Nittany Lions Travel Strong Contingent to NCAA Indoor Championships
March 12, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -Just two weeks removed from the Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Nittany Lion track and field team will look to fire on all cylinders once again this weekend, traveling to the NCAA Indoor Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center. A talented squad across all event areas Penn State will send a contingent of eight men and seven women, with many athletes poised for All-America finishes.
The No. 8 ranked Nittany Lion men's program will field a healthy contingent of competitors, including sophomores Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio.), and Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.) in the 800 meters, junior Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.) in the triple jump, senior Jon Hendershot (Nazareth, Pa.) in the high jump and redshirt-senior Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) in the weight throw, along with the top-seeded distance medley relay, which clocked a collegiate-leading 9:26.59 at Penn State National in January.
The Nittany Lions will also be represented well on the women's side as they bring senior Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio.) in the 60- and 200-meter dash, sophomore Kiah Seymour (Washington, DC.) in the 400 meter dash, senior Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas.) in the 60 meter hurdles, senior Brittney Howell (Wyncote, Pa.) in the pentathlon, along with the sixth seeded 4x400 meter relay team.
Kidder and Watkins will take on the NCAA field as individuals, with both Nittany Lions entering the competition with top 15 performances nationally in the 800-meter run. Kidder has been on a tear this indoor season, running the No. 2 time in the NCAA of 1:47.45 for the 800, while Watkins stands No. 11 with his run of 1:48.11. Kidder was the individual winner at the Big Ten Championships, taking the 800 meters in a time of 1:49.52. Barr also stands to make a splash in his second-career NCAA Indoor appearance, as the senior goes in as the ninth-rated participant in the men's weight, thanks to a PR and school-record throw of 70-6.5 (21.50), at the Big Ten Championships.
Waithe and Hendershot will be making their first-career NCAA appearances, with Waithe coming into the competition with a personal-best mark of 52-6 (16.00m). The junior has had an outstanding indoor overall, recently finishing second in the triple jump at the Big Ten Championships.
On the women's side, Jones and Britton will be making their second career appearances at the indoor championships. Jones comes in seeded ninth in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.26 along with a sixth place seed time in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.10. Britton will look to improve on her school record time of 8.10 in the 60-meter hurdles, where she is seeded eighth.
Seymour and Howell will be making their first-career NCAA appearances, with Seymour coming in with a personal best time of 52.53, which seeds her ninth. The sophomore has had an outstanding indoor campaign including earning Athlete of the Championship thanks to her win in the 400-meter dash and runner-up finish in the 200-meter dash at the recent Big Ten Indoor Championships.
Howell comes into the competition with a 14th seed mark after compiling 4061 points at the Penn State National in January. Howell's most recent efforts include a fourth place showing at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in the pentathlon along with an appearance in the 60-meter hurdles final.
The women will also represent in the final race of the championships, the 4x400-meter relay. The squad of junior Dynasty McGee (Flint, Michigan), Jones, freshman Tichina Rhodes (Philadelphia, Pa.), and Seymour will enter the meet as the seventh-ranked relay in 2014. In 2014 this line-up remains undefeated, including victories at the Penn State National, Sykes & Sabock Challenge, SPIRE D-1 Invitational, and the Big Ten Indoor Championships.
Action gets underway on Friday morning in Albuquerque, and runs through Saturday evening.
4:00 p.m. MT (6:00 p.m. ET) - Men's High Jump (Trials and Final)
6:45 p.m. MT (8:45 p.m. ET) - Women's 60m Hurdles (Semifinals)
7:10 p.m. MT (9:10 p.m. ET) - Women's 400 Meters (Semifinals)
7:35 p.m. MT (9:35 p.m. ET) - Women's 60 Meters (Semifinals)
8:15 p.m. MT (10:15 p.m. ET) - Women's 200 Meters (Semifinals)
9:10 p.m. MT (10:10 p.m. ET) - Women's 200 Meters (Finals)
9:15 p.m. MT (11:15 p.m. ET) - Men's Distance Medley Relay (Final)
Saturday, March 15
6:00 p.m. MT (8:00 p.m. ET) - Men's Triple Jump
6:30 p.m. MT (8:30 p.m. ET) - Women's 60 Hurdles (Finals)