Nittany Lions Advance 14 to NCAA Outdoor Championships
May 29, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.: May 28, 2011 - Senior Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia) and sophomore Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas) both earned individual bids to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Saturday at the NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round on Billy Hayes Track on the campus of Indiana University. Also, punching their tickets to Des Moines was the 4x400-meter quartet of sophomore Doris Anyanwu (Beltsville, Md.), senior Shavon Greaves (Lakewood, N.J.), junior Ije Iheoma (Holland, Pa.), and Megan Duncan (North Huntingdon, Pa.), thanks to a season-best effort. All told, the Nittany Lions will send 14 athletes to NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake University on June 8-12.
Britton added another event to her NCAA slate on Saturday, qualifying in the 100-meter hurdles, in addition to her automatic bid in the 400-meter hurdles on Friday. Britton ripped a personal-best 13.11 for the 100s, good for third place in her quarterfinal heat. The sophomore will be making her first-career appearance in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and her second-straight trip in the 400 hurdles. Britton, who qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 400 hurdles a year ago, will be joined by Duncan in the event, while Iheoma will represent the Nittany Lions in the open 400-meters at the NCAA Finals, rounding out a stellar sprints women's sprints core.
Foster would advance, moving on in the 1500-meters, which marks his fifth-straight NCAA bid as an individual. Foster clocked 3:47.22 in a tactical quarterfinal, placing fifth in his heat to earn one of the automatic-advancing positions. Foster will headline an outstanding middle distance contingent on the men's side in Des Moines, including sophomore Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) and senior Samuel Borchers (Yellow Springs, Ohio), who both qualified through in the 800-meters on Friday.
Ending the meet with a bang was the foursome of Anyanwu, Greaves, Iheoma, and Duncan, who combined to run a season-best 3:33.41 - the fifth-fastest time of the day, and good for second in their quarterfinal heat. The trip to the NCAA Finals will mark the Nittany Lions' sixth-straight appearance in the mile relay at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Greaves came up just shy of qualifying individually, placing 14th overall in 23.85 - just one hundredth of a second off the 12th and final qualifying position.
Finishing up an outstanding 2011 campaign - which included an NCAA appearance indoors - was junior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.), who placed 20th in the women's 5,000-meter semi-final in 16:43.10. Redshirt freshman Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) also came up short of advancement, finishing as the Lions' top finisher in the men's discus with a 24th place finish. Senior Blake Eaton (Allegany, N.Y.) and redshirt-junior Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) also competed in the discus, but failed the qualify. The duo will still move on to the NCAA meet, having qualified in the shot put on Thursday.
The Nittany Lions will now train for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, scheduled for next month in Des Moines, Iowa. For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log on to www.GoPSUsport.com.