Friday, March 14, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. - All three Titan women pole vaulters who qualified for the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships earned the distinction of All-American on Friday. Sophomore Marissa Kalsey (Waynesburg, PA / Waynesburg) posted her third-straight All-America honor as she cleared 3.95 meters for a second-place finish. Freshmen Brooke Mancuso (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) and freshman Cassidy Shepherd (Greensburg, Pa./Salem) tied for fifth place as they both cleared 3.80 meters in the 17-vaulter event.
The championships are being held at the Nebraska's Devaney Sports Center, with Nebraska Wesleyan serving as the official host.
Kalsey, who was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mideast Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year earlier this week, ranked first among all D-III vaulters in the nation going into today's competition with a 4.00 meter mark. Her second-place finish on Friday was the best finish at Nationals in Titan men's and women's track & field history and is the highest finish ever by a female student-athlete representing the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC).
Mancuso ranked fourth in the nation among NCAA Division III women's pole vaulters coming into today's competition with a mark of 3.85 meters. Shepherd's 3.80-meter clearance on Friday set a personal best as she was 14th in the nation coming in with 3.70 meter mark.
This was the first time in Westminster history that more than one individual in a single event qualified, let alone earn All-American status, for Nationals.
Kalsey and sophomore Cimran Virdi from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology both cleared the eventual winning mark of 3.95 meters on their first attempts, but Virdi secured the 2014 title on fewer total misses. Last year, Kalsey finished third and earned All-American honors at the Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. She secured the second All-American honor of her career by placing fifth at the 2013 Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
All three helped lead the Titan women's team to a first-place finish at the 2014 Presidents' Athletic Conference Indoor Championships. Kalsey placed first at the PACs, followed by Mancuso in second and Shepherd in third. Westminster is led by head coach Tim McNeil '96, while assistant Bradi Rhoades coaches the Titan pole vaulters.
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.
Courtesy of Phil Grove