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Feb. 9, 2013
SEATTLE, Wash. - Sophomore Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) blitzed to a sizzling-school record 3:57.11 in the mile, Saturday at the Husky Classic at the University of Washington. Creese's effort, which ranks second in the NCAA this season, was one of an extensive list of sensational performances by the Nittany Lions in Seattle. Also adding his name to the Penn State record books was senior Sam Masters (Columbia, Mo.), who ripped to a PR 7:54.52 for 3,000-meters to better the long-standing Penn State standard in the event.
Creese finished as the top collegian in a loaded men's mile field, which included a talented roster of professional and collegiate athletes. Andrew Bumbalough, formerly of Georgetown and now running for the Oregon Track Club, was the eventual winner, crossing the finish line in 3:56.12 - ahead of fellow professional runners Evan Jager, and Donn Cabral. Creese's PR performance betters Ryan Foster's 3:58.49 from the 2010 campaign, and is also his third career trip under the 4:00 barrier. In fact, two of Creese's sub-4:00s have been run as part of the UW Husky Classic. The 3:57.11 effort is current second in the national rankings, behind only Oklahoma's Patrick Casey at 3:56.28.
Masters held his own in a sensational field, to finish ninth in his section and upend Ken Frasier's long-standing 8:00.78 school record, which has stood since 1989. Masters' performance stood up for 13th overall including boast heats of the Husky Classic's outstanding "invitational" section. The senior, who stands third in the conference in the event, was also tops among a string of Big Ten competitors in the field.
The record-setting duo weren't only Nittany Lion to succeed in Seattle, as the Penn State contingent enjoyed PR marks from the majority of Saturday's competitive roster. Junior Marta Klebe (Chesterbrook, Pa.) paced things on the women's side, finishing with a PR 2:09.71 in the 800-meters, placing third overall in the open section of the event. Freshman Sarah Jane Underwood (Alexandria, Va.) also ran well in the half mile, finishing fifth in the open section with a finishing time of 2:10.75.
Sophomore Ryan Brennan (Chester, N.Y.) would also turn in a PR, going 1:50.28 - good for third in the men's open 800. Senior Ricky West (Toronto, Ontario) was the Nittany Lions' top finisher in the "Invite" 800, placing sixth in his heat in 1:49.64.
Along with Masters, the Nittany Lions were on fire in the 3Ks throughout the afternoon, including PRs from both Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) and Abbie Benson (Elma, N.Y.), who clocked career lows of 9:31.91, and 9:37.81, in the women's "invitational" section. Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.) and Tyler Corkedale (West Windsor, N.J.) would turn in career bests in the men's open 3,000, with Scarpello going 8:10.00, and Corkedale following in 8:10.85. Both Nittany Lion men were among the top 20 finishers in the open heats.
The majority of the Nittany Lion squads will take next weekend off prior to the Big Ten Indoor Championships, which are set for February 22-23, at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. A partial squad will travel to the elite Millrose Games in New York City on Saturday, February 16.