Track & Field: Three Titan Pole Vaulters Qualify for Nationals

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee announced earlier this week the participants in the 2014 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championship. Sophomore Marissa Kalsey (Waynesburg, Pa./Waynesburg), freshman Brooke Mancuso (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny), and freshman Cassidy Shepherd (Greensburg, Pa./Salem), members of the Westminster College women's track and field teams, all qualified in the pole vault. The Championships will be held on March 14-15 at the University of Nebraska Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb.

For each women's individual event contested, including the pentathlon, the top 17 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition.

Kalsey, the first ever Titan woman pole vaulter to compete at Nationals two years in a row, placed second out of 26 competitors with a mark of 4.00 meters at the Midwest SPIRE Institute in early February, breaking her own school record of 3.95 meters that she set at last year's Indoor Nationals. Her mark of 4.00 meters landed her at the number one spot in the nation among NCAA Division III women's pole vaulters.

"I'm trying to stay positive but at the same time I'm not going to get too comfortable or anything," said Kalsey, "I still have to work hard and do well."

Kalsey, a two-time All-American, finished in 3rd place last year with a mark of 3.95 meters. Her goal for this year is to beat her personal best and try not to think about clearing the height.

Mancuso also set her personal best, 3.85 meters, at the SPIRE Institute. She is currently ranked fourth in the nation among NCAA Division III women's pole vaulters. Mancuso plans on staying calm and having confidence entering her first ever Nationals competition.

Shepherd also set her personal best, 3.70 meters, at the SPIRE Institute. She is currently ranked 14th in the nation among NCAA Division III women's pole vaulters.

This is the first time in Westminster history that more than one individual in a single event has qualified for Nationals.

"I think it's crazy. I think it proves what a good pole vault coach Bradi (Rhoades) is," said Kalsey.

"It means that our pole vaulting family is growing and we're able to dominate the field, it's just incredible," said Mancuso.

"We're like a triple threat," added Shepherd, "I think it's awesome."

This young trio is looking forward to an experience of a lifetime.

The pole vault competition starts on Friday at 3:30 p.m. central time. For more information on the Championships, go here: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/trackfield-indoor-women/d3

Written by Julie Jurich, Sports Information Assistant

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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Courtesy of Phil Grove