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Jan. 14, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) and junior Marlene Ricketts (Westbury, N.Y.) both captured Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors, announced by conference offices on Monday. Loxsom cops "Track Athlete of the Week" status following a world-leading run of 1:46.98 in the 800-meters, last Saturday at the Nittany Lion Challenge. Meanwhile, Ricketts earned "Field Athlete of the Week" laurels, thanks to a career-best and conference-leading performance in the triple jump.
Loxsom's career best was also good for facility, meet, and Penn State records, and also stands as the NCAA leader in 2013. In the effort, the senior bettered his own Ashenfelter facility record of 1:47.36 - set in 2011 - and also overtook Ryan Foster's 1:47.32 school record in the event, which has stood since 2010. The senior's performance is also the first sub-1:47 effort by a collegian on a non-oversized track since 2006. Historically speaking, Loxsom's performance is the 10th fastest ever run by an American collegiate.
Loxsom wasn't the only Nittany Lion to impress in the 800, as freshman Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) blitzed to an impressive 1:48.17 - the second fastest effort in the NCAA this year, and the fourth-best mark by a Nittany Lion in the Penn State record books.
Ricketts led the way in the field events, turning in a career-best leap of 42-0.50 (12.81) to win the triple jump. The junior's mark bears national merit, as the effort now stands as the top performance in the Big Ten this year, as well as the fourth best in the collegiate ranks. Ricketts also climbs to second overall in the all-time Nittany Lion rankings, following only Chi-Chi Aduba's 44-1.50 (13.45) from 2004. The junior had a solid day overall, also placing second in the long jump via a season-best leap of 18-10.50 (5.75)
This week's awards mark the second-straight week of Nittany Lions earning Big Ten recognition, as Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio), Erika Morgan (Chesapeake, Va.), Sancho Barrett (Amityville, N.Y.), and Jon Hendershot (Nazareth, Pa.) each earned conference citations on January 7.
The Nittany Lions will take this weekend off, before hosting the high-powered Penn State National on January 25-26.