Track and Field competes at RSC championship

Written By Chandni Shah, Co-Opinions Editor/Copy-Desk Chief

This past weekend on Saturday, Feb. 20 the men and women’s track and field team traveled to Logan, Ohio to compete in the River States Conference (RSC) Indoor Track & Field Championship. Both the men and women competed against seven other university teams: Carlow, Midway, Brescia, Indiana Kokomo, Ohio Christian, Rio Grande and WVU Tech. 

The men were led by Daimere Stephens-Stewart, a freshman sprinter and jumper. Stephens-Stewart took home three first-place medals, and he won the long jump, triple jump and the 60-meter dash. The athlete also took second place in the 200-meter dash and was named the RSC Men’s Track & Field Newcomer of the Year. 

Stephens-Stewart was hopeful that he and his team were going to perform well. 

I knew that if we did our jobs and what we were capable of, then we would have a great chance to get the championship. Now for myself, I had expectations like anyone else would, to win all of my events and to go for the school record in the 60-meter dash,” he said. 

Stephens-Stewart did, in fact, beat Point Park’s previous record in the indoor 60-meter dash, with a time of 7.05 seconds. The previous record of 7.20 seconds was run in 2017. 

For track and field athletes, it is not uncommon that they run more than one race or do multiple events at a single competition. 

It wasn’t new for me to have done so many events because the coaches were putting us into three or four events every weekend, preparing us for this exactly. Even as a newer athlete to the team, I think that I went in mentally prepared to do everything that was asked of me. I do not believe that it affected my performance much because I was still able to run and jump personal bests in three events, even though I had a heavy workload,” Stephens-Stewart said. 

The athletes had previous competitions against universities in the RSC and had insight on who their top competitors were going to be for the championships.

“Some of the Carlow and Midway sprinters that I had seen in the pre-conference meet were good, and I knew I had to really be able to run hard versus them to have a chance. There was also a jumper from Rio Grande who was really good. So I knew that for that long jump gold, I would have to give everything that I could versus that kid.” Stephens-Stewart said. 

Damir Lomax, another freshman sprinter and jumper, also received four medals over four events, scoring many points for the men’s team. 

Doug Kostelansky, Treven Carter, Deven Carter, Emmanuell Kemei, John Ziegler, Bailey Hourihan, Andy Schach, Jonah Hartman, Collins Eze, Dorian Boatswain, Leon Vann, Nasir Galloway, Dylan Allen, Logan Gonzales and Daniel Jacobs all scored points for the men’s team as well. 

Point Park dominated the meet, coming in first place by 80 points. 

The women’s team had many major competitors as well. Alyssa Campbell won the 600-meter, 1,000-meter and the 3,000-meter. Alyssa Boyd won the mile with a time of 5:29.85, and Alyssa Frausto won the 800-meter. 

Alyssa Boyd, a senior distance runner, earned a medal for all events she competed in, including the 4×800-meter relay. The baton was first with Frausto, who handed off to Boyd, then made its way to freshman Allison Plassio, and Campbell secured the win as the anchor.  

Going into the 4×800, our relay team was a little nervous because we were unsure about how the other teams were going to perform, and we had not competed in this relay yet this season. However, as soon as we got on the line and passed the baton to each other, we knew we were in it to win,” Boyd said. 

Junior Sophie Jebose was also a key athlete for the women’s team. The jumper scored points in pole vault, long jump, triple jump, high jump and the weight throw. 

Nia Goodman, Natalia Zucco, Samantha Cevasco, Nola McGuire, Natalea Hillen, Anna Eisaman, Kiera Cutright, Selena Canello, Adrianna Sanker and Britney Adrian all scored points for the women’s team. 

The women took home their fourth consecutive championship title, winning by over 30 points. 

Head Coach of the men and women’s team Jim Spisak, made Point Park proud by winning Coach of the Year. 

“Both teams were excited about their victories and are looking forward to the outdoor season. We have a young team on both sides and will have almost the entire team returning next year, which bodes well for the future if we keep working hard and doing the right things,” Spisak said.