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Feb. 16, 2013
NEW YORK - The Nittany Lions made good on an appearance at one of track and field's greatest stages on Saturday night, taking top honors in the 4x800-meter relay at the prestigious Millrose Games at the Armory Track and Field Center. Bettering the rest of the field by over five seconds, the Nittany Lions zipped to a finishing time of 7:21.37 - good for new Millrose Games, and Armory Track records, also tying the Penn State record in the process.
Freshman Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.) kicked off the effort, giving the Nittany Lions a comfortable lead at the first exchange, splitting 1:51.08 on the lead off. Watkins was competing at his home away from home, having posted many victories in the facility as a prep, including a victory in the Millrose high school boys' mile in 2012.
Watkins would hand off the fellow rookie Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio), who help the competition at bay with a 1:51.47 carry. Next up was senior Ricky West (Toronto, Ontario) with a split of 1:50.25 on the third leg.
Senior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) closed things out, going 1:48.58 to the anchor, solidifying the Nittany Lions record-setting 7:21.37.
The effort bettered the long-standing Millrose record of 7:23.08, set by the University of Richmond in 1982. The Nittany Lions performance was also the best in the history of the historic Armory facility, knocking off Columiba's 7:25.47 from 2012.
The Lions also tied the Penn State standard in the event, matching the 7:21.37 effort of Steve Balkey, David McMillan, Chris Mills, and Ray Levitre from 1987.
The indoor season will roll on for the Nittany Lions next weekend, as the men's and women's squads will hit the postseason, beginning with the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The competition is set for Friday-Saturday, February 22-23.