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PHILADELPHIA -- Senior Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) found himself in a familiar place Friday, atop of the Penn Relays podium, as he defended his 2014 Penn Relays men's shot put title. With his family and teammates cheering him on, Hill claimed the 2015 Penn Relays men's shot put crown with his lifetime-best mark of 68 feet, 2.5 inches.
Hill opened up the competition with his then-season-best mark of 65-5, he then fouled his second attempt before his lifetime-best toss of 68-2.5. His mark today is the No. 2 all-time mark at Penn State, the No. 3 all-time performance at the Penn Relays and the No. 2 performance this outdoor season in the NCAA.
His goal for the day though was to capture the Penn Relays shot put record, but despite missing the mark by two inches (68-4.5), he is in good spirits and is looking forward to the rest of the outdoor season.
"At the end of the day you have to be thankful for the blessings you receive," Hill said. "My goal was to go and break the Penn Relays record and I was five centimeters short. At the end of the day, I posted the No. 2 mark in the NCAA this season and I picked up the win in front of my family, so I can't dwell too much on missing the Penn Relays record."
Hill and his family were all smiles atop the Penn Relays podium, as they even took part in a championship selfie.
"I just looked down and I saw my nephew, my niece and my Mom and it was awesome, because they came to the meet to support me," Hill added. "This is the only time of the year that they are able to come see me compete and the past few years my Mom has come down and see her son win."
"To get those experiences and share it with my family is amazing."
With Hill's title Friday, Penn State has claimed seven Penn Relays men's shot put titles in school history, which ranks fourth all-time. Hill also becomes the second Nittany Lion to win two Penn Relays men's shot put titles and back-to-back titles (C.J. Hunter - 1989-90).
Along with Hill, the men's sprint medley relay brought home a first-place finish for the Nittany Lions in thrilling fashion.
It all came down to the All-American Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) against LSU's All-American Blair Henderson. Last year, LSU and Penn State were in different sections in the men's sprint medley relay at the Penn Relays, but Henderson and Kidder anchored their respective teams. LSU won the title last year with its time of 3:17.96.
Friday it was Penn State's turn to hoist the Penn Relays wheel as Kidder split 1:48.90, outkicking Henderson's 1:49.60 down the stretch. Overall, Penn State finished first with its time of 3:21.29 and LSU took second (3:21.95).
"My team put me in a good spot, so I had to try and win it for them," Kidder said.
The Nittany Lions' six Penn Relays men's sprint medley relay titles rank fourth all-time.
The 2015 Penn Relays marked the 30th anniversary of the Penn State men's 4x800-meter relay that finished first with its record time of 7:11.17. On that relay was Alex Shisler's father, Steve.
The women's 4x200-meter relay qualified for Saturday's Championship of America final. The quartet of Megan Osborne (Chillicothe, Ohio), Deja Davis (Shelby Charter Township, Mich.), Quenee Dale (Ypsilanti, Mich.) and Dynasty McGee (Flint, Mich.) clocked in at 1:36.83 for the sixth-fastest time Friday. They will race again Saturday at 2:25 p.m.
Also competing for the Nittany Lions, Brandon Teribery (Bradford, Pa.) tied for sixth in the college section of the men's pole vault with his height of 15-3 and Dannielle Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) claimed the runner-up spot in the college section of the women's triple jump (41-9.25).
Penn State has won three Penn Relays titles this weekend and 113 since 1910.
The Nittany Lions return to action tomorrow at the Penn Relays starting at 9 a.m. with the college section of the men's triple jump.
For more on Nittany Lion track & field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.