Skip to main content Skip to footer

Recently in Track & Field Category

11774946.jpeg

 

By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Eight Penn State track and field athletes are competing in the final indoor meet of the season, the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama this weekend.

 

The four Nittany Lions of Brannon Kidder, Alex Shisler, Rachel Fatherly and Tori Gerlach are making returns to the NCAA Championships. Four more athletes, Isaiah Harris, Jordan Makins, Tessa Barrett, and Dannielle Gibson are making their debuts in the NCAA Championships.

 

Here's how each of the Nittany Lion NCAA competitors earned their way to the NCAA Indoors:

 

On the men's side, USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Men's Track Athlete of the Year and senior leader Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) held the Penn State school record in the 800m before his teammate Harris broke it last week. Kidder has been instrumental in Harris's development as a young Nittany Lion mid-distance runner. In the 800m, Kidder ran a personal best 1:47.01 which was the best time in the country and school record at the time in the Penn State National. Kidder's versatility to compete in multiple events has been valuable for coach John Gondak and the Nittany Lions. Kidder won the Big Ten Indoor Championships in the mile last week with a time of 4:07.89 but will run the 800m event in the Indoor NCAAs.

 

Breakout freshman Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine) has turned heads with his performances in his freshman indoor campaign. In last week's Big Ten Indoor Championships, Harris re-wrote the record books with a winning 800m performance of (1:46.24) in which he set a new all-time Big Ten indoor record, a Big Ten Indoor Championships record, a SPIRE institute facility record, a Penn State school record, and a personal best time.

 

The men's distance medley of sophomore Jordan Makins (Perth, Australia), senior Alex Shisler (State College, Pa.), Harris, and anchor leg Kidder has continued the long-time Penn State tradition in the DMR. In one of the fastest races of the year, the quartet won with a time of 9:27.20 in the Penn State National. The quartet is coming off of a victory in the Big Ten Indoor Championships last week. Senior Robert Rhodes (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and freshman Colin Abert (Easton, Pa.) are alternates for the DMR.

 

On the women's side, USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Women's Field Athlete of the Year and senior leader Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) led a strong Penn State women's throwing contingent led all year. USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Women's Assistant Coach of the Year Patrick Ebel has coached Fatherly to many excellent performances. Fatherly earned runner-up honors in the Big Ten Indoors with a shot put throw of 52' 11". Fatherly also finished fourth in the weight throw. She will compete in the shot put this weekend.

 

Senior captain Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) finished second in both of the 3,000m (9:12.88) and 5,000m (15:50.49) Big Ten Indoor events. Gerlach will be competing in the 5,000m run this weekend.

 

Redshirt-freshman Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pa.) set a 5,000m school record time of 15:46.08 at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington in the later part of the indoor season. In the Big Ten Indoors, Barrett finished third in both of the 3,000m (9:16.49) and 5,000m events (15:51.56) behind fellow teammate Tori Gerlach.

 

Junior Dannielle Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) finished second with a triple jump of 42' 11.75" in the Big Ten Indoor Championship. Early in the indoor season, Gibson set a personal best with a triple jump of 43' 1.5" in the Nittany Lion Challenge.

 

Here's how the Nittany Lions stack up against athletes around the country going into the NCAA Indoors:


Men's Athlete(s) Event Time/Distance NCAA Rank
Jordan Makins, Alex Shisler, Isaiah Harris, Brannon Kidder Men's Distance Medley 9:27.20 3rd
Isaiah Harris Men's 800m 1:46.24 4th
Brannon Kidder Men's 800m 1:47.01 8th

Women's Athlete(s) Event Time/Distance NCAA Rank
Rachel Fatherly Women's Shot Put 56' 8" 8th
Tessa Barrett 5,000m 15:46.08 9th
Tori Gerlach 5,000m 15:50.49 15th
Dannielle Gibson Triple Jump 43' 1.5" 15th


Friday and Saturday's competition both begin at 1 p.m. The meet will be broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks.


