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May 31, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When the final event was over in Jacksonville, 15 Nittany Lions had qualified through to Eugene, Oregon for the 2014 NCAA Track & Field Championships. All told, Penn State will have competitors in 14 events when the championships kick-off on Wed., June 11.
"We had an amazing first rounds of the ncaa championships," said Director and Head Coach of Penn State Track and Field Beth Alford-Sullivan. "Three days of tough conditions and very tough competitions, but the Nittany Lions got it done and I am so proud of all of our team members. Our senior class members are very special to me and I am honored to have had them apart of our program. Follow us as we continue our NCAA drive in Eugene."
On the track on Saturday, the men's team had two runners auto-qualify for Eugene. Sophomore Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) qualified in the 1500 meters with a 3:45.72, which was fourth-place overall. In the 5000 meters, junior Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) finished fourth in his section to auto-qualify for the NCAA Championships after entering the preliminary meet ranked 39th.
Redshirt-senior Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas) ran a 13.23 in her section of the 100 meter hurdles to punch her ticket to Eugene in that event. Redshirt-senior Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio) is headed to the NCAA Finals in the 200 meters after her 23.14 qualified her for the action in Eugene.
Additionally, the women's 4x400 meter relay team ran a 3:31.65, which is fifth all-time at Penn State. The time was good enough for second-place and an auto-qualifier.
Several Nittany Lions also qualified for the NCAA Championships on Thursday and Friday, including: sophomore Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pennsylvania), senior Brittney Howell (Wyncote, Pennsylvania), junior Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), senior Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster, New York), Brian Leap (Bellwood, Pa.), senior Laura Loht (McClure, Pennsylvania), sophomore Kiah Seymour (Washington, D.C.), and Steven Waithe (Parkland, Md.). Howell will also compete in the heptathlon and redshirt-freshman Rob Cardina (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) will head to Eugene to represent Penn State in the decathlon.
The 2014 NCAA Track & Field Championships will be held in Eugene, Oregon from Wednesday, June 11 through Saturday, June 14.