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Friday, February 26
Saturday, February 27
Feb. 24, 2016
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State track & field teams are set to compete in the 2016 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships at the SPIRE Institute, one of the largest indoor competition complexes in the world, in Geneva, Ohio starting Friday, February 26.
The Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships will be the final opportunity for the Nittany Lions to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The top-16 individuals and top-12 relays in their respective events will qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Heading into this weekend, Penn State has eight NCAA-qualifying performances. Malik Moffett is currently ranked 17th in the nation in the men’s 200-meters with a season best of 21.02 set during the Penn State National on January 29th.
LEADING THE B1G
According to Track & Field Results and Reporting System (TFRRS), the Nittany Lions have the top performance in five events.
Big Ten event leaders entering the meet include Xavier Smith in the 60-meters (6.68), Malik Moffett in the 200-meters (21.02), Brannon Kidder in the 800-meters (147.01), the men’s distance medley relay (9:27.20), and Dannielle Gibson in the women’s triple jump with a season best mark of 43’-1.5” (13.14m).
The Nittany Lions currently have 11 top-20 performances in 10 NCAA championship events.
On the track, Brannon Kidder ranks fifth in the 800-meters (1:47.01) while true freshman Isaiah Harris is seventh in the same event with his personal best time of 1:47.31. Tessa Barrett is seventh in the 5,000-meters running a school record time of 15:46.08 earlier this season in Seattle, Wash. along with teammate senior Tori Gerlach who also set a school record in the mile running 4:37.83, breaking the record of 4:37.95 set by 2012 Olympian Bridget Franek in 2010.
Gerlach is also ranked 12th in the 3,000-meters with her season best time of 9:13.65. Sophomore Malik Moffett sprung onto the national scene in the 200-meters when he clocked the No. 17 time in the nation, currently, at the Penn State National finishing the race in a time of 21.02 seconds.
In the field, Rachel Fatherly ranks seventh in the shot put (56-8/17.27m) and 20th in the weight throw (67-3.25/20.50m) In the triple jump and high jump, Dannielle Gibson is 14th (43-1.50/13.14m) and Chisom Ifedi is 16th with a best clearance on the season of 7’1.50” (2.17m), respectively.
NO. 17 IN THE NATION
The Penn State men's track & field team is ranked No. 17 in the National Computer Rankings, as released Monday afternoon (Feb. 23) by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
MOVIN' ON UP
The Nittany Lions have set 21 top-five performances in school history during the 2016 indoor season, including seven school records.
The Nittany Lions have one individual and one relay looking to defend their 2015 Big Ten titles.
Tori Gerlach is the defending champion in the women's 5,000-meter run, capturing last year’s Big Ten title with her time of 16:04.64. The men's distance medley relay has won four-straight titles following their 2015 title run of 9:40.62.
BTN will air tape-delayed coverage of the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 5. Events will also be streamed live on Friday and Saturday on BTN Plus via BTN2Go.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Penn State track & field program travels to Birmingham, Ala., for the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The NCAA meet takes place at the Birmingham Metro CrossPlex, March 11-12. To qualify for the NCAA meet, the top-16 individuals and top-12 relays are selected.
For more on Nittany Lion track & field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.