For more on Nittany Lion track & field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.

 

 


11724575.jpeg


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It's all about the team aspect when the Penn State track and field program competes against other Big Ten institutions in the 2016 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio this Friday and Saturday.

 

After months of preparation dating back to late August, head coach John Gondak and the Nittany Lions have reached a meet they've had circled on the calendar. The Nittany Lions feel like the six meet indoor regular season has them prepared and battle-tested for an opportunity to pursue both men's and women's team titles.

 

"This weekend is a weekend where we try to go have people win individual Big Ten championships as well as score as many points as we can as a team," said Gondak.

 

When individual athletes win their events it definitely helps the team strive towards winning a title, but Gondak believes there is an underlying factor to team championships.

 

"A championship isn't won by the people that win their meets, a championship is won by people that place in fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth can get those extra points for your team," said Gondak.

.

Instead of competing for times and measurements in normal regular season meets, it's now essentially about beating the competition. Two athletes who have been setting quick times and beating most of their competition this year are senior Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) and junior Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.).

 

Kidder, one of the middle-distance runners on the No. 17 nationally ranked men's team, comes into this weekend with the fastest men's 800-meter time (1:47.01) in the Big Ten and fifth in the country. He's also the anchor leg on the Big Ten leading men's distance medley which is third nationally. For Kidder, the importance lies in the overall team's success this weekend.

 

"Big Tens is always a fun meet because it means a lot more when you're racing for the team and not just for yourself," said Kidder.

 

Masterson, the leader of the pole vault event group has broken the Penn State school record multiple times this year with her highest clearance of 13' 9.25" (4.20m).

 

"Coming into this week I'm expecting big things from my group. I'm just hoping to score well for the team," said Masterson.

 

Kidder and Masterson are just two athletes of a long list of standout Penn State athletes. Here are a few of the top Nittany Lion track and field athletes that are looking earn Penn State valuable individual points in the 2016 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championship.

 

Athletes to watch on the men's team (TFRRS rankings coming into the weekend):

Athlete(s)

Event

Time/Distance

Big Ten Rank

NCAA Rank

Jordan Makins, Alex Shisler, Isaiah Harris, Brannon Kidder

Distance Medley Relay

9:27.20

1st

3rd

Brannon Kidder

800m

1:47.01

1st

5th

Isaiah Harris

800m

1:47.31

2nd

7th

Xavier Smith

60m

6.68 seconds

1st

23rd

Malik Moffett

200m

21.02 seconds

1st

17th

Chisom Ifedi

High Jump

7' 1.5"

3rd

T-16th

Athletes to watch on the women's team (TFRRS rankings coming into the weekend):

Athlete(s)

Event

Time/Distance

Big Ten Rank

NCAA Rank

Dannielle Gibson

Triple Jump

43' 1.5"

1st

14th

Tessa Barrett

5,000m

15:46.08

2nd

7th

Rachel Fatherly

Shot Put

56' 8"

2nd

7th

Rachel Fatherly

Weight Throw

6' 3.25"

3rd

20th

Tori Gerlach

3,000m

9:13.65

2nd

12th

Tori Gerlach

Mile

4:37.83

3rd

18th

Quenee Dale

60m Hurdles

8.26 seconds

3rd

20th

Lexi Masterson

Pole Vault

13' 9.25"

3rd

T-21st

Elizabeth Chikotas

5,000m

16:04.66

4th

26th

11712943.jpeg


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior Brannon Kidder earned an opportunity to compete in the distinguished Millrose Games at The Armory in New York this Saturday as the rest of the Penn State track and field program competed at home in the Penn State Tune-Up.

 

The Lancaster, Ohio native ran against some of the finest 800-meter athletes in the world. In the 800-meter event, Kidder rallied from the middle of the pack and continued to move forward in the field. During the last lap, Kidder caught up to the leader Duane Solomon as they ran side-by-side to the finish line. Solomon, a 2012 Olympian edged out Kidder at the line by a smidgen of .07 seconds.

