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Coach Gondak Interview | Men's 4x8 Interview | Final Stats | PHOTO GALLERY
Jan. 10, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State track & field program opened the 2015 indoor season with strong performances across the board Saturday at the Penn State Relays. The Nittany Lions set one school record, one facility record and three meet records en route to 10 event titles at the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.
The men's 4x800-meter relay and the men's DMR were the most anticipated events heading into the meet, but Darrell Hill's (Philadelphia, Pa.) performance in the shot put stole the show.
With the men's 4x400-meter relay just ending, everyone in attendance turned their attention to the turf as the senior from Philadelphia set the school record with his mark of 66-2.50 in the prelims. Hill had three more attempts in the finals, but was unable to best his already set school record. The previous school record of 65-7 was set by C.J. Hunter in 1990.
Heading into the weekend, the best mark in the nation was set by DePaul's Matt Babicz (63-0.75).
Along with his first-place finish in the shot put, Hill finished third in the weight throw with a toss of 60-7.25. Justin Berg (Phoenixville, Pa.) also competed in the men's weight throw and he finished fourth (56-10).
The men's 4x800-meter relay lived up to the hype on the heat sheets as Penn State entered a pair of teams and Princeton entered three teams. Jordan Makins (Perth, Australia) and Wade Endress (Altoona, Pa.) led off for their respective squads and they were in the lead pack that split 1:53. Ryan Brennan (Chester, N.Y.) and Joey Logue (Blooming Glen, Pa.) ran the second leg for their respective squads and they both split 1:51.
The third leg was when Penn State the 'A' 4x8 team took control of the race. With a lap to go on the third leg, Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) made his move and he would not look back as he split 1:48. Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) carried the momentum into the final leg as he split 1:48 to capture the facility and meet record time of 7:22.10.
The Penn State men and the Princeton men battled once again, this time in the distance medley relay. The Nittany Lions entered two teams, while the Tigers entered one team into the race.
Princeton took an early lead heading into the 400 leg, but senior Sancho Barrett (Amityville, N.Y.) tracked down Princeton's Garrett O'Toole to put the Nittany Lions back in the race. PSU and Princeton were neck-and-neck heading into the third leg. After anchoring the 4x800-meter relay earlier in the day, Creese went back to work on the track and put the Nittany Lions back in front.
The race came down to the final leg, the 1,600-meter run, between Penn State's Ean DiSilvio (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Princeton's Luke Brahm. With the 300 meters left Brahm made his move and would not relinquish the lead as Princeton won the DMR with their time of 10:01.03. The quartet of Hill, Barrett, Creese and DiSiivio finished second with a time of 10:05.29.
In the women's DMR, Penn State nabbed the top-two spots as the Penn State 'A' DMR team of of Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.), Rachael DeCecco (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Julie Kocjancic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Jillian Hunsberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) won the race with their time of 11:42.69 and the Penn State 'B' DMR team of Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pa.), Deja Davis (Shelby Charter Township, Mich.), Victoria Crawford and Greta Lindsley (Lancaster, Pa.) posted a time of 11:59.54.
Sophomore Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) also set a meet record Saturday as she went onto finish first in the pole vault with her height of 12-10.25. After securing the first-place finish, Masterson had three attempts at 13-6, which would have set the school record, but was unable to clear the bar. Freshman Hannah Mulhern (Altoona, Pa.) made her Blue and White debut Saturday and tied for third in the pole vault with a mark of 11-6.5. Kasey Kemp (Irwin, Pa.) also posted a height of 11-6.5 to finish tied for third.
Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) opened the season strong with a first-place finish in the women's weight throw with her distance of 64-11.25. Also in the women's weight throw, Alyssa Robinson (Saint Clairsville, Ohio) finished fourth (56-4) and Obeng Marfo (Ontario, Canada) placed seventh (52-0.5). Marfo and Robinson also finished third (44-7) and fourth (42-1.25), respectively, in the women's shot put.
On the track for the Penn State women, Megan Osborne (Chillicothe, Ohio) finished strong down the homestretch to win the 200-meter dash with her personal-best time of 24.55, along with Davis finishing fourth (25.19). DeCecco finished seventh in 500-meter dash (1:17.95) and Stephanie Aldrich (West Chester, Pa.) finished second in the one mile run with her time of 5:04.07.
In the women's jump events, Dannielle Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) posted a mark of 19-3.50 to go on and win the long jump by over a foot and Kaitlyn Lopez (Buffalo, N.Y.) finished fifth in the triple jump and finished fifth with a distance of 38-1.25.
Seniors Brian Leap (Bellwood, Pa.) and Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.) led the charge for the Nittany Lions in the men's long jump as they finished second (23-8.75) and fifth (22-7.25), respectively. Leap's mark today in the long jump is a personal-best for him. Also setting a PR was Patrick Anderson (Kane, Pa.). He set a personal-best height of 15-3 to finish second in the men's pole vault event.
Bryce Williams (State College, Pa.) made his Penn State debut and tallied a mark of 47-1.50 to finish third in the triple jump. Williams also finished sixth in the long jump with a distance of 22-3.
In the hurdle events, Shelley Black (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) and Barrett both finished in the top-three of their respective events. Black advanced to the finals of the 60-meter hurdles with her top-time of 8.64 and she held off the field to take the crown with her time of 8.61. In the men's 60-meter hurdles, Barrett entered the finals with second-best time in the field and finished second in the finals with his time of 8.08.
In the short sprints, freshman Davis posted a time of 7.95 to finish seventh in the women's 60-meter dash and freshman Xavier Smith (Douglasville, Pa.) was the top collegiate runner with his third-place finish (6.88). Smith also placed third in the men's 200-meter dash with his time of 21.69.
Cara Ulizio (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Hannah Catalano (State College, Pa.) both tallied top-five finishes in the women's 1,000-meter run. Ulizio clocked at 3:01.42 for the win, while Catalano placed fifth with a time of 3:04.52 and in the men's 1,000-meter run, Thomas Damiani (Tunkhannock, Pa.) posted a time of 2:29.61 to place second.
Ahmenah Richardson (Philadelphia, Pa.) placed third in the women's high jump with her mark of 5-8.75, while India McCoy (Ambridge, Pa.) tied for fifth with a height of 5-5.75 and in the men's high jump, Michael McClelland (Washington, Pa.) cleared a height of 6-7 for a third-place finish.
The group of Osborne, Tichina Rhodes (Philadelphia, Pa.), Dynasty McGee (Flint, Mich.) and Black capped off the day for the Penn State women as they clocked in at 3:45.28 to capture the women's 4x400-meter relay title.
In the final track event of the day, the men's 4x400-meter relay, the quartet of Smith, Rhodes, Watkins and Logue finished fourth with their time of 3:19.80.
The Nittany Lions return to the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track next Saturday as they host the Nittany Lion Challenge. Fans at the meet will receive a Penn State track & field Nittany Lion Challenge t-shirt while supplies last.
For more on Nittany Lion track & field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.