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April 2, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following outstanding performances from a pair of multi's at last weekend's Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, the rest of the Nittany Lion track and field squads will get the chance to kick off their outdoor seasons this weekend at the Stanford Invite and Crimson Tide Invite at the University of Alabama. Including many of the top collegiate athletes from around the country, along with some of the world's most outstanding professionals, this year's Stanford Invite looks to produce some of the top marks in the country this season.
The Stanford Invite is slated to begin on Friday, April 4, and conclude on Saturday, April 5, at Cobb Track in Stanford, Calif. This year's Crimson Tide Invite also looks to be one of the top team scored meets across the country. The Crimson Tide Invite is slated to begin Saturday, April 5, in the morning, and will conclude later in the evening at Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
Coming off of a first place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Nittany Lion women's squad is poised for more success during the outdoor season at the Crimson Tide Invite. Paced by All-Americans Kiah Seymour (Washington, D.C.), Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio.), along with Penn State's 4x400 meter relay that placed fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the Nittany Lions expect to open their season with some NCAA-contending performances.
Indoors, Seymour won the 400-meter dash at Big Ten Indoor Championships and finished sixth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Seymour will look to open up the outdoor season strong as she gets her first taste of 400-hurdles for the year. Last year, she finished 11th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and was the highest placing freshman in the field.
Jones had an extremely productive senior campaign, finishing third in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Championships in a time of 22.93. She looks to improve on her 10th-place finish at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Also returning after an impressive 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championship showing are Laura Loht (McClure, Pa.) and Lauren Kenney (State College, Pa.). Last year, Loht finished fourth in the javelin with a toss of 176-9 (53.88) and Kenney finished fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The Nittany Lions will also field an experienced and decorated travel squad on the men's side, including NCAA All-American Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.), who finished seventh at the NCAA Indoor Championships at 800-meters, along with mid-distance standout Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio.), who finished third at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Also opening up his 2014 campaign in his signature event will be freshman Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.), who finished 24th in the javelin at the NCAA Outdoor Championships a year ago.
A small contingent of athletes will compete at the Stanford Invite, including Wade Endress (Altoona, Pa.), who will make his first appearance of the season in the 1500-meter run. The Nittany Lions will also send Big Ten fourth place finisher Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.), and Big Ten 3000-meter champion Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) to Stanford to compete in the 5000-meter run.
For more on Nittany Lion track and field as well as results, videos, interviews, and recap throughout the Stanford and Crimson Tide Invites, log on to www.GoPSUsports.com.