Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -The Penn State men's track and field team will look to add another collegiate record to its resume this weekend at the Millrose Games held at the Armory Track and Field Center in Manhattan, N.Y.
Only Penn State's 4x800 men's relay team will run in the invitational event. The team will be made up of senior Casimir Loxsom, senior Ricky West and freshmen Brannon Kidder and Za'Von Watkins.
"We're on a mission to try and set another collegiate record," said head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. "We feel we've got four, if not more, legs that can easily set up a good race to break that collegiate record. So we're going there for that reason."
The NCAA record for the indoor 4x800-meter relay is 7:17.45 set by Clemson in 1989. The Penn State record set in 1987 currently stands at 7:21.37.
The Nittany Lions currently own four of the best 16 times in the country, including the NCAA leading time of 1:46.98 ran by Loxsom.
West is an accomplished runner in the 800-meter earning All-American in the event multiple times. So far this season West has clocked a best of 1:48.92 in the event. Kidder, will be looking to build on an impressive first season that included breaking the 4:00-mile last month at the Penn State National. Kidder ran a personal best of 1:48.17 in the 800-meters earlier this season.
Watkins will be returning to the Armory for the first time since winning the mile at the Millrose Games during his senior year of high school. Watkins has ran a season best 1:49.03 in the 800-meters.Brennan, who is the teams alternate, set his personal best in the 800-meters last weekend in the Husky Classic at the University of Washington with 1:150.28. Brennan was also part of the 4x800-meter team that won the Penn Relays last year.
For Loxsom, a Connecticut native, this meet will give his family a chance to come watch him compete against some professional athletes.
"The Armory is a close major track to where I live in Connecticut," said Loxsom. "I'm really excited to be going close to home to race. It's such a prestigious meet and there is going to be so many high level athletes there that I've raced against and seen compete. It's a really exciting experience that we get to compete there as collegians."
At spring sports media day on Tuesday, Penn State announced that Alford-Sullivan will be the head coach of the U.S team during the World Track and Field Championships in Moscow, Russia. The nine-day competition will be held over 11 days with two days of rest in between.
Alford-Sullivan has experience working with the national team. She served as an assistant coach during the 2001 and 2003 World Track and Field Championships. She was also an assistant for the 2004 Olympic team.
"Certainly between the world championships and the Olympic games, this is as good as it gets," said Alford-Sullivan. "It's quite a bit of organizational and administrative work but certainly being the head coach will have a lot of impact in a lot of different ways. If we have some Penn Staters on the team it will be even better."
The men's track and field team jumped to No.5 in the latest rankings by the USTFCCCA. Alford-Sullivan contributed it to the team success in recruiting and the team's success at home this season.
"We're finally cracking the code on the men's side. We've got a very, very strong core in our middle distance right now and that spread over from the success of the relay last year," said Alford-Sullivan. "You pick up a thrower her, you pick up a jumper there and you pick up a little bit in all areas across the board and that is our mission at Penn State, to have a balanced team."
Media Day Roundup - Lions Preparing to Millrose Games
Student Staff Writer
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