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April 23, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -Coming in as the defending champion in two relays, and multiple field events, the Nittany Lion track and field squads will aim to fire on all cylinders this weekend at the prestigious Penn Relays Carnival at historic Franklin Field.
The Nittany Lions enter as the returning two-time defending champion in the men's 4x800-meter relay. The Blue and White contingent will be poised and ready to make another run at their signature event, traveling a healthy stable of middle distance athletes, as well as standouts in the sprints.
Penn State owns seven Penn Relays 4x800 crowns with victories in 1923, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 2012, and 2013. The seven titles are the fourth most by any program in Relays history. The Nittany Lions have been on a roll in the event over the past five years, posting four-straight top three standings in one of the Relays' signature events.
The Nittany Lions also stand to make a splash in the sprints, with three of four members of their Penn Relays IC4A 4x400 championship team from 2013, Brandon Bennett-Green (Elkins Park, Pa.), Alex Shisler (State College, Pa.) and Bernard Bennett-Green(Elkins Park, Pa.)
The Nittany Lions will look to compete in the field events as 2012 Penn Relays javelin champion Lauren Kenney (State College, Pa.) faces off against 2013 Penn Relays javelin champion Laura Loht (McClure, Pa.) Thursday evening. The Nittany Lions will be looking for their fifth-straight win in the event at Penn, following former Nittany Lion Karlee McQuillen, who won in 2010 and 2011. The Nittany Lions have dominated the event over the years, with a total of seven titles in the books - the most by any program in Relays history.
Melissa Kurzdorfer(Lancaster, N.Y.) came away with a decisive victory in the hammer two years ago, posting a toss of 205-1 (62.53) to pick up her first-career Penn Relays watch. Last year she finished second in the discus at Penn Relays, thanks to a season-best toss of 166-9 (50.82). At this year's carnival she will again compete in both events.
The Nittany Lions will also look to have an impact in the women's sprints as they are set to run in the 4x400 meter relay and sprint medley relay. Last year, the Nittany Lion 4x400-meter women's squad held their own in the "Championship of America" section, taking fourth-place overall, thanks to a finishing time of 3:33.47 - the second-fastest performance among Big Ten squads that season. Both the men and women will put forth strong line-ups in the sprint-medley relay. A combination of sprinting and middle distance running - the Nittany Lion's will be looking to sweep both titles.
Action at the Relays begins at 10:00 a.m., Thursday morning and concludes on Saturday evening.
About the Penn Relays ...
When: Thursday-Saturday, April 24-26, 2014
Where: Franklin Field (University of Pennsylvania)
Coverage and Information: www.thePennRelays.com
Meet Results: www.PennRelaysOnline.com