Records Fall at Penn State National

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By Kyle Lucas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion track teams set several records this weekend, including two NCAA records, during the Penn State Nationals held at the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.

The first NCAA record fell Friday night in the men's 4x200-meter relay. The team of senior Emunael Mpanduki, sophomore Matt Gilmore, junior Brandon Bennett-Green and junior Aaron Nadolsky clocked in at 1:24.70. Their time shattered the previous record of 1:25.05 set by Rutgers in 2007.

"It feels great," said Gilmore. "We really have to live in the moment because these days don't happen often. Collegiate records, the fastest all time, it doesn't happen often and to do it at home, in a big meet, it's crazy."

Senior Casimir Loxsom followed up the 4x200-meter relay team's performance by adding his name to yet another record. This time capturing the American Collegiate record in the 600 meters with a time of 1:15.79. Loxsom just missed the NCAA record of 1:15.60. He also was shy of the American record of 1:15.80 which had been set earlier by Duane Solomon.

8513757.jpegDespite setting another record this season, Loxsom won't consider it a success without capturing a national title.

"It's the only way I can be satisfied with this season," said Loxsom. "I respect the other guys in the field but I think I've been working really hard. These are the most miles I've ever run and this is the hardest I've ever worked."

The Penn State National's streak of sub 4-minute miles was kept alive thanks to Brannon Kidder. The freshman finished with a time of 3:59.48 extending the streak to seven straight years. Kidder is the fourth Penn State athlete to enter the sub 4-minute mile club. Larry Mangan, Ryan Foster and Robby Creese are the other athletes to dip under 4 minutes. Kidder is also the second consecutive freshman to run under 4 minutes. Sophomore Robby Creese broke the mark last year.

In the women's 5,000-meter run junior Emily Giannotti had a dominating performance. Giannotti lapped almost everyone of her 21 competitors in the 25 lap race. She finished in 16:44.65, just over 30 seconds ahead of the second place runner.

"I felt good. I didn't really know where anybody else was. I knew I was alone. I was just running and trying not to look at the time too much," said Giannotti.

The Nittany Lions also had a productive weekend in the field events. Junior William Barr set a school record in the 35-pound weight throw. Barr threw a distance of 67-03.  Barr's toss was good enough for first place.

Fellow thrower, sophomore Darrell Hill, had a productive performance throwing the shot put. Hill's toss of 59-04.75, a new personal best, put him in first place for the event.

Junior Marlene Ricketts continue to improve on the season. Ricketts came away with another first place finish in the women's triple jump. She jumped a distance of 42-2.25, besting her previous personal best of 42-00.50 set two weeks ago at the Nittany Lion Challenge.  

In the men's high jump Penn State came away with another win. Senior Sean Reilly jumped a height of 7-00.25 giving him the win.

"Phenomenal, there is no other word for it," said head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. "Every event we did something amazing in it. We set two collegiate records. Every race you look at or every competition you look at, everything, we were phenomenal. So I just say in general we were phenomenal."

Penn State had several alumni return to compete in the meet. Owen and Kyle Dawson, Kevin Fuller, Dennis Pollow and Kara Millhouse were some of the athletes to return. Shana Cox, a 2012 Olympic runner for Great Britain's 4x400-meter relay team, also competed.

Penn State will be in action again next weekend hosting the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup in the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.

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