 

Second-place is never fun in any sport but Kidder was pleased with his performance. 

 

"Today was just about having fun and trying to compete. I competed but I couldn't quite get him. Overall good day though," said a cheerful Kidder after the race.

 

Kidder was joined in New York by head coach John Gondak. "It was a great effort and exactly what we were looking for; it was a great experience for him," said Gondak.

 

An experience like the Millrose Games for Kidder can be pivotal towards coming out on top in the all-important meets in the coming weeks. While Kidder competed at the Millrose Games, the rest of his Nittany Lion teammates were finishing up the Penn State Tune-Up meet at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.

 

Ten Penn State athletes took first-place finishes on the day across all event areas. In a fast field of 600-meter Penn State competitors, freshman Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine) set a personal with a time of 1:17.50. His time was good for fourth-best in the country as of Saturday.

 

Another personal record went down as sophomore Obeng Marfo (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) took the victory in the women's shot put. Marfo threw 52'-1.75" (15.89m) to clinch the win. Senior Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, PA) sat out of the shot put event in order to rest up for the Big Ten Championships but did earn first-place in the weight throw with a toss of 67'-3.25" (20.50m).

 

In the men's shot put event, junior Jon Yohman (New Wilmington, Pa.) bested his competition by over seven feet with a throw of 56'-8.75" (17.29m).

 

In the field events, junior Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) dominated the pole vault event once again. Masterson cleared 13'-5.25" (4.10m) while junior Dannielle Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) led a Nittany Lion contingent to win the women's long jump with a leap of 19'-4.75" (5.91m).

 

In the sprinting competition, freshman Lauren Costa (North Fayette Township, Pa.) recorded the fastest 60-meter time of 7.68 seconds. She missed her personal best by .01 seconds which she set in last weekend's Fastrack National Invite.

 

The Nittany Lions also found success in the long distance races. More personal records were broken by the two freshmen in Frances Bull (Mentor, Ohio) and Colin Abert (Easton, Pa.). Bull ran 1:32.75 in a women's 600-meter victory. Abert won the men's mile title with a 4:03.92 time.

 

In the longest race of the afternoon, graduate student John Dugan (Ramsey, N.J.) won the 5,000-meters. He completed the 25 lap race in a time of 15:07.13.

The indoor regular season slate came to an end this weekend. Penn State will compete next in the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Genera, Ohio starting Friday and wrapping up Sunday.

 

For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.

11703901.jpeg


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State track and field program is back in action at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track this Saturday in the Penn State Tune-Up after last weekend's road competitions.

 

The Penn State Tune-Up marks the last meet before the Big Ten Indoor Championships next weekend and it's the last home meet of the indoor season. It's the last opportunity for Nittany Lion athletes to supplant themselves into the postseason with top performances and a chance to build confidence before the Big Ten and NCAA Indoor Championships.

 

"When you look at the performances that we've been this year as a program so far I'm very pleased our programs are rounding out well with all event areas, sprinters, jumpers, throwers, middle distance runners, and distance runners all having a phenomenal season so far, so I'm excited for the Big Ten Indoor Championships," said head coach John Gondak at spring sports media day.

 

With the postseason nearing, some of the top Penn State athletes will get a well-needed rest in order to prepare for the Big Ten Championships after having five meets in six weeks. Saturday is a chance for younger members of the team to show what they can do in competition.

 

Saturday's meet gets underway with the women's shot put starting at noon and the meet concludes with the women's 4x400-meter relay event.

 

The Nittany Lions will compete against athletes from Georgetown, West Virginia, Connecticut, Elon, Coppin State, Susquehanna, Messiah, Lebanon Valley, Dickinson, and Monroe College.

