Nittany Lion Track and Field Claims Several USTFCCCA Regional Awards
March 11, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Juniors Shavon Greaves (Lakewood, N.J.), Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia), and Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) each earned Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year citations in their respective event areas, while Director and Head Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan, and Associate Head Coach Chris Johnson both claimed regional coaching awards, announced by the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday. Greaves and Foster each garnered Mid-Atlantic Track Athlete of the Year honors, while Kovacs was named Mid-Atlantic Field Athlete of the Year. Sullivan was voted Mid-Atlantic Women's Head Coach of the Year, with Johnson representing the Nittany Lions as Women's Assistant Coach of the Year.
Greaves' 2010 campaign has been one for the record books, as the junior sprinted to Big Ten titles in the 60- and 200-meters last month, while also running a leg on the winning 4x400-meter relay. The junior clocked a world-leading 22.98 in the 200, and assisted on the Lions' 3:35.38 4x400 - both Big Ten Meet Records - on her way to earning Big Ten Athlete of the Year honors. During the season, Greaves set a new school record in the 60 at 7.24, which is also tied for the fourth-fastest mark in Division I. The junior will compete in the 60, 200, and 4x400 at the NCAA Indoor Championships, coming off All-America finishes in the 200 and 4x400 in 2009.
Foster, who earned the regional award for the second-straight year, recently claimed his third-career Big Ten 800-meter title, and enters championship weekend with the second-fastest mark in the country in the half mile at 1:47.32. Foster has been on a tear all season, setting Australian National Indoor Records in both the 800 and 1000-meters. Foster also ran on the third-place distance medley relay at the Big Ten Championships.
Kovacs' toss of 63-5.25 (19.36) in the shot put is the fourth-best effort in the NCAA in 2010, and also an NCAA automatic qualifier. His PR effort is second all-time in the PSU record books. The junior also captured a career-best second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships last month. The junior will be making his first-career appearance at the NCAA Championships this weekend.
Sullivan, who earns the 22nd "Coach of the Year" honor of her career, is in her 11th year as the head coach of the Nittany Lion women and recently led the squad to its fifth Big Ten Championship victory since taking over in 1999. At the conference meet, Sullivan oversaw victories from Greaves in the 60 and 200, Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) in the mile, and the 4x400, and second-place finishes by Franek in the 3,000- and 5,000-meters, and Fawn Dorr (Akron, N.Y.) in the 400-meters. All told, Sullivan coached 15 individual NCAA qualifying performances in 2010, to go along with two relays.
Johnson, who won Mid-Atlantic Women's Assistant of the Year in 2010, is in his sixth year at the helm of the Penn State sprints, hurdles, relays contingent, and is amidst another record-setting campaign in 2010. Along with Greaves, Johnson has coached Dorr to the nation's fourth-fastest effort in the 400-meters at 52.68, which was good for runner-up honors at the Big Ten Championships. Johnson has qualifiers in the NCAA meet in the 60, 200, 400, and 4x400, with Greaves in the 60 and 200, junior Caitlin Defusco (Schwenksville, Pa.) in the 200, Dorr in the 400, and Greaves, Dorr, DeFusco, and freshman Doris Anyanwu (Beltsville, Md.) in the 4x400.
The Lions begin competition at the NCAA Indoor Championships on the campus of the University of Arkansas on Friday.