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By Alyssa Palfey, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions opened up their indoor season this Saturday as they hosted the Nittany Lion Challenge at their very own Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. This season opener came with both personal records and school records, proving that the team's training this winter has paid off.
Senior Greta Lindsley ran a 4-second personal record in the mile today, showing that her hard work over the winter break was something to be proud of.
"I ended the cross country season I think in the best shape I've been in since I've been at Penn State, so I made sure to have a strong, quick recovery and then get back on the track and working hard," Lindsley said. "The crucial part was training over winter break. It's hard to train alone and in the cold, but I always made it my priority over break, so I think that helped a lot."
Although coming out the first meet of the season and running a personal best is an accomplishment, Lindsley knows that her training does not end here.
"Coming in and PRing in the first me was definitely exciting for me, showing them my hard work has been paying off. Starting off with a PR, I think means that I don't think I'm in peak shape yet, so I think I have a couple more seconds to knock off," Lindsley said. "The goal is just to keep getting stronger and to keep doing the little things, like sleeping, eating, stretching and being committed to being the faster runner I can be."
Along with Lindsley, senior Rachael DeCecco also ran her personal best today. Running a 56.48 in the 400-meter dash, DeCecco beat her best time of 57.28. Even though the 400 isn't her main event, she knows this PR will only confirm that her 600-meter will also improve.
"It's a good start to the season and it'll just get the momentum going for the rest of the season," DeCecco said. "It's kind of cool because the 400 isn't my event, and I PR'ed in it so it'll now translate to my main event the 600. So, hopefully I'll get a PR out of that soon."
DeCecco is also excited to see how this PR will help improve her role as a leg in the 4x4-meter relay. Her split being lower will keep the Nittany Lions on track for a great showing in the Big Ten come championship season.
"PRing in the 400 will hopefully also translate to the 4x4 relay with running a faster split. If I can maintain a leg on the 4x4, and if all of us can split 55's, it'll add up to a total time of 3:40," DeCecco said. "Coach Tucker said to us that those are all really good splits to have to get us in a good spot in the Big Ten, so hopefully that'll translate to a lot of big points at the Big Ten meet in the future."
This first meet not only included some personal bests, it also had two school recording-breaking performances on the men's side. Senior jumper Bryce Williams and junior thrower David Lucas both captured a school record title on this indoor season opener.
"Breaking a school record feels great. I have really been working hard for it. I've just been thinking about it and training for it pretty much since the end of the last track season," Williams said. "It feels good, but I'm not going to be satisfied from here, it's like a stepping stone to keep working and improve to help my team."
"I'm ecstatic about it. I wasn't really sure what was going to happen coming into today," Lucas added. "We haven't throw a regular weight yet in practice, we've thrown 35 pounds but on a longer chain, so it goes further. So, I really didn't have too many expectations coming into this. I just went out and on my first throw, went out and broken the record. I'm very excited about it, really just starting and make my mark in indoors."
These performances only act as a starting point, though. These men are prepared to continue their hard training in order to have an even better performance come late February in the Big Ten Championship meet.
"It's definitely a confidence booster. It's something to be proud of, but it's still early in the season. Just because I jumped this doesn't mean I'll be jumping that at the end of the season, I still have to continue to work hard in practice from here," Williams said.
"I was talking to some guys afterwards and a really cool piece of advice I was given was that I'm not going to try to get too caught up in trying to throw over 70 feet every meet from here on out. I want to try to focus on training, trusting my training. Some meets I'm going to have to train through to try to build and culminate through Big Tens," Lucas said. "I think it's an awesome start and I'm really excited to be over 70 feet moving forward, we are going to keep focused, keep practicing and step up and preform at Big Tens."