 

As for last weekend's results, several Penn State distance runners competed in the Husky Classic at the University of Washington. Redshirt-freshman Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pa.) broke the 31-year-old school record in the 5,000-meters with a time of 15:46.08 in that meet. Barrett's time sits at seventh-best in the country and second among freshmen. Her record-breaking performance marked the seventh time a Penn State record has been broken this season.

 

Barrett's distance running teammate, senior Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) ran a personal best in the 3,000-meters with a time of 9:13.65 in the same meet.

 

The majority of the Nittany Lions competed in the Fastrack National Invite at the new Ocean Breeze indoor track in Staten Island, New York. Penn State was victorious in five events with wins in on the track, on the field, and in the throws last Saturday. Senior Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) continued her hot throwing to take two events for the Nittany Lions. Fatherly won the shot put with her best throw of 16.62m (54'-6.50") and won the weight throw with a season best toss of 20.42m (67'-0").

 

School recorder holder Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) claimed the pole vault title. The junior's clearance of 4.20m (13'-9.50") earned herself the win for the second straight week.

 

Also in the field events, freshman Madeline Holmberg (Greensburg, Pa.) won the long jump with a season-best leap of 5.91m (19'-4.75").

 

On the track, school record holder Xavier Smith (Douglassville, Pa.) won the 60-meters final with a time of 6.80 seconds.

 

For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.

11684356.jpeg
By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Several freshmen within the Penn State track and field program have transitioned from high school track and field to the collegiate level quite smoothly thus far this indoor season.

 

Head coach John Gondak is filled with hope as the indoor season moves towards the postseason and the start of the outdoor season nears.

 

"I'm really excited about the depth we have now," said Gondak at spring sports media day.

 

Some of the depth that Gondak praises is a product of the newcomers and redshirt-freshmen. The freshmen are a special group of athletes that have the will to get better instead of becoming complacent with just being on the team. They're a group of competitors at the least and it has shown so far. According to Track & Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS), on Penn State's team, nine top event marks on the team have been recorded by freshmen.

 

One of those top marks is held by freshman Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine) in the 600-meter event.  His time of 1:17.74 is the seventh best time in the country. He has shown versatility in multiple mid-distance events. Harris earned Big Ten Co-Men's Track Athlete of the Week honors this week with an outstanding performance in the 800-meter event in last weekend's Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup.

 

"Coach set it up with (Brannon) Kidder pacing the field through 600-meters and Kidder went through 600-meters perfect. I knew I had it in me I just had to get the pacing right and everything went perfect," said Harris.

 

"In his fourth meet (last weekend), he ran 1:47.31 for the 800-meters which is currently ranked fifth in the country so I'm very pleased with Isaiah and his development and coming in and contributing right away," said Gondak.

 

Two other freshman have top times on the men's side in Colin Abert (Easton, Pa.) and Chisom Ifedi (Columbus, Ohio).  Albert holds the second-best time in the country in the 1,500-meter run in 3:48.15, while Ifedi is the top freshman high jumper in the country with a height of 7' 1.5". 

 

On the women's side a few freshman are standing out to Coach Grondak in Keianna Albury (Nassau, Bahamas) in the sprints and Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pa.) in the longer distances. 

 

"Keianna Albury is someone who comes in with some great performances and is going to be a big difference for us along with some others," said Gondak.

 

"Tessa Barrett sat out all last year and this is her freshman season on the track and she's PR'd in the mile and PR'd in the 3000-meters was an All-American in cross country this past fall helping lead our team to a 16th-place finish. She's going to be a significant contributor freshman wise on the track, he added.

 

For the first time this season, Penn State's freshmen athletes will be competing away from the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track, which will be a different experience for the young athletes. "It's nice to be able to be sleeping in your own bed at night and get up and get the performances out of the way," said team captain and senior distance runner Wade Endress (Altoona, Pa.).

