Loxsom Headlines Eight Nittany Lion Victories at Jesse Owens
April 25, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Sophomore Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) clocked a lifetime-best and conference-leading performance to win the 800-meters, highlighting a total of seven Nittany Lion victories, Sunday at the Jesse Owens Classic at Ohio State University. The Penn State contingent enjoyed six individual victories and one relay win on the afternoon, getting gold-medal efforts from senior Shavon Greaves (Lakewood, N.J.), junior Ije Iheoma (Holland, Pa.), freshman Bekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio), junior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.), sophomore Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas), and junior Hanif Johnson (Harrisburg, Pa.), and the women's 4x400-meter relay.
Loxsom blitzed to the personal-best and Jesse Owens Stadium record 1:46.45, to better the rest of the men's 800 field by nearly two seconds. The sophomore, who was the Big Ten Champion in the event a year ago, now leads the conference in the half mile, and moves to third in Division I with the effort. Loxsom's PR, which stands second in Penn State history, currently ranks ninth in the world according to the IAAF. Teammate Lionel Williams (Staten Island, N.Y.) took sixth in the heat, finishing with a season-best 1:50.13. Simko made it a Nittany Lion sweep in the event, notching her first collegiate victory in 2:10.19 to take the women's title.
Loxsom and Williams also made up half of the Nittany Lions' fifth-place 4x400 on the men's side, which crossed in 3:10.08. The relay also included relay mates Aaron Nadolsky (Altoona, Pa.), and Emunael Mpanduki (Harare, Zimbabwe).
Greaves and Iheoma enjoyed outstanding days on the track, with Greaves taking the 200-meters in 23.70, and Iheoma topping the 400-meter field with a PR 54.00. Both Nittany Lions were also on the winning 4x400, along with teammates Megan Duncan (North Huntingdon, Pa.) and Doris Anyanwu (Beltsville, Md.). The quartet combined to run 3:39.67, finishing nearly four seconds ahead of the rest of the competition. Duncan would also turn in a stellar performance individually, clocking a season-best 58.21 to place second in the 400-meter hurdles - finishing second-to-only Britton, who won the event title in 57.69 - also a 2011 best. The duo now holds the top two marks in the Big Ten this year. Anyanwu notched a top three standing on her own, placing third in the 400, thanks to a season-best 54.62.
Lane led the Lions in the longer distances, running away with the women's mile with a finishing time of 4:49.20, which also stands as a new Owens Stadium record. Johnson was the lone victor for the Lions in the field, taking the men's triple jump with an effort of 49-06.25 (15.09).
In the field, junior Jane Swenson (Brandon, S.D.) tossed a PR 48-01.25 (14.66) to place eighth in the women's shot put, and take over seventh place on the all-time Nittany Lion top 10 list. On the men's side, Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.), and Blake Eaton (Allegany, N.Y.) both recorded top four finishes, placing second and fourth in the event at 57-1 (17.40), and 56-8.50 (17.28).
Junior Jocelyn Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) would also nab a runner-up standings, placing second in the women's pole vault by clearing a season-best 12-07.50 (3.85). Classmate Amanda Palenchar (Bradenville, Pa.) topped out at 12-1.50 (3.70) for third.
Elsewhere, sophomore Nabil Mubarak (Loganville, Ga.), and redshirt-freshman Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) took seventh and ninth places, respectively, in a stacked men's hammer field. Mubarak marked a lifetime-best 185-2 (56.34), while Barr turned in a PR effort of 184-6 (56.24).
Another youngster scoring a collegiate PR was freshman Marlene Ricketts (Westbury, N.Y.), who placed second in the triple jump via a leap of 40-3.50 (12.28).