the Stan Romanoski Open