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Track & Field Teams Claim 17 Victories At Nittany Lion Challenge

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By Kyle Lucas, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State came away with 17 victories Saturday while hosting five teams for the Nittany Lion Challenge at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.

8472439.jpegSenior Casmir Loxsom turned in one of his best performances in the 800 meters. Loxsom built an early led en route to finishing the race in 1:46.98 and setting a new meet, school and facility record in the event.

"I was just really happy to open with a time that will get me into the national championship meet, which is really my primary goal this season," said Loxsom. "It was really great to break the record and go under 1:47. It's a special mark indoors, not a lot of people do it. It was a good opener, especially it being this early in the season."

Ryan Foster set the previous record for the 800 meters in 2010 with a time of 1:47.32. Loxsom now owns three Penn State indoor track records. The other two are in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:16.66 set in 2012 and in the 500-meter dash with 1:01.28 set in 2011.

Loxsom's 800-meter performance is the best in the NCAA so far in 2013.

Freshman Brannon Kidder finished second in the 800 meters clocking at 1:48.17. It's a time that has Loxsom optimistic about nationals.

"The time that Brannon Kidder ran for second has almost never not made the national meet," said Loxsom. "So I think we both are pretty safe for making nationals."

Penn State also came away with a win in the 1,000-meter run. Senior Ricky West led the way finishing the race in 2:21.95. Freshman Za'Von Watkins finished in second with a time of 2:22.02 in what was a very tight race.

"The race was pretty comfortable. I didn't really get to run exactly how I wanted to run," said West. "I got bunched up in the middle. As soon as I went to make my move I got a pretty nasty spike in my shin. Overall, I'm satisfied with the performance with it being January. This is the best I've over opened up in a track season."

Freshman Ryan Brennan finished fourth in the race, coming in at 2:23.14.

Nittany Lion junior Marlene Ricketts had a successful day, coming away with a win in the triple jump. Ricketts had her best day as a Penn State triple jumper jumping a distance of 42-00.50.

"I feel a lot better with this season now that I'm starting to jump 41, 42 feet," said Ricketts. "I'm just hoping I can jump another foot or two so I can make it to nationals."

Also competing in the triple jump was freshman Ahmenah Richardson.  Richardson's best jump was 36-00.75. She finished in 10th.

In the high jump Penn State came away with a second place finisher. Senior Erika Morgan was able to clear a height of 5-9.25.

The Nittany Lions return home on Jan. 25 and 26 for the Penn State National.

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