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Jan. 14, 2012
Watch Creese's Collegiate Record -
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) ran his way into track and field history at the Nittany Lion Challenge, setting a new collegiate record for the 1000 meters, Saturday at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. Creese wasn't the only Nittany Lion on record-breaking pace however, as senior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) and junior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) set records in the women's 1000, and men's 600 meters, respectively, highlighting an extensive slate of outstanding performances by the Nittany Lions.
Cruising within the pack during the majority of the race, Creese turned on the jets for the final go-around of his five-lap effort, breaking the tape in 2:19.53 - to better Ryan Foster'sPenn State, Meet, and Ashenfelter Facility Record 2:19.60. Creese not only rewrote every record on the heat sheet, but bettered Alan Webb's 2:23.68, which has stood as the American Junior (19-and-under) since 2001. The performance also nipped the 2:19.57 collegiate record, set by former Kansas State Wildcat and 2008 Olympic Christian Smith in 2006.
"We were really excited for the 1000, it's typically - at this time of the year - been a very good event for us," said Director and Head Coach of Track and Field Beth Alford-Sullivan. "Robby was looking so good after last weekend's debut, I was thinking he had a shot at breaking Alan Webb's junior record, but I was nowhere prepared for what he did going out and crushing our school record, and crushing the NCAA record and doing it in a relatively easy fashion."
The records continued to fall in the women's 1000, with Lane clocking 2:44.24 to shave well over a second and a half off the previous school record 2:45.95, which she set at the same competition a year ago. The claimed the victory in a wire-to-wire effort, bettering the rest of the field by over three seconds.
"Caitlin is just looking great, she went out wire-to-wire, step-for-step and runs 2:44," said Sullivan. "And we've been going through some heavy training cycles, so that was really tremendous to see."
Loxsom, who is an All-American in both the 800 meters and 4x400-meter relay, kept the ball rolling in the 600, sprinting to a personal-best and school-record 1:16.66 for the 3-lap event. Loxsom's mark also bested his own previous personal best, as he clocked 1:16.92 as a freshman in 2010, and bested Ben Karcz's Penn State record 1:16.89 from 2001. Loxsom's previous PR 1:16.92 still stands as an American Junior and World Junior "Best."
"We obviously know what a great talent Cas is, but that 600 record has been sitting there for a few years, and he just hadn't been able to capture it," said Sullivan on Loxsom. "But he really came out and took control of that today."
The national-caliber performances carried over the sprinting events, as the Nittany Lion quartet of Aaron Nadolsky (Altoona, Pa.), Brady Gehret (Altoona, Pa.), Loxsom and Matt Gilmore(Elkins Park, Pa.) blitzed to a season-best 3:07.72 for second place, coming up just short of Pittsburgh's 3:07.33, which is a new NCAA leader, as well as a new facility record. The Penn State foursome is now the second-fastest foursome in Nittany Lion history, just missing the school-record 3:07.27 - set in 2011. Nadolsky would also add another pair of top two finishes to his already successful 2012 campaign, placing first in the 400 meters with a season-best effort of 47.76, and taking second in the 200 meters.
Highlights on the track also included a victory by the women's 4x400 relay, which included Kirsten Nieuwendam (Parimaribo, Suriname), Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio), Dynasty McGee (Ypsilanti, Mich.), and Doris Anyanwu (Beltsville, Md.), in 3:39.30 - the Nittany Lions' second-straight victory in the event. Nieuwendam also enjoyed a solid afternoon individually, taking top honors in the 60 meters at 7.56, and coming back to place second in the 200 at 23.92 - just .02 seconds off a victory. Junior Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas) also turned in a victory in the sprints, taking the 60-meter hurdles in 8.31
The Nittany Lions also took home a pair of victories in the mile run, with Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.) striding to a PR 4:46.96 to best the women's field, while Tyler Corkedale (West Windsor, N.J.) captured gold in the men's mile at 4:10.39.
Undoubtedly, the top performance of the day was a heave of 69-10.25 (21.29) by Nike athlete and Penn State volunteer assistant coach Ryan Whiting to win the men's shot put. Whiting's effort is not only a new facility record, but is the top effort in the world in 2012.
The Nittany Lions would also pick up two victories in the throwing events, with senior Jane Swenson(Brandon, S.D.) turning in victory in the women's shot put for the second-straight week, posting a toss of 47-7 (14.50). Sophomore Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) also picked up his second win in as many weeks, besting the men's 35-lb weight throw competition with an effort of 60-11.50 (18.58).
Also claiming their second event title on the season are senior Jocelyn Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.), who won the women's pole vault with a clearance of 12-9.50 (3.90), and junior Hanif Johnson (Harrisburg, Pa.), who triple jumped to victory with a season-best 51-4.25 (15.65). Johnson, who won Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors for his performance last weekend, now ranks third in the country and number one in the Big Ten in the event. The Nittany Lions got another nationally ranked mark out of the Tanaya Lloyd(Philadelphia, Pa.) in the women's triple jump. Lloyd won the event via a person-best leap of 41-1.50 (12.53), which currently stands in the top 10 in the NCAA.
Continuing to impress in the field was sophomore Jon Hendershot (Nazareth, Pa.), who turned in a PR clearance of 7-0.25 (2.14) to win the men's high jump.
The Nittany Lions will take next weekend off, before hosting the highly-charged Penn State National, set for January 27-28, at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.