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Jan. 7, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: January 7, 2011- Redshirt-sophomore Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio) sprinted to a trio of victories to propel the Nittany Lion efforts, Saturday at the Penn State Relays at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. Jones captured individual wins in the 60- and 200-meters, before leading off the winning 4x400-meter relay. Fellow redshirt-sophomore Aaron Nadolsky(Altoona, Pa.) was also a double winner, taking the 200 individually and anchoring the winning 4x400. Overall, the Nittany Lions enjoyed 17 victories, including four meet records.
Jones starred in the sprints, beginning with a victory in the 60 in a personal-collegiate best 7.41. Jones bounced back to win the 200 just 40 minutes later, running a sizzling 23.68, which stands as the top time in the NCAA at press time. Jones' performances have an impact on the Penn State record books, as her 7.41 is tied for the third-fastest effort in Nittany Lion indoor history, and her 200 mark stands fifth on the all-time list. Jones wasn't the only Nittany Lion to post a successful afternoon in the sprints, with teammate Kirsten Nieuwendam(Parimaribo, Suriname) clocking 7.51 to take third in the 60, and 23.76 - the second-ranked time in the NCAA - to earn runner-up status in the 200.
Nadolsky paced a solid effort from the men's sprints squad, taking top honors in the 200 in a PR 21.59. The redshirt-sophomore led a Nittany Lion sweep in the event, with freshman Matt Gilmore (Elkins Park, Pa.) following in second in 21.68, while junior Emunael Mpanduki (Harare, Zimbabwe) placed third in 21.76. All three Nittany Lions - along with sophomore Brandon Bennett-Green(Elkins Park, Pa.) - would combine for an at-the-wire victory in the 4x400, which included a speedy 46.4 split from Gilmore on the second leg. Nadolsky would anchor the squad to victory, splitting 47.2 and out-leaning Pittsburgh's Brycen Spratling to win 3:09.65-3:09.68. The effort, which was also a meet record, is currently ranked third in the NCAA.
The women's 4x400 performance was equally as impressive, as the quartet of Jones, freshman Dynasty McGee(Ypsilanti, Mich.), Nieuwendam, and senior Ije Iheoma (Holland, Pa.) set a new meet record with an NCAA-leading 3:36.91, to better the field by nearly five full seconds. Iheoma turned in a stellar day on her own as well, finishing as the top collegiate and second overall in the 500-meters with a PR 1:12.05.
The wins kept coming in the field events, with senior Jane Swenson (Brandon, S.D.) winning the shot put with a meet-record and personal-indoor best 48-8.25 (14.84). Sophomore Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster, N.Y.) also impressed, throwing 46-2 (14.07) to finish third. The duo flipped flopped their place finishes in the 20-pound weight, with Kurzdorfer taking top honors with a toss of 60-1.75 (18.33) and Swenson coming up third with an effort of 53-7.50 (16.34). Swenson now stands fifth in the shot in the Nittany Lion record books, while Kurzdorfer takes over fifth in the weight following her first Penn State appearance.
The Nittany Lions would also sweep the men’s throws, with junior Logan Caldwell (Ebensburg, Pa.) capturing top honors in the shot put with a heave of 55-7 (16.94), just ahead of teammate Nabil Mubarak (Loganville, Ga.) in second at 55-7 (16.94). Redshirt-sophomore Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) was tops in the 35-lb weight, turning in a toss of 61-2.75 (18.66). Mubarak also record a top three finish in the event, placing third overall.
Penn State also enjoyed a pair of victories in the pole vault with senior Jocelyn Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) and senior Jason Pelletier (Bryant, Ark.) capturing victories in their respective sections. Witmer topped out at a meet-record 12-6.25 (3.82) to win the women’s vault, with teammate Amanda Palenchar (Bradenville, Pa.) winding up second overall. Pelletier bested the men’s field, thanks to a clearance of 15-5 (4.70). Rookie Sarah Palmer (Gansevoort, N.Y.) also picked up a victory in a verticals, clearing 5-7 (1.70) to win the high jump.
The Nittany Lions dominated the relays on the track, led by the freshmen men’s distance medley relay contingent of Robby Creese (Mt. Airy, Md.), Ryan Brennan (Chester, N.Y.), Connor Manley (Jamison, Pa.), and Wade Endress (Altoona, Pa.), which finished in an NCAA-leading 9:49.04. Tops among collegiate squads in the field, the Nittany Lions finished second to a PSU Alumni squad that finished in 9:48.59. Additional relay winners included the women’s 4x800-meter relay of Colleen Shannon (Andover, Mass.), Marta Klebe (Chesterbrook, Pa.), Kalyn Fisher (Lewisburg, Pa.) and Markea Dickinson (West Chester, Pa.), as well as the women’s DMR squad, made up of Bekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio), Shannon, Rachel Casciano (Reading, Pa.), and Tori Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Freshman Lauren Mills (West Chester, Pa.) also turned in an event win, taking the women’s 3,000-meters in 10:13.85, to edge teammate Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.), who finished in 10:13.87. In the men’s distances, the Nittany Lions got a one-two sweep out of Colin Baker (Haddonfield, N.J.) and Mark Fuller (Camp Hills, Pa.), who finished the 1,000-meters in 2:31.71, and 2:33.19, respectively.
The Nittany Lions are back in action next week with the Nittany Lion Challenge, set for Saturday, January 14, at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.