 

Coach Gondak hinted on another difference aspect of road competition. "It's very nice to be at home, you can kind of control the competitions and enter people and get them in where you believe they're ready to compete whereas when you get on the road sometimes you're at the mercy of their meet director and them putting the competition together," he said.

 

The Nittany Lions split up this weekend with about half of the team going to compete in the one-day Fastrack National Invite in Staten Island, New York and a selected group of athletes competing in the two-day Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington.

 

Selected distance athletes competing in the Husky Classic are senior Tori Gerlach (3,000-meter run), sophomore Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pa.) (5,000-meter run), redshirt-freshman Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pa.) (5,000-meter run), sophomore Timothy McGowan (Northport, N.Y.) (3,000-meter run), senior Glenn Burkhardt (Kennett Square, Pa.), and sophomore Ean DiSilvio (Pittsburgh, Pa.) (5,000-meter run).

 

For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.



11673264.jpeg


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State track and field won team titles in both the men's and women's competitions of the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup, with strong performances from several Nittany Lions this weekend.

 

Penn State continued to dominate the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup, which has been commonplace in the history of the event. The women led throughout both days of the competition while scoring 211 points. The men battled back from a day one deficit to earn the victory on day two with a total of 178 points.

 

"It was an outstanding competition. We had our first scored meet of the year. Obviously, it gives you a metric to see how you stack up against other teams when comes to team score," said head coach John Gondak.

 

The weekend's action was highlighted by performances from senior Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) who earned women's co-athlete of the meet. On day two, she won the women's shot put with a school record breaking throw of 17.20m. Fatherly had the school record in mind when she set her personal goals at the beginning of the season.

 

"On that first throw I told myself `stay down and relax' and then I hit it and I knew it was huge," said Fatherly. "I walked out of the circle I ran back to the measuring tape and it was over 17.20m so I knew it was a school record and I started jumping and screaming in excitement."

 

Fatherly's motivation for a big shot put throw came from a bit of dissatisfaction with her performance in the weight throw event the previous day despite winning the competition.

 

Sharing the women's co-athlete of the meet with Fatherly was junior Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) who won the women's pole vault event while breaking the school record with a clearance of 4.20m. Masterson once again reset her own school record for the second time this season.

 

On the men's side, freshman Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine) ran the fifth-quickest time in the country in the 800-meter event. Harris benefitted from Brannon Kidder's pace to set his personal best.

 

"Coach set it up with (Brannon) Kidder pacing the field through 600-meters and Kidder went through 600-meters perfect. I knew I had it in me I just had to get the pacing right and everything went perfect today. I felt smooth and coach said I looked smooth so good day overall," said Harris.

 

Other men's event winners were sophomore Xavier Smith (men's 60-meters), senior Alex Shisler (men's 400-meters), sophomore Riley Gaibler (600-meters), freshman Chisom Ifedi (men's high jump), and sophomore Jon Yohman (men's shot put).

 

Other women's event winners were junior Tichina Rhodes (women's 400-meters), sophomore Quenee Dale (60-meter hurdles), women's 4x400 meter relay (junior Megan Osborne, freshman Frances Bull, sophomore Deja Davis, and junior Tichina Rhodes), senior Ahmenah Richardson (women's high jump), junior Dannielle Gibson (women's long jump), and senior Kaitlyn Lopez (women's triple jump).

 

On Sunday, Penn State track and field alum were welcomed back to Happy Valley. Former Penn State athlete Joe Kovacs, 2015 IAAF world champion in the shot put was honored to celebrate his outstanding achievement.

 

For the first time this indoor season, the Nittany Lions will be competing away from the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track this upcoming weekend. The team will split up with some Penn State athletes competing at the two-day Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington and some competing at the Fastrack National Invite in Staten Island, New York.

 

For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.



 

11665707.jpeg


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With both the Penn State men's and women's track and field teams ranked in the top-25, the Nittany Lions look to keep using their depth as an advantage in this weekend's Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup.

 

According to this week's United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) National Computer Rankings, the men's side held the No. 21 ranking and the women made their debut in the top-25 by checking in at No. 25.

