|Follow PSU Track & Field:||Follow @PennStateTFXC|
By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State track and field program is back in action at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track this Saturday in the Penn State Tune-Up after last weekend's road competitions.
The Penn State Tune-Up marks the last meet before the Big Ten Indoor Championships next weekend and it's the last home meet of the indoor season. It's the last opportunity for Nittany Lion athletes to supplant themselves into the postseason with top performances and a chance to build confidence before the Big Ten and NCAA Indoor Championships.
"When you look at the performances that we've been this year as a program so far I'm very pleased our programs are rounding out well with all event areas, sprinters, jumpers, throwers, middle distance runners, and distance runners all having a phenomenal season so far, so I'm excited for the Big Ten Indoor Championships," said head coach John Gondak at spring sports media day.
With the postseason nearing, some of the top Penn State athletes will get a well-needed rest in order to prepare for the Big Ten Championships after having five meets in six weeks. Saturday is a chance for younger members of the team to show what they can do in competition.
Saturday's meet gets underway with the women's shot put starting at noon and the meet concludes with the women's 4x400-meter relay event.
The Nittany Lions will compete against athletes from Georgetown, West Virginia, Connecticut, Elon, Coppin State, Susquehanna, Messiah, Lebanon Valley, Dickinson, and Monroe College.
As for last weekend's results, several Penn State distance runners competed in the Husky Classic at the University of Washington. Redshirt-freshman Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pa.) broke the 31-year-old school record in the 5,000-meters with a time of 15:46.08 in that meet. Barrett's time sits at seventh-best in the country and second among freshmen. Her record-breaking performance marked the seventh time a Penn State record has been broken this season.
Barrett's distance running teammate, senior Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) ran a personal best in the 3,000-meters with a time of 9:13.65 in the same meet.
The majority of the Nittany Lions competed in the Fastrack National Invite at the new Ocean Breeze indoor track in Staten Island, New York. Penn State was victorious in five events with wins in on the track, on the field, and in the throws last Saturday. Senior Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) continued her hot throwing to take two events for the Nittany Lions. Fatherly won the shot put with her best throw of 16.62m (54'-6.50") and won the weight throw with a season best toss of 20.42m (67'-0").
School recorder holder Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) claimed the pole vault title. The junior's clearance of 4.20m (13'-9.50") earned herself the win for the second straight week.
Also in the field events, freshman Madeline Holmberg (Greensburg, Pa.) won the long jump with a season-best leap of 5.91m (19'-4.75").
On the track, school record holder Xavier Smith (Douglassville, Pa.) won the 60-meters final with a time of 6.80 seconds.
For more on Nittany Lion track and field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.