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Fatherly Comments | Gondak Comments
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Nittany Lion track & field program hosted its final regular season indoor meet of the year Saturday at the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. Junior Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) set personal-best marks and climbed the national charts and the Penn State record books.
“The meet is called the Penn State Tune Up, because it is what it is," head coach and director of track & field John Gondak said. "It’s a tune up to go into the Big Ten Championships. Some people were just trying to improve their marks today so they are seeded better in the conference meet. We had other that were running off the bench as part of a workout to prepare for next weekend. It was a meet to come in low key, low stress, to come in and have fun and build some confidence.”
With the focus on tallying NCAA-qualifying marks at the Penn State Tune-Up, Fatherly moved up the Penn State record books and the NCAA-qualifying list in the weight throw and the shot put. Heading into this weekend, Fatherly ranked 19th in the nation in the weight throw with her personal-best mark of 67-5.25 and she was 31st in the nation in the shot put with her indoor personal-best distance of 52-2.75.
“Well, at the beginning of the competition I was like, ‘I have to redeem myself from last week’, because it wasn’t as well as I wanted it to go,” Fatherly said. “This week in practice, we were working on speed and consistency and I feel like I had a really good week of practice and my throws were around there and today I had to execute.”
In the weight throw, she threw consistently farther than her personal-best. On her first attempt of the day she recorded a personal-best of 67-9 then she followed that up with a toss of 68-2. On her third throw, she posted a distance of 68-1 and on her fourth throw she tallied a distance of 67-10.
Her final two attempts were the best of her life. Her fifth attempt, 68-5, was one inch shy of tying Melissa Kurzdorfer (2014) for second-place all-time at Penn State. Fatherly caught Kurzdorfer on her final throw.
With one attempt left, Fatherly made it count. Fatherly tallied a distance of 69-2, as she secured the second-best throw in Penn State history. Not only did Fatherly move into second-place in the Penn State record books, she tied the 11th-best mark this year in the NCAA.
Last weekend at the Tyson Invitational, Fatherly won the non-invite section of the women’s shot put with her indoor personal-best mark of 52-2.75. Today, Fatherly continued her momentum from last weekend. With Fatherly on the outside looking in on qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the women’s shot put, Fatherly shot up the charts with her personal-best performance.
Just a few hours after competing in the weight throw, Fatherly returned to the ring for the shot put.
Heading into this weekend, Fatherly’s mark of 52-5.75 in the shot put ranked 31st in the nation and today she bolted up the charts to a tie for eighth.
Unlike the weight throw, Fatherly only recorded two legal throws. On her first throw, she tallied a personal-best distance of 53-1. Following her first throw, Fatherly fouled her next two attempts.
On her fourth attempt, Fatherly recorded a lifetime-best mark of 55-5.75. Fatherly fouled on her fifth and sixth attempts. With her performances today, Fatherly has put herself into a good spot to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
“Rachel had one of those days. When you’re on, you’re on and she was on today,” Gondak said. “Coach Ebel has been saying for a while she has a 70-foot weight throw in her, she has a 55-foot shot in her. The way the throwers train, they’re in heavy cycles of lifting and throwing hard and when you come off those cycles that’s when you start to really feel good and she did and she felt good today and got the job done.”
Also in the women’s throw events, Alyssa Robinson (Saint Clairsville, Ohio) and Obeng Marfo (Ontario, Canada) finished second (59-9.75) and third (55-2), respectively, in the weight throw. In the shot put, Marfo placed second (48-2) and Robinson tallied a third-place finish (46-11.50).
A week after setting the second-best mile time in school history, junior Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) posted the third-best 600-meter run time in school history Saturday; Kidder won the race with his time of 1:16.98.
Freshman Jordan Makins (Perth, Australia) was just shy of cracking the Penn State top-five in the men’s 600-meter run with his time of 1:18.44; Makins finished second in the race.
In the long jump events, Dannielle Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) finished first in the women’s long jump with her leap of 18-11.75 and in the men’s long jump, Cody Minnig (Levittown, Pa.) placed second with his mark of 22-2.50. Minnig was also the top-attached runner in the men’s 60-meter dash; He finished second with a time of 6.94.
In the men’s throw events, Kory Decesaris (Danielsville, Pa.) finished second in the weight throw with his mark of 59-3.50 and freshman Jon Yohman (New Wilmington, Pa.) won the shot put with his season-best mark of 55-9.75.
In the longer distances, Ean DiSilvio (Pittsburgh, Pa.) claimed second in the men’s 3,000-meter run with his personal-best time of 8:14.86 and Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) placed first in the 5,000-meter run with his time of 14:20.79.
Quenee Dale (Ypsilanti, Mich.) led the Nittany Lions in the women’s 60-meter dash with her first-place finish (7.60) and she also finished second in the 60-meter hurdles (9.31).
In the men’s one mile run, Cody Amengual (West Babylon, N.Y.) finished fifth with his time of 4:15.16.
The Nittany Lions won both 400-meter dash events as Alex Shisler (State College, Pa.) claimed first for the men (47.78) and Deja Davis (Shelby Charter Township, Mich.) posted a time of 56.10 for the women.
Sarah Palmer (Gansevoort, N.Y.) and Megan McCloskey (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) both cleared season-best heights in the women’s high jump. Palmer finished first with her height of 5-8.50 and McCloskey placed second with a height of 5-7.25.
In the final event of the day, the men’s 4x400-meter relay, the quartet of Joey Logue (Blooming Glen, Pa.), Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.), Kidder and Makins finished first with their time of 3:20.15.
Up next for the Nittany Lions is the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships. The Big Ten meet takes place at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, Feb. 27 and 28.
For more on Nittany Lion track & field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.