Women's Track & Field Finishes Second at Big Tens after Greaves, 4x400 Collect Championships
Feb. 27, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Penn State's women's track & field team notched a second place finish in the 2011 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field championships after compiling 86 points during the two-day competition. The runner-up effort was led by Shavon Greaves (Lakewood, N.J.) who continued to dominate the 200 meter dash winning another championship in the event with her 23.67 automatic-qualifying time, as well as a win by the 4x400 relay team.
Greaves' one-lap victory is also a historic one, as she is the first sprinter in conference history to win three-straight indoor 200 titles. All told, with wins in the 200 and 4x400, Greaves now has 14 conference titles to her credit. The Nittany Lions have dominated the event over the past several years, with a Penn Stater winning the last four 200 crowns, and five of the last eight (Shana Cox, 2008; Connie Moore, 2004). Greaves, who improved the Lambert Field House record to 23.81 in the prelims, reset to the standard for the second time in the final at 23.67.
The 4x400 meter relay team ran a Lambert Field House record 3:37.80 to race to victory. The team consisted of Doris Anyanwu (Beltsville, Md.), Ijeoma Iheoma (Holland, Pa.), Greaves, and Megan Duncan (North Huntingdon, Pa.). The win grabbed all four first team All-Big Ten honors, in Penn State's sixth-straight victory in the event, which stands as the longest 4x400 winning streak in women's indoor history. The quartet's winning-performance converts in 3:35.00 on the NCAA performance, and currently ranks fifth in Division I. Caitlin Lane's (Greenwich, N.Y.) second place finish in the 1-mile run earned her second team All-Big Ten honors.
Ohio State won the Big Ten Women's Indoor Track & Field championship with a score of 122.50. The Nittany Lions scored 86 points, including top eight performances in 15 of 18 events, to place second overall, just ahead of Minnesota in third with 73. Michigan and Indiana rounded out the top five, totaling 68.5, and 67 points, respectively, to finish fourth and fifth.
"Ohio State had a tremendous Big Ten Championship," said Director and Head Coach of Track and Field Beth Alford-Sullivan. "It was great to see a team with poise and confidence put together such an outstanding two days of competition. We battled well, despite a few day-one mishaps costing us positioning for the final day. Overall, I think we competed very well with tremendous efforts across the board from a young and developing team."
Along with her dual-gold medal efforts, Greaves would add a third-place effort in the 60-meter dash, running 7.37. Also providing a scoring finish in the short sprints was sophomore Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas), who matched her lifetime-best 8.22 in the 60-meter hurdles, to place fourth overall in one of the hottest hurdle races of the indoor season, which included the top two marks in the NCAA this year from Ohio State's Christina Manning (8.01) and Leticia Wright (8.03).
The Nittany Lions were just as productive in the long sprints, with Duncan running 55.57 to place fifth in the 400-meters. Also running well were Iheoma, and freshman Bekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio) in the 600-meters. Iheoma would place fourth overall in 1:30.42, while Simko took sixth in 1:34.42. Senior Maura Ryan (Doylestown, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lions in the middle distances, turning in a fourth-place effort in the 800-meters, thanks to a finishing time of 2:10.60. All three Nittany Lions proved to be poised under pressure, as Iheoma, Simko, and Ryan were all competing in their first-career Big Ten Indoor Championship.
After running the top time in Saturday's preliminary round, Lane held her own down the stretch of the mile final, providing an outstanding last 50-meters to finish in 4:43.44, to edge Minnesota's Nikki Swenson, and Michigan's Danielle Tauro, who clocked 4:43.66, and 4:43.69. Lane's effort also illustrates the Lions' year-to-year presence in the event, following up on Bridget Franek's mile victory in 2010. The Nittany Lions also enjoyed a pair of scoring finishes in the women's 5,000-meters, thanks to furious final laps from junior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.), and sophomore Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio), who placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Millhouse, who also scored a fourth-place finish in Saturday's 3,000-meter run, crossed fourth in a personal-best 16:34.54, while Ridder placed fifth in 16:36.10.
Senior Bianca Fung (North Babylon, N.Y.) led the Nittany Lions in the field events, tying for fifth in the high jump with a personal-best clearance of 5-8 (1.73) in her first appearance in the event this season. Teammate Erika Morgan (Chesapeake, Va.) also competed well, topping out at 5-7 (1.7) to tie for eighth place.
Junior Tanaya Lloyd (Philadelphia, Pa.) also enjoyed a top five finish on the weekend, placing fifth in the triple jump, thanks to a career-best leap of 40-11.50 (12.48). Freshman Marlene Ricketts (Westbury, N.Y.) came up just shy of a scoring finish, placing 10th with a leap of 38-10.25 (11.84) - less than an inch off from qualifying for the nine-women final.
Following the conference meet, the Nittany Lions will make one last bid to qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships, attending Last Chance competitions at Notre Dame on March 4-5, and Virginia Tech on March 5.