Pacheco, Papa earn PSAC yearly awards

Slippery Rock University took home two of the major Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference awards for the 2013-14 indoor track and field season this week when head coach John Papa was named the women’s Coach of the Year and freshman pole vaulter Jordan Pacheco was name the men’s Freshman of the Year.

The Coach of the Year honor for Papa is his incredible 19th career PSAC Coach of the Year honor and the third of his career for women’s indoor track and field. He has previously been named the PSAC Coach of the Year in women’s outdoor track and field nine times and women’s cross country twice, as well as men’s outdoor track and field three times and once each in men’s indoor track and field and men’s cross country.

Papa, in his 27th year at the helm of the program, led Slippery Rock to the PSAC title on the women’s side as The Rock snapped Shippensburg’s run of four consecutive titles.

The primary event group Papa coaches during track and field season is the mid-distance and distance runners. He guided Janine Powis to the PSAC title in the 800-meter run and guided the 4×800-meter relay team of Powis, Angelica Bagwell, Creanna Martin and Jenny Picot to a school record breaking performance at the PSAC meet. Picot and Kara Stylesboth scored points for SRU in the 3,000-meter run late in the conference championship’s final day, effectively securing the fourth title in program history.

In addition to his 19 PSAC Coach of the Year honors, Papa has been honored with the Regional Coach of the Year honor 15 times in his career.

Pacheco, a freshman from Rockaway, N.J., was named the PSAC Freshman of the Year after his impressive debut in the pole vault. He won the conference championship in the event and qualified to compete at the NCAA Division II National Championships with a clearance of 3.90 meters. At the national meet, he placed 10th and narrowly missed earning All-America honors in his first try.

Pacheco’s efforts in the pole vault earned him All-Region honors from the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Slippery Rock is now in its third week of the outdoor track and field season and is competing Friday and Saturday at the historic Raleigh Relays at North Carolina State University.





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