White Team Claims Blue-White Intrasquad Meet
Dec. 14, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion track & field teams unofficially kicked off the indoor campaign at the Blue-White Intrasquad Meet at the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track Saturday afternoon with the White team claiming both the men's and women's competitions.
The effort from the white team included a pair of victories from Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster, N.Y.) in the both the weight throw and shot put. On the track, Byron Robinson's (Chesapeake, Va.) facility record in the 300 meters (33.17) highlighted the afternoon's events.
The White Team scored tight wins over the Blue Team on both the men's and women's sides, winning 65-60 in the women's standings and 62-57 in the final men's tally. Overall, the White topped the Blue, 127-117, for bragging rights, as well as the combined title. The Blue and White teams tied when comparing overall victories with 12 wins apiece.
The victories were spread between four athletes in the women's and men's horizontal jumps. Brian Leap (Bellwood, Pa.) jumped 23-4.50 (7.12m) in the long jump to take the Blue-White Intrasquad for the second year in a row. Leap would also take second in the men's triple jump, losing out to junior Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.), who bounded out to 50-2 (15.29m).
On the women's side Brittney Howell (Wyncote, Pa.) also doubled up on a 2012 Blue-White victory to take the long jump with a leap of 18-11.75 (5.78m). Marlene Ricketts (Old Westbury, N.Y.) rounded out the horizontal events with a winning leap in the women's triple jump (38-7, 11.76m).
Kurzdorfer nabbed both her wins in the circle, taking top honors in both the shot put and the 20-lb weight throw. The junior came up just shy of the 50-foot barrier in the shot put, finishing with a toss of 49-8.5 (15.15m), and took the weight throw thanks to an effort of 65-3.25 (19.89).
On the men's side, victories were split between two outstanding upperclassmen. In the weight throw, 2013 NCAA All-American Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) tossed the 35-lb weight out to a mark of 67-9.5 (20.66m), while junior Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) began his indoor campaign with a victory in the shot put of 61-0 (18.59m).
In perhaps the deepest field of the day, Robinson reset the Ashenfelter III Track Record with a time of 33.17 seconds. Running an aggressive race, the true freshman finished just shy of Michael Timpson's school record of 33.01 that was set in 1986. All up, six Penn State athletes ran under the 34-second mark.
Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio) became another athlete to re-enact her successes from the 2012 Blue-White meet by claiming victory in the 300-meters in 37.60. Jones was challenged by sophomore Kiah Seymour (Washington, D.C.), who finished as runner-up in 38.07.
In the shortest event of the day, Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas) returned to the indoor arena with a winning time of 8.47 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles. The redshirt senior was challenged all the way to the line by Shelley Black (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), who completed the event in 8.51 seconds, just 0.04 behind Britton. On the men's side, Sancho Barrett (Amityville, N.Y.) capitalized on an outstanding start to run a near-lifetime best of 7.98 seconds.
Coming off a sensational freshman campaign in 2013, sophomore Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) continued to impress the Ashenfelter Track faithful, running away with the victory in the 3,000-meters. In the race for runner-up, less than a second separated Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) and Nittany Lion teammates Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.) Ean DiSilvio (Pittsburgh, Pa.). In the women's race, Marta Klebe (Chesterbrook, Pa.) continued to build on a successful 2013 cross country campaign to take the women's 3,000-meters in 9:49.79.
Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.) got his sophomore campaign off to a bang with a dominating victory in the 1200m finishing in 2:58.12 to take event. Sophomore Sarah Jane Underwood (Alexandria, Va.) was tops in the event on the women's side, clocking 3:36.83, a near identical time to what she ran for victory in 2012.
In the vertical jumps it was freshmen who dominated on the women's side. Tal Ben-Artzi (Neve Shaanan Haifa, Israel) began her Nittany Lion career with a 5-08.5 (1.74m), winning clearance in the high jump, while Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) took the pole vault with a lifetime best clearance of 12-1.5 (3.70m).
For the men it was upperclassmen leading the way as senior Jon Hendershot (Nazareth, Pa.) cleared 7-0.25 (2.14m) in the high jump, while junior Dylan Bilka (Seven Fields,Pa.) vaulted over 15-1 (4.60m) to round out the vertical jumps.
On Friday night, the Nittany Lions also contested the javelin indoors at nearby Holuba Hall. The Blue Team's Lauren Kenney (State College, Pa.) was the winner of the women's competition in 165-8 (50.50), and Blue Team member Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) topping the men's field with a throw of 232-6 (70.87).
The Lions will be back in action Jan. 11 as they will open the regular season with the Penn State Relays at the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.