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March 1, 2014
GENEVA, OHIO - It all came down to the final race, and Penn State's 4x400-meter relay team delivered. The Nittany Lion women's track & field team led Michigan by just half a point heading into the final event of the day. By the second exchange, Penn State had pulled into first place and never looked back, winning the relay and the team title. The Big Ten Indoor Track & Field title is the third overall for Penn State's women's program.
"The women were outstanding today," said Director of Track & Field and Head Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. "Michigan pressed us hard throughout the weekend, but we kept our composure and competed great. This is a championship win to remember."
Penn State's championship run was paced by three individual titles and the 4x400-meter relay victory. The Nittany Lions finished with 114.50 points, while Michigan finished second with 104 points. Nebraska was third with 92 points.
Junior Dynasty McGee (Flint, Mich.), senior Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio), freshman Tichina Rhodes (Philadelphia, Pa.) and sophomore Kiah Seymour (Washington, D.C.) comprised the winning 4x400 meter relay team, who brought home the title with a time of 3:34.55.
Jones and Seymour also notched individual victories as well as runner-up finishes on day two. The 200 meters was a strong race for the Nittany Lions, who went 1-2. Jones won the race with a time of 23.10, while Seymour finished in 23.48 to take second. Seymour took home an individual title in the 400-meter run with a time of 52.53 while Jones narrowly missed a second Big Ten individual title finishing just 0.01 seconds out of first in the 60 meter final.
Redshirt-senior Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas) earned another runner-up finish for the Nittany Lions after resetting her own school-record in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.10.
Junior Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.) placed fourth in the 5,000 meters to set-up the half-point lead for the Nittany Lions heading into the final women's race of the day. Also contributing points on the track during day two was senior Marta Klebe (Chesterbrook, Pa.), who crossed the line in the mile run in 4:47.93.
After scoring points in the shot put on day one, senior Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster N.Y.) finished second in the weight throw =[[-and sophomore Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) placed third to continue to add points to the Nittany Lions' total on day two.
In the high jump, freshman Tai Ben-Artzi (Newe Shaanan Hifa, Isreal) took fifth place and junior Sarah Palmer (Gansevoort, N.Y.) added points for her eighth place finish. Senior Marlene Ricketts (Old Westbury, N.Y.) scored team points for her sixth-place finish in the triple jump.
The NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M., are next up for the Nittany Lions.