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Nittany Lions to Host Top-Notch Penn State National

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Robby Creese

Jan. 24, 2013

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: January 24, 2013 - The Nittany Lion track and field squads are set to welcome over 40 programs to campus this weekend, for the high-powered Penn State National, which is set for Friday and Saturday at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. The field is also set to feature some of the sport's top professionals, including former Nittany Lion standout and 2012 Olympian Shana Cox. Aside from the competition, the Nittany Lions are slated to host a bevy of special events and promotions, with the team's annual Code Blue event set for Friday evening, and the Nittany Lions' annual fundraiser for breast-cancer research - Compete for a Cure.

About the Penn State National ...
When: Friday and Saturday, January 25-26
Where: Ashenfelter III Indoor Track

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From the Pro Ranks ...
The Penn State National will feature several top athletes from the professional ranks, including two-time IAAF World Champion Bershawn Jackson of GW Express. Cox, who finished fifth as a member of the Great Britain 4x400-meter relay at the 2012 Olympics, will be back on her home turf in the 400 meters, along with several standout collegians. Also set to run is Fracena McCorory - formerly of Hampton University - who took gold medal honors in London as a member of the United States' 4x400.

Olympic Accomplishments ...
Among the Olympians set to compete this weekend is Nittany Lion redshirt-sophomore Kirsten Nieuwendam (Parimaribo, Suriname). Nieuwendam is a two-time Olympian in the 200-meters, and has enjoyed a stellar career as a Nittany Lion, including a silver-medal finish in the 400 at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Also set to run is former Villanova standout and 2012 Olympian Sheila Reid. Reid, who was a multiple time NCAA Champion as a Wildcat, is set to headline a sensational section of the women's mile run.

By the Numbers ...
The Penn State National boasts six-straight sub-4:00 miles, with a field poised for another barrier-breaking performance in 2013. The field is also set to include a trio of Nittany Lion standouts including sophomore Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.), freshman Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio), and senior Sam Masters (Columbia, Mo.), who are all fit and ready for outstanding competition. Creese dipped under the 4-minute barrier as a freshman, going 3:58.94 in 2012. Kidder has also been on fire this season, running 1:48.17 in the 800 meters at the Nittany Lion Challenge earlier this month.

Collegiate Records Attempts ...
The Lions, who have already bettered the Penn State record in the 4x200-meter relay this season, will compete against St. Augustine's and Georgetown in an exciting "invitational" section on Friday evening. The foursome of Emunael Mpanduki (Harare, Zimbabwe), Brandon Bennett-Green (Philadlephia, Pa.), Aaron Nadolsky (Altoona, Pa.), and Matt Gilmore (Philadelphia, Pa.) ran 1:25.52 in the event earlier this month - just off Rutgers' 1:25.05 from 2007.

Locked on Loxsom ...
Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.), who ripped to a world-leading and school-record 1:46.98 for the 800 two weeks ago, will look to rewrite the record books again this weekend, competing in the 600-meters on Saturday afternoon. Loxsom already holds the Penn State and Ashenfelter III facility record at 1:16.66.




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