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Jan. 16, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: January 16, 2010 - Bolstered by a school-record run by Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia), and NCAA performances by senior Fawn Dorr (Akron, N.Y.), junior Shavon GReaves (Lakewood, N.J.), and the women's 4x400-meter relay, the Nittany Lion track and field teams recorded another sensational effort in their second competition of the indoor season, Saturday at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. Foster's performance highlighted a host of winning performances from the Nittany Lion squad, including freshman Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.), who captured an impressive victory in the 600-meters and anchored the winning 4x400.
"The Northeast Challenge was an outstanding success with great competition, that proved to really excite the Ashenfelter Track and Indoor Facility," said Director and Head Coach of Track and Field Beth Alford-Sullivan. "Both Penn State teams took another step forward towards what looks to be some incredible track and field teams."
Foster clocked a blistering 2:19.60 in the five-lap 1,000-meters, breaking Samuel Borchers' (Yellow Springs, Ohio) 2:22.42, from 2008. Foster's record-setting effort, which is the second-fastest ever run by a collegiate, is not only a new Penn State standard, but also a new meet and facility record, as well as the 2010 world leader, and a new Australian national record. Junior Owen Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) was on Foster's heels, finishing second in 2:21.98, which is also under the previous school and facility records.
Dorr - an individual NCAA qualifier at 400-meters a year ago - provided an exciting finishing kick in the last 100-meters to win the quarter mile in a personal-best and NCAA provisional-qualifying 53.32, and earn an event win for the second-straight weekend. Greaves, who posted national leaders in the 60- and 200-meters a week ago, continued to excel in 2010, clocking 53.64 in the 400 to earn third-place overall and better her own personal-indoor best by nearly two seconds.
The Nittany Lion duo would account of two of the four legs on Penn State's provisional-qualifying 4x400, along with teammates Doris Anyanwu (Beltsville, Md.), and Caitlin Defusco (Schwenksville, Pa.). The quartet would post a time of 3:39.13 to take top honors in amongst solid sprint competiton. Dorr also came back to run a personal best in the 200-meters, clocking 24.16 and finishing second overall as the top collegiate competitor.
"We opened up more athletes from the program to take steps towards being at full strength by the end of the month," continued Sullivan. "Shavon and Fawn ran tremendous 400's and backed it up with a provisional performance in the 4x400. The performance of the day definitely came from new school record holder, Ryan Foster, who had an amazing run in the 1000-meters. It will be exciting to see where this All-American's season will take him."
Loxsom also had a stellar afternoon, running away with the 600 with a finishing time of 1:16.92 - the second-fastest performance in school history, and just .03 seconds off Ben Karcz' school-record 1:16.89. The rookie would also anchor the winning 4x400 in exciting fashion for the second-straight week. This time, the Lions finished with a season-best 3:14.50 with Aaron Nadolsky (Altoona, Pa.), Lionel Williams (Staten Island, N.Y.), and Anya Uzoh (Laurel, Md.) covering the first three legs.
"I'm very impressed with Cas," said Sullivan of the rookie. "He looks sharp and is a true competitor as demonstrated by his anchor leg in the 4x400."
In the throws, junior Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) bettered in the NCAA-provisional standard in the shot put for the second-consecutive weekend, posting a toss of 58-6.75 (17.85) to earn the gold medal on the day. Classmate Blake Eaton (Allegeny, N.Y.) placed third in the event with a heave of 57-9.75 (17.62).
Also on the winner's stand was sophomore Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) in the mile run (4:52.44), junior Caitlin Fairbairn (Coatesville, Pa.) in the pole vault (12-5.50/3.80), and junior Bianca Fung (North Babylon, N.Y.) in the long jump (18-10.75/5.76). Also posting an impressive finish was senior Brad Lawrence (Voorhees, N.J.) , who turned in a runner-up finish in the men's pole vault, clearing a PR-tying 16-0.75 (4.90).
A pair of Nittany Lion graduates also earned victories on the afternoon, including Shana Cox in her 600-meter debut (1:28.15), and Lena Bettis in the triple jump (41-4.50/12.53). Current Lion sophomore Courtney Bell (Norristown, Pa.) was the top collegian in the triple jump with a personal-best leap of 39-7 (12.06).
"We're looking forward to a week of training and our exciting Penn State National, where we bring in 2009 NCAA Champion Tennessee Volunteers, the Miami Hurricanes, and many of the country's top collegiate programs," said Sullivan on the Lions' next competition.
Following a weekend off, the Lions will be back in action on January 29-30, at the high-powered Penn State National at Ashenfelter Indoor Track.
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