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March 27, 2010
PALO ALTO, Calif.: March 27, 2010 - Seniors Tyler McCandless (Bath, Pa.) and Cheryl Spring (The Woodlands, Texas) clocked career-best efforts in the 10,000-meters against outstanding competition, Friday night at the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track and Angell Field. Both athletes also made their way into the Penn State record books, as their performances were among the top 10 performances in Nittany Lion history.
"We had an outstanding trip with two performances cracking the Penn State top 10," said Director and Head Coach of Track and Field Beth Alford-Sullivan. "The results from Friday show credence to hard work and diligence of both these athletes over the Penn State careers. The environment at Stanford was absolutely outstanding with perfect conditions. No winds and perfect temperatures. We couldn't have asked for a more ideal situation to run a 10K."
McCandless utilized outstanding racing tactics over the 6.2-mile race, to finish in 29:22.35 - over 25 seconds fastest than his previous personal best. McCandless' effort was good for fifth in his section - just under four seconds off of winner Jeremy Sudbury of Oklahoma. McCandless now stands sixth in the Penn State record books, and is the first Nittany Lion to record a top 10 effort in the event since 1994. The senior now sits behind only all-time Penn State greats Greg Fredericks (28:08.0, 1972), Charlie Maguire (28:29.4, 1974), Eric Carter (28:38.3, 1987), Paul Stemmer (28:42.80, 1976), and John Ziegler (29:11.71, 1979).
"It's very exciting to see Tyler to crack a list that hasn't been touched in 20 years," continued Sullivan. "I think Tyler's efforts are very indicative of a good resurgence in our men's distance program and puts him in a very exciting position for first round of the NCAA Championships."
Spring placed 24th in the top section of the women's 10K, clocking 34:31.75 in her first-career attempt at the distance. Spring held her own in a hotly contested race, which saw Iowa State's Lisa Koll post a collegiate-record 31:18.07 for the win. Spring is now seventh all-time in the Nittany Lion top 10 rankings, behind Natalie Updegrove (34:00.00, 1983), Kris Kelly (34:02.52, 1993), Kim Kelly (34:02.80, 1993), Kelli Hunt (34:09.00, 1993), Donna Fidler (34:20.10, 1999), and Peggy Cleary (34:24.07, 1980).
"Cheryl held her composure in top only her first 10K, but a collegiate recording setting race," said Sullivan of Spring. "Her performance shows that her patience played out to a great end result."
The rest of the Nittany Lion squads will open outdoor action next weekend at the Pepsi Florida Relays at the University of Florida, scheduled for April 2-3.