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March 3, 2013
BLACKSBURG, Va.: -
Redshirt junior Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) reset his own school record in the 35-lb weight throw, leading the Nittany Lion effort, Saturday at the VT Final Qualifier at Virginia Tech. The Nittany Lions were spread across the country for "Last Chance" competitions this weekend, with a small contingent also in the mix at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame.
Barr improved his national standing in the weight, going 69-10.25 (21.29) to better his own school record of 68-5.75 (20.87), which he set at the Big Ten Championships last weekend. Thanks to Saturday's effort, Barr now stands 10th nationally, and in solid position to advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Also faring well in Blacksburg was junior Marlene Ricketts (Westbury, N.Y.), who placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 41-09.75 (12.74) - just off her season-best 42-4.75 (12.92). The junior currently rates 16th in the national standings. A total of 16 athletes (per individual event) will advance to next week's championships.
Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions enjoyed several PR performances in South Bend, led by freshman Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.). Watkins clocked a personal-best 1:48.92 to finish fifth overall in a highly competitive 800-meter field. Senior Ricky West (Toronto, Ontario) also finished with a top 10 standing, placing ninth with a performance of 1:49.33.
Junior Bernard Bennett-Green (Philadlephia, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lions in the sprints, turning in a personal-best 47.72 to finish 13th in the 400 meters. Junior Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio) was the top finisher on the women's side, taking fourth in the women's 200-meters, thanks to a finishing time of 23.90. Jones is also on the bubble for advancing to the NCAA meet, as she currently stands 17th overall with a season-best performance of 23.47.
Senior Sam Masters (Columbia, Mo.) led the way in the distances, taking third in the men's 3,000-meters in 7:59.80 - his second trip under the 8:00 barrier this season. Redshirt-sophomore Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) also ran well in the event, picking up an 11th-place finish, with a PR performance of 8:08.35.
Final selections for the NCAA Indoor Championships will be announced on Monday evening. The championships are slated for March 8-9, at the University of Arkansas.