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May 7, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: May 7, 2010 - Senior Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) clocked an NCAA-leading performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in her final appearance on her own track, Friday evening at the Penn State Outdoor Open. Franek's effort headlined a host of solid performances from the Nittany Lion track and field squads, who are just a week out for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, to be hosted at Indiana University next weekend. Freshman Collin Manning (Bowie, Md.) paced the Nittany Lions in the men's results, taking top honors in both the 100- and 200-meter dash.
Franek, who holds the Penn State school record in the event at 9:36.74, clocked a new Nittany Lion Track record, running 9:54.70 for the steeplechase, to better Colorado's Emma Coburn, who held the nation's previous best at 9:56.29. Franek's performance is the best in the NCAA Eastern standings by nearly 10 seconds, and the fastest in the Big Ten Conference by almost 11 seconds.
Manning put up a pair of personal bests on his way to two event victories, running 10.64 for the 100, and 21.84 in the 200. Teammate Emunael Mpanduki (Harare, Zimbabwe) placed second in both dashes, with times of 10.92, and 22.17. Junior Lionel Williams (Staten Island, N.Y.) would also claim a victory in the sprints, winning the 400-meters in 48.33. Senior Aleesha Barber (Decatur, Ga.) was the top finisher in the women's sprints and hurdles, scoring a top finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a finishing time of 13.60. Junior Megan Duncan (North Huntingdon, Pa.) was tops in the 400-meter hurdles, posting a season-best 59.39.
The Lions enjoyed a trio of victories and personal bests across the board in the men's throws, with junior Blake Eaton (Allegany, N.Y.) taking the shot put, thanks to an outdoor PR toss of 59-01.50 (18.02). Redshirt sophomore Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) was tops in the discus with a PR effort of 166-09 (50.84), while senior Cory Eck (State College, Pa.) was the victor in the hammer with a mark of 194-07 (59.30) - also a career best, as well as the fifth-best throw in Nittany Lion history.
Senior Ryan Fritz (Parkesburg, Pa.) was also outstanding in his final appearance in Happy Valley, matching his own career-best leap of 7-02.50 (2.20) in the high jump. Fritz's clearance is one of the 10 best jumps in the country this season, and currently ranks third among Big Ten competitors. Freshman Sean Reilly (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) placed second in the competition, topping out at a collegiate-best 6-08.75 (2.05).
The Nittany Lions also mounted a stellar effort in the women's jumps, with sophomore Tanaya Lloyd (Philadelphia, Pa.) winning the triple jump with a personal-best 40-10.50 (12.46). Lloyd's performance also cracks the Penn State all-time top 10 list, as the sophomore now stands sixth in Nittany Lion history. Junior Bianca Fung (North Babylon, N.Y.) made it a clean sweep in the horizontals, taking the long jump with a leap of 19-10.75 (6.06). Senior Caitlin Fairbairn (Coatesville, Pa.) would also earn a win, clearing a career-outdoor best 12-08.25 (3.87) in the pole vault, while classmate Brittany Maun (Greensburg, Pa.) topped out at a season-best 5-09.75 (1.77) in the high jump, claiming first place.
In the throws, junior Karlee McQuillen (Johnstown, Pa.) claimed a victory in the women's javelin with a season-best 163-05 (49.82). The Lions would pick up another pair of throws victories on the afternoon, with sophomores Anna Muzio (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Jenna Witmer (Lampeter, Pa.) winning the shot put and the discus, respectively.
Junior Samuel Borchers (Yellow Springs, Ohio) scored a win in the 1500-meters, going 3:47.21, while sophomore Hanif Johnson (Harrisburg, Pa.) jumped 48-03.25 (14.71) to win the triple jump, adding another pair of victories to the Lion total.
The Lions are now onto the championship portion of the outdoor season, traveling to Bloomington, Ind., for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, set for May 14-16.