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Jan. 9, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion men's track and field squad will start the indoor season ranked 18th nationally, according the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) preseason rankings. The Nittany Lions started the 2013 indoor campaign with the Penn State Relays last weekend, and will continue their month-long homestand on Saturday, hosting the Nittany Lion Challenge at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.
Penn State returns a bevy of talent from the 2012 squad, along with a host of talented newcomers for 2013. Leading the way is the Nittany Lions' decorated middle-distance contingent, headlined by 2012 USTFCCCA Second Team All-Americans senior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) and sophomore Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.). Loxsom clocked 1:47.93 for the 800 meters in 2012 - which stands as the seventh fastest among 2013 returners nationally, while Creese's 3:58.94 mile PR from last year currently ranks 13th in Division I. The Lions also add senior Ricky West (Toronto, Ontario) to the 2013 roster. West ran 1:47.81 for 800 in 2012 while at the University of Missouri. The performance is the sixth fastest among returners.
In the sprints, the Nittany Lions own the third-best 4x400-meter relay performance from a year ago at 3:05.22. Also making an appearance in the rankings are junior sprint standouts and key relay legs Brandon Bennett-Green (Philadelphia, Pa.), and Aaron Nadolsky (Altoona, Pa.). Bennett-Green holds the Lions' top 400-meter time from 2012 at 46.82, with Nadolsky just behind at 47.01.
The Lions also have things covered in the field events, led by senior Sean Reilly (Lagrangeville, N.Y.), and redshirt-junior William Barr (Urbana, Ohio), who both rank in the national top 25 in their respective events. Reilly topped out at 7-1.75 (2.18) in the high jump in 2012, which ranks 23rd nationally, while Barr stands 22nd in Division I, thanks to a PR toss of 63-9.50 (19.44) in the 35-lb weight throw a year ago. Junior Jon Hendershot (Nazareth, Pa.) is also climbing the charts in the high jump, having cleared 7-0.50 (2.15) at the Penn State Relays last weekend.
The Nittany Lions are one of four Big Ten squads in the latest rankings, with Indiana and Minnesota leading the way at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Wisconsin also earned a spot in the top 15 at No. 12.
The next round of the USTFCCCA rankings are set to be released on January 22.