 

"Both teams being ranked really shows the depth that we have for both the men's and women's teams. If I sat here and listed everybody, I'd be talking about 50 people which shows the depth that we have this year," said head coach John Gondak.

 

Gondak noted the overall solid performances across the board in the sprints, mid-distance, women's pole vault, women's long and triple jump, women's shot put and weight throw.

 

"Our national level kids are really doing a great job and some of our developmental kids are really coming into their own and producing at a high level," said Gondak.

 

Record-breaking performances from seniors Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) and Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) have led to several recent accolades. This week, Kidder earned USTFCCCA Division I Athlete of the Week and Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors with his phenomenal performances in the 800-meter event and in Penn State's distance medley relay as the anchor leg during last week's Penn State National.  

 

In the 800-meters, Kidder competed against one of the strongest fields of the weekend and won with a time of 1:47.01. The time is third in the NCAA and first in the Big Ten. During the distance medley relay (DMR), Kidder used a strong kick to come from behind to beat Stanford's Sean McGorty. Kidder split 3:55, which helped Penn State not only win the race, but move up to fourth on the all-time collegiate list.

 

Kidder was also named to The Bowerman Men's Watch List. He's the first Nittany Lion athlete to ever be named to the list. The Bowerman names the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.

 

Also this week, Gerlach was nominated as a Big Ten Athlete of the Week for breaking the school record in the mile with a time of 4:37.83 during the Penn State National. She won the race easily by more than seven seconds. The Penn State women's mile record was previously held by 2012 Olympian Bridget Franek. Gerlach's time currently ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 7 in the NCAA.

 

As for this weekend's meet, the Nittany Lions are competing in the annual Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup on Friday and Saturday. The pentathlon starts Friday at 1:30 p.m. and the track and field events start at 5 p.m. Saturday's portion of the competition starts with field events at 11 a.m. and track events at noon.

 

It's the first scored team competition of the year for the Nittany Lions. Among competition with eight schools, Penn State will get a chance to see where they stand in team scored events which can help the Nittany Lions get a preview for team postseason competitions further down the road.

 

The Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup marks the fourth of five home meets of Penn State's 2016 indoor season schedule. The Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup is named after the late "Dutch" Sykes and the late Dr. Ralph Sabock who were two long-time Penn State track and field officials. The event is in honor of their dedicated love for Penn State track and field and to the students of Penn State University.

 

Sykes and Sabock each served for over 30 years as Penn State track and field and cross country officials working as clerks of the course, starters and finish judges. They officiated NCAA Championships, all regular season meets, Special Olympics, and physically challenged events. Sykes was Intramural Director and Sabock was a professor in the Department of Kinesiology during their Penn State tenures. Sykes was impactful on the planning and construction of the original Intramural Building. Sabock was the author of the internationally known book "Coaching: A Realistic Perspective," currently in its tenth edition which is used at Penn State and in college coaching courses globally.


For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.

11655211.jpeg


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State track and field team wrapped up the Penn State National Friday and Saturday with solid performances from a host of Nittany Lions in front of electric crowds at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.

 

Once again, the Nittany Lions competed valiantly to set personal records, break school records, and set standout marks among the NCAA ranks.

 

"It was a fantastic weekend for Penn State men's and women's track and field," said head coach John Gondak.

 

Highlighting the weekend's action were seniors Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) and Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio). Normally a 3K and 5K distance athlete, Gerlach broke the school record in the mile by 12 one-hundredths of a second with a time 4:37.83. She won the race by a significant margin of more than seven seconds. In what was probably the collegiate race of the weekend, mid-distance runner Kidder followed up his Nittany Lion Challenge NCAA collegiate record in the 1,000-meter event with the top performance in the 800-meter event to put him second-fastest in the NCAA, with a time of 1:47.01.

