Hanslovan, Vellenoweth Set School Records at Penn State Open
May 9, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: May 9, 2009 - In their final tune up prior to the Big Ten Championships, the Nittany Lion track and field proved to be in top form going into the conference meet, notching two school records and three new NCAA regional qualifying marks at the Penn State Open, Saturday at Nittany Lion Track. Senior John Vellenoweth (Wheeling, W.Va.) was the first to claim a spot in the Nittany Lion record book, clearing 17-05.50 (5.32) in the pole vault - the 13th highest jump in the NCAA this season, and second best in the Big Ten. Later in the afternoon, sophomore Kim Hanslovan (DuBois, Pa.) launched a career-long and school-record 178-04 (54.35) to win the javelin. The mark is the fifth-best throw in the country this season and tops in the East Region.
The Lions also saw another pair of athletes better the NCAA regional standard for the first time this season, with Brad Lawrence (Voorhees, N.J.) attaining the mark in the pole vault and Joe Gingerelli (Ridge-Wood, N.J.) achieving the standard in the javelin. Lawrence cleared a height of 16-06.75 (5.05) to finish second on the day behind Vellenoweth, while Gingerelli tossed a career-best 204-01 (62.21), also good for runner-up honors. Senior Emma Schmelzer (Bloomington, Ill.) - already a regional qualifier in the shot put and discus - added another regional performance to her resume, posting a personal-best throw of 177-11 (54.22) to win the hammer.
"Overall, it was a great day for the Nittany Lions highlighted by the school records from Vellenoweth and Hanslovan," said Director of Track and Field and head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. "The windy conditions allowed for some great performances in some events but proved a little difficult in some others. I think this definitely proves we are ready for some great things during our championship season."
Along with the three new regional efforts, several Lions bettered upon their previous NCAA qualifiers, including sophomore Bianca Fung (North Babylon, N.Y.), who posted a leap of 20-05.75 (6.24) to win the long jump. Fung had an impressive afternoon overall, clearing a career-best 5-07.25 (1.71) to finish second in the high jump.
The Nittany Lions also got several wins in the field, including Jocelyn Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) in the pole vault, Bradlee Foerschner (North East, Pa.) and Joe Kovacs (Nazereth, Pa.) in the shot put, and Adam Thielemann (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) in the discus.
The Lions hit the championship trail next weekend, traveling to the Big Ten Championships at Ohio State University. Action is schedule for May 15-17, at Jesse Owens Stadium.