Track and Field to Conclude Home Slate with Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup
Feb. 2, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Concluding over a month of home action, the Nittany Lion track and field squads will make their final home appearance of the indoor season, this weekend at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup, Saturday at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. The full day of action and events will include Senior Recognition, and Officials' Day, as well as the Nittany Lion's second-annual fundraiser for breast-cancer research "Compete for a Cure." The competition is also set to feature an elite shot put section, including Olympic hopeful, and former six-time NCAA Champion Ryan Whiting of Nike. Action is slated to get underway at 9:00 a.m., Saturday.
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The Nittany Lions have enjoyed outstanding success thus far in 2012, coming off some of their best results of the season at the Penn State National last weekend. Among a slew of standout performances was the school-record effort from the women's distance medley relay team, with members Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.), Ijeoma Iheoma (Holland, Pa.), Bekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio), and Kara Millhouse(Boiling Springs, Pa.). The quartet combined to run 11:05.16 - to shatter the previous record by almost 10 seconds - a post one of the fastest efforts in the country this season. Lane and Millhouse would both bounce back for individual victories on the weekend, with Lane taking the mile run, and Millhouse winning the 3,000 meters.
Also in top form throughout the early season has been middle distance duo junior Casimir Loxsom(New Haven, Conn.) and freshman Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.), who provided a one-two finish in the 800 meters last weekend. Prior to the Penn State National, Loxsom and Creese both set school records at the Nittany Lion Challenge, with Loxsom going 1:16.66 for 600 meters, and Creese running a collegiate-record 2:19.53 for the 1000 meters. Creese will vie for another outstanding performance this weekend, competing in the mile run.
Leading the way in the sprints and hurdles has been junior Evonne Britton(El Paso, Texas), who clocked a PR 8.20 as the top collegiate in the field last weekend. Britton's lifetime-low effort rates second in PSU history, and currently stands sixth in the NCAA.
Sophomore Melissa Kurzdorfer(Lancaster, N.Y.) has also been on fire, turning in a pair of victories in the throws last week, with PR efforts in both the shot put and 20-lb weight throw. In fact, Kurzdorfer broke into the Penn State records books in the effort as her 50-2 (15.29) toss in the shot put stands fifth in school history, while her performance of 64-10.50 (19.77) in the weight ranks third in the Nittany Lion archives.
Senior Hanif Johnson(Harrisburg, Pa.) has paced the Nittany Lions in the horizontal jumps, having posted a career indoor best leap of 51-9 (15.77) to finish second in the triple jump last weekend. Johnson's leap is one of the 10 best in the country this season, as well as top three mark in the conference.
Action starts with the women's pentathlon and men's 35-lb weight throw at 9:00 a.m., on Saturday, and runs throughout the day.
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