Personal-Best Efforts Highlight Jim Thorpe
May 4, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: May 4, 2012 - Sophomore Kirsten Nieuwendam (Parimaribo, Suriname) turned in a pay of winning efforts, thanks to personal-best performances, Friday at the Jim Thorpe Open at Nittany Lion Track. Leading the way in the field events was Nike athlete and Nittany Lion volunteer assistant Ryan Whiting, who posted a facility-record 70-06.50 (21.50) in the shot put, which also ranks as the fourth-farthest throw in the world this outdoor season.
Nieuwendam had an outstanding afternoon, posting victories in both the 100- and 200-meters, both in career-record fashion. The sophomore started out with victory in the 100, via a personal-best 11.60, which also stands as the third-best time in the Big Ten this season. Nieuwendam came back to pick up another win in the 200, going 23.47 - the second fastest mark in the Big Ten this season, and fourth-best effort in the Penn State record books.
Whiting led a stellar showing from current and former Nittany Lions in the shot put, as the reigning IAAF World Indoor Champion was followed by 2011 Penn State graduate Blake Eaton, who placed second with a PR toss of 65-0.50 (19.82). Senior and NCAA leader Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) placed third, going 64-9.25 (19.74).
Turning in a PR to win the javelin was freshman Lauren Kenney (State College, Pa.), who took top honors with a toss of 162-02 (49.42). Teammate Laura Loht (McClure, Pa.) was a close second, posting a throw of 160-7 (48.96).
The Nittany Lions enjoyed a tremendous showing in the throwing events in general, including wins from Kovacs in the discus, Nabil Mubarak (Loganville, Ga.) in the men's hammer, and Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster, N.Y.) in the women's hammer.
The Nittany Lions also had a stellar afternoon in the high jump, led by season bests from winners Erika Morgan (Chesapeake, Va.) and Sean Reilly (Lagrangeville, N.Y.). Reilly skied over a season-best 7-0.50 (2.15)Morgan topped out at a career-best 5-8.75 (1.75) to win the women's competition. Teammates Sarah Palmer (Gansevoort, N.Y.), and Kelsey Couts (Powell, Ohio) followed in second and third, respectively, both clearing 5-7 (1.70).
Also picking up wins in the jumps were Tanaya Lloyd (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Brian Leap (Bellwood, Pa.), who won the women's and men's triple jumps, respectively, while Brittney Howell (Wyncote, Pa.) and Doug Moppert (Malvern, Pa.) claimed the long jump competitions. Howell did so in PR fashion, posting a leap of 19-4 (5.98).
The Lions also got a top finish out of Jocelyn Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.), who cleared 12-4 (3.76) to win the women's pole vault.
The Nittany Lions made a dominate showing on the track, winning a total of 11 events, featuring a PR performance from Emunael Mpanduki (Harare, Zimbabwe) in the 400-meters (47.91), as well as a solid victory by Brandon Bennett-Green (Elkins Park, Pa.) in the 200 at 21.28.
The Lions will now embark on the championship portion of the outdoor season, heading into the Big Ten Championships in Madison, Wisc. Action is slated from Friday-Sunday, May 11-13.
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