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Jan. 10, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coming off a productive season opener last weekend, the Nittany Lion track and field squads will be back in action again on Saturday, hosting the Nittany Lion Challenge at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. Penn State will welcome an outstanding field for the competition, including squads from Albany, Cornell, Maryland, Oklahoma and Pittsburgh. Competition at Ashenfelter Track is slated to get underway at 11:00 a.m.
The Nittany Lion men's squad leads a trio of ranked programs attending this weekend at No. 18, in the latest USTFCCCA standings. The Oklahoma men open up the season at No. 24, while Pittsburgh rounds at the preseason ratings at No. 25.
The Nittany Lions got the season off on the right foot last weekend, totaling 18 event victories, as well as two school-record performances. Leading the way were high-jump standouts Jon Hendershot (Nazareth, Pa.) and Erika Morgan (Chesapeake, Va.), who both claimed victories in conference-leading fashion. Hendershot cleared 7-0.50 (2.15) in the win, which is tied for the Big Ten lead, as well as the fourth-best performance in the country this year. Morgan also performed in fine style, clearing a lifetime-best 5-10.50 (1.79), which ranks third all-time in the Penn State record books.
Also turning in a stellar season opener was junior Marlene Ricketts (Westbury, N.Y.), who currently ranks first in the Big Ten and second in the country in the women's triple jump. Ricketts opened up with a leap of 41-9.25 (12.73) in her signature event, which moved her up to third on the all-time Penn State top five list.
About the Penn State Relays ...
When: Saturday, January 12
Where: Ashenfelter III Indoor Track (Multi-Sport Facility)
Start Times: 11:00 a.m. - Field Events; 12:15 a.m. - Track Events
Results: Follow LIVE on GoPSUsports.com; or on Twitter @PennStateTFXC
Nittany Lion Notes
Last Time Out ...
Bolstered by 18 victories on the afternoon, the Nittany Lion track and field squads got the 2013 season off to a stellar start, last Saturday at the Penn State Relays at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. Among the list of top-notch performances were school-record efforts in both the men's and women's 4x200-meter relay, along with meet-record setting showings by senior Jane Swenson(Brandon, S.D.) in the women's shot, and freshman Victoria Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) in the women's mile.
Big Ten Sweep ...
The Nittany Lion track and field squads swept the weekly Big Ten awards on Monday, as redshirt junior Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio), and sophomore Sancho Barrett (Amityville, N.Y.) earned Track Athlete of the Week status, while senior Erika Morgan (Chesapeake, Va.), and junior Jon Hendershot (Nazareth, Pa.) copped the weekly honors in the field events. Penn State is coming off a successful season opener at the Penn State Relays last weekend, where the Nittany Lions set a pair of school records, and four meet records en route to a total of 18 event victories.
Roaring in the Rankings ...
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. 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.
Blue-White Results ...
The Blue Team scored comfortable wins over the White Team on both the men's and women's sides at the Blue-White Meet on December 15, winning 67-60 in the women's standings, and 68-61 in the final men's tally. Overall, the Blue topped the White, 135-121, for bragging rights, as well as the combined title. The Blue Team also outdid it's White Team opponents in overall victories, claiming a total 16 wins out of 26 total events.
Recognizable Recruiting ...
The 2012 Nittany Lion men's track and field recruiting class has been ranked No. 5, nationally, according to the latest edition of Track & Field News. Penn State welcomes a bevy of talent to the 2012-13 roster, including middle distance standouts Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio), and Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.) as well as highly touted javelin specialist Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.). The Nittany Lions also welcome All-American Ricky West, who is attending graduate school at Penn State following a decorated career at the University of Missouri.