 

Penn State continued their rich tradition of standout performances in the men's distance medley relay Friday. Kidder, the anchor leg on the men's distance medley relay, along with sophomore Jordan Makins (Perth, Australia), junior Alex Shisler (State College, Pa.), and freshman Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine) set a NCAA-best time so far this season in 9:27.20. Kidder and Stanford's Sean McGorty battled in a tight one down the front stretch to the finish line in what would be the No. 1 and No. 2 times in the nation as of Friday night.

 

In the sprints, sophomore Xavier Smith (Douglassville, Pa.) out did his school record in the 60-meter event once again with a blazing time of 6.68 seconds. He beat Buffalo's Darien Johnson to the line by one one-hundredth of a second. Smith has bested his school record in each of the first three competitions this season.

 

Sophomore Malik Moffett (Erie, Pa.) won the 200-meter event and just missed the school record by four one-hundredths of a second.

 

The Penn State men of Alex Shisler, freshman Sam Reiser (Melbourne, Australia), Xavier Smith, and Isaiah Harris came away victorious in the 4x400-meter relay event with a time of 3:10.29.

 

The Nittany Lion women dominated in the pole vault with junior Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) winning the event with a clearance of 4.09m (13'0.5"). Junior Kasey Kemp (Irwin, Pa.) and sophomore Hannah Mulhern (Altoona, Pa.) finished with a tie for third-place.

 

In the jumps, junior Dannielle Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) set a personal indoor record with a winning jump of 6.11m (20'-0.5"). Gibson won the event by a difference of four inches.

 

In the throws, senior Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) and junior Alyssa Robinson (Saint Clairsville, Ohio) finished second and fourth respectively in the women's weight throw. Fatherly also finished second in the women's shot put.

 

The Nittany Lions will be back in action this weekend for the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup two-day event at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor track. It will be Penn State's first team event of the year and a simulation of what it will be like to compete in team postseason meets. "It should be exciting to see how we can do in a scored competition," said Gondak.

 

For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.

11644946.jpeg


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With two solid indoor performances in the books, the Penn State track and field team is ready to compete in one of the finest collegiate indoor meets in the country, this weekend's Penn State National.

 

The Nittany Lions have performed well and have notched numerous significant feats so far this season. One of the keys to success lies in the team's depth and competitive theme. Head coach John Gondak mentioned after Penn State's last meet that the team's success isn't only about the team's top athletes. Instead, it's all a product of the hard working members of the team that continue to push one another to get better during training. It's a process that has worked for the Nittany Lions and it's been showing in both the track and field events.

 

Penn State's team depth is noticeable on both the men's and women's teams. Thirteen women's events and ten men's events are in the top 30 among all NCAA performances.

 

In the first two meets, Penn State athletes have won a total of 30 individual event titles and have broken four school records, including Brannon Kidder's all-time NCAA record in the 1,000-meter. Sophomore Xavier Smith (Douglassville, Pa.) (60-meter), senior Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) (1,000-meter), senior Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) (1,000-meter) and junior Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) (pole vault) have all broken school records so far this season.

 

Also, in the first couple weeks of the season, Lexi Masterson and Brannon Kidder earned Big Ten Athletes of the Week accolades.

 

At the global level, during the Jan. 9 Penn State Relays, Penn State became home to the fastest men's and women's 4x800-meter relays in the world, as the relay of junior Julie Kocjancic (Pittsburgh, Pa.), sophomore Victoria Crawford (State College, Pa.), sophomore Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pa.), and senior Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) combined to post a world leading time of 8:45.85 -- missing the school record of 8:45.60 set in 1984 by 0.25 seconds. For the men, the 4x800-meter relay of sophomore Jordan Makins (Perth, Australia), sophomore Bobby Hill (Wellsbroro, Pa.), freshman Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine), and senior Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) recorded their world leading time of 7:25.28.

