Westmoreland campus clippings: McQuaide fights through pain to win pole vault title
Courtney McQuaide fought back tears as she limped to the medal stand and pulled herself up to the top block to receive her gold medal.
It wasn’t the writhing pain she felt in her left foot or the thrill from winning a third straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference pole vault title that had her eyes swimming. The Slippery Rock redshirt senior, despite soaring to another championship on one good leg, her foot wrapped in a walking boot, somehow wanted more.
“It’s odd and maybe selfish, but my goal wasn’t to win,” said McQuaide, a Greensburg Salem graduate. “It was to get that 3.91 (meter) bar and then stop to save myself for nationals, so I think a lot of people misunderstood the reasoning behind my tears today. Even though I didn’t qualify for nationals, I am very proud of my win and that I could still contribute to my team with points.”
McQuaide, a former NCAA Division II national champion in the pole vault, shed the boot to compete, but the throbbing pain was quelled only by her adrenaline to return to nationals. She cleared 3.81 meters Friday at Mansfield to win the event but needed a 3.91 to make it back to the NCAA meet.
Slippery Rock won the conference team title.
McQuaide said she fractured her foot from “overuse.”
“I didn’t do anything to it specifically to cause it,” she said. “Just from training and vaulting I guess. I’ve sprained my left ankle few times this year, and I think that I contact the ground slightly different with my foot because of the sprains and it ended up placing stress repetitively on just one bone in my foot and it caused the fracture.”
McQuaide wasn’t about to let a stress fracture that kept her sidelined for three weeks force her out of the conference meet.
“I just couldn’t see my career end the way it was ending,” she said. “I needed to try my best to get myself to nationals, and that’s what got me through the pain. I didn’t get where I needed to be, but I gave it everything I had.”
McQuaide also has two indoor conference titles.
Seton Hill: Senior Ameriah Walters (Valley) and junior Sarah Johnson won titles at the PSAC championships. Walters made it four straight wins in the 200-meter dash (24.46 seconds), and Johnson broke a school record in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:01.70.
Senior Lexi Stevenson took second in the shot put with a throw of 14.79 meters, also a school record.
Shippensburg: Senior Morgan DeFloria (Hempfield) won her second javelin title over the weekend at the PSAC championships. Her final throw soared 154 feet, 2 inches, a season-best mark, to post her fourth, top-four finish in the event at the conference finals. DeFloria’s last attempt was 13 feet better than her previous throw and moved her from fourth to first.
Virginia: Redshirt senior Bridget Guy (Hempfield) made it back-to-back titles in the pole vault at the ACC championships in Charlottesville, Va. Guy won with a season-best height of 14-2.
Last year, she became the first Virginia female to win a conference title in the pole vault. She took fourth in the NCAA meet to earn All-American honors.
WCCC: Freshmen Tyler Kuhns (Latrobe), Nico Cuello and Justin Brestensky made the All-WPCC team.
Kuhns led the team with a .372 average, 31 hits and 11 RBIs. He also struck out 30 as a pitcher. Cuello had seven doubles and batted .292, and Brestensky scored a team-high 18 runs and hit .316.
Robert Morris: Freshman pitcher Dana Vatakis (Monessen) was named to the All-Northeast Conference first team. Vatakis finished 9-14 in 29 appearances, with 21 starts, and had 12 complete games.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .