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Track and Field Ends Home Slate With Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup

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Emunael Mpanduki

Jan. 31, 2013

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: January 31, 2013 - The Nittany Lions will welcome another outstanding field to Ashenfelter III Indoor Track this weekend, hosting the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup on Saturday. The team-scored competition is also set to include a handful of special events and promotions, including Senior Day, Officials' Recognition Day, and Military Appreciation Day. The Military Appreciation portion of the program is set to include a slate of "Wounded Warrior" events, including a "featured" shot put completion with 2012 IAAF World Champion and Nittany Lion volunteer assistant Ryan Whiting.

Action at Sykes & Sabock is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m., with the women's weight and women's pentathlon. The competition will continue throughout the afternoon.

About the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup ...
When: Saturday, February 2
Where: Ashenfelter III Indoor Track

Competing Teams ...
Connecticut (M)
Jacksonville (W)
James Madison (W)
Lock Haven
Penn State
South Florida

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On Twitter: @PennStateTFXC (Hashtag - #PSUChallengeCup)
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Special Events and Promotions ...

"Featured" Shot Put - For the second-straight year, the Nittany Lions will contest an "infield" shot put competition, featured volunteer assistant and 2012 IAAF World Champion Ryan Whiting. Whiting - a 2012 U.S. Olympian - will compete alongside veterans for the U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy. The event is slated for a 12:00 p.m., start. The shot put is one of the featured events in the program as a part of "Military Appreciation Day."

Steeple Mania - Marking a first at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track, the Nittany Lions are slated to host the facility's first-ever indoor steeplechase. The 2,000-meter steeplechase - which will include two steeple barriers on the 200-meter track - is set to begin at 11:40 a.m., on Saturday. Highly successful outdoor steeplers Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.), Emily Giannotti (Coudersport, Pa.), and Abbie Benson (Elma, N.Y.) are all set to compete in the women's race.

Senior Send Off - The Nittany Lions will recognize 19 members of its senior class on Saturday. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

Remembering Dr. Lucas - The Nittany Lions are also set to introduce the "John Lucas Athlete of the Meet" award as a part of the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup this weekend. The honor will be awarded to the most outstanding male and female athlete in the competition in memory of long-time Penn State coach and professor, and world renown Olympic historian John Lucas, who passed away in November 2012.

Sykes & Sabock - The Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup is named after two long-time Penn State track and field officials. "Dutch" Sykes was the Intramural Director and Dr. Ralph Sabock a professor in the Department of Kinesiology during their Penn State tenures. Both men served for over 30 years as Penn State Track and Field and Cross Country officials working as clerk of the course, starter and finish judge. They officiated NCAA Championships, all regular season meets, Special Olympics, and physically challenged events. Dr. Sabock's book "Coaching" is still used as a text at Penn State.

Nittany Lion Notes ...

A (Collegiate) Record-Setting Weekend - The men's 4x200-meter contingent of Emunael Mpanduki (Harare, Zimbabwe), Matt Gilmore (Philadelphia, Pa.), Brandon Bennett-Green (Philadelphia, Pa.), and Aaron Nadolsky (Altoona, Pa.) kicked off the two-day Penn State National in record-setting fashion, setting a new collegiate record in the event, last Friday evening. The foursome blitzed to an all-time collegiate-best 1:24.70 - bettering Rutgers' 1:25.05 from 2007. The same quartet broke their own school record of 1:25.52, which was set earlier this month.

Locked on Loxsom - Senior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) garnered Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors for the second time this season on Monday, following his record-setting performance in the 600 meters at the Penn State National last Saturday. Loxsom posted a sizzling 1:15.79 over three laps, setting new Penn State and Ashenfelter III facility records, as well as an American Collegiate Record in the event.

Big Throws in the Weight - The 4x200 weren't the only Nittany Lions to get their names in the record books, as junior Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) set a new Penn State best in the men's weight throw. Barr was on a tear at the PSU National, ending up with a day's best toss of 67-3.50 (20.51), bettering Dorian Lowe's previous school record - 66-5.75 (20.26) - on three of his six attempts.

Sub-4:00 Standout - True freshman Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) dipped under the 4:00 mile barrier, last Saturday at the Penn State National, highlighting a slew of outstanding performances across the board at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. Kidder's effort made it seven-straight years of at least one sub-4:00 performance during the PSU National, while the rookie became just the fourth Nittany Lion to join the sub-4:00 club, and the third in the last three years. Kidder joins former Nittany Lion standouts Ryan Foster, and Larry Mangan on the Nittany Lions' sub-4:00 list, as well as current sophomore Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.), who bettered the barrier as a freshman during the 2012 campaign. Kidder's performance is currently tops among Big Ten competitors, and ranks sixth in Division I. The freshman trails only Foster (3:58.49), and Creese (3:58.94) in the all-time Penn State standings.




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