 

Penn State looks to keep building on these early season highlights. This weekend will be a special opportunity for the Nittany Lions to add more standout performances to the growing list of personal bests, meet records and school records. With a wealth of nationally ranked teams coming to Happy Valley, Penn State will get a chance to see how they match up with some of country's best.

 

As for the two-day Penn State National, it starts Friday at noon and continues Saturday at 11 a.m. for track events and noon for field events at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. Among the 38 teams competing in the meet are nationally ranked No. 4 Virginia Tech, No. 14 Stanford, No. 21 Penn State and No. 23 Georgetown on the men's side, and No. 10 Georgetown, No. 14 Stanford and No. 25 Akron one the women's side.

 

The Penn State National will be streamed live on Flotrack.org, users must have a FloPro account to access the video.

 

For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.

11620965.jpeg


By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State track and field team showed no signs of resting on its laurels during Saturday's Nittany Lion Challenge.

 

The Nittany Lion Challenge marked the second competition of the year for the Nittany Lions. After the meet concluded, head coach John Gondak stressed that the team didn't have any letdowns even after a solid showing in last weekend's Penn State Relays. Though there can be a mental hurdle to overcome complacency after a successful first meet of the year, there wasn't any signs of complacency from the Nittany Lions this weekend.

 

The meet was filled with standout performances turned in by Penn State athletes in a wide-range of events both on the track and in the field events. Penn State went on to win 13 individual events, set four meet records, and break one NCAA collegiate record.

 

Gondak was ecstatic with the team's focus and passion. 


"Our theme of becoming competitors continues to be on display with the performances that our program is having," he said.  

 

The meet was highlighted by Penn State senior Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) who broke the NCAA collegiate record for the 1,000-meter dash with a time of 2:18.26. Kidder broke teammate Robby Creese's NCAA record. Before Kidder and Creese, former Nittany Lion Ryan Foster previously held the NCAA mark.

 

"We had planned on taking it out fast and just seeing what we had early. (Jordan) Makins brought me through 600-meters perfect, we got there and I felt pretty good so I just kept going," said Kidder.

 

Kidder never ran the 1,000-meter dash event in competition before Saturday. In the back of Kidder's mind, he thought he could have a chance at the record, but he was more focused on running a good 800-meters before the push to the finish line on the final lap.

 

In the sprints, sophomore Xavier Smith (Douglassville, Pa.) went on to once again break his school record in the 60-meter dash in back-to-back competitions with a time of 6.69 seconds. In last week's Penn State Relays, Smith ran a time of 6.70 seconds.

 

"It's always good when you run a PR (personal record), but I'm still headed in the right direction. I'm looking forward to two weeks of good training before hitting the track again at the Penn State National," said Smith.

 

In the throws, senior Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) threw 19.84m (65'-1.25") in the women's weight throw to set her season and personal best. Fatherly also threw a personal best of 17.08m (56'-0.5") in the women's shot put event.

 

"Coming into today, throwing over 17-meters was a goal of mine, said Fatherly. "On the second throw, I threw 55' but I released it too early, I knew I had more. The next throw, I was a little aggressive and ended up all over the toe board. In the transition in-between prelims and finals I was able to calm down and the first throw of finals I threw 56'. There are still a lot of technical things that I need to fix, but based on where I was at this point last year I'm way ahead so far this season."

Several other Penn State athletes set personal best in their respective events including: Patrick Anderson (pole vault), Malik Moffett (long jump), Jordan Makins (mile), Morgan Shigo (weight throw), Elizabeth Chikotas (mile), Dannielle Gibson (triple jump), Tori Gerlach (1,000-meter dash), and Quenee Dale (60-meter hurdles).

Penn State has a crucial training period of two weeks to fine tune some things before its next competition. Gondak is excited to see the team compete against some of the nation's best. The Nittany Lions will get the opportunity to do so in the Penn State National at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track on Jan. 29-30. The Penn State National will be streamed live on Flotrack.org.


For more on Penn State track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.

@GOPSUSPORTS

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago