Nittany Lions Finalize 2014 Recruiting Class

Follow PSU Track & Field:    

Interim Head Coach John Gondak

Interim Head Coach John Gondak

July 14, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -

The Penn State track and field/cross country team is excited to announce their final line-up of recruits to join the Nittany Lions for the 2014 fall semester. The class previously announced February 27 included 13 athletes. With the addition of 23 more newcomers to the program, there will be 36 new Nittany Lions starting in the fall.

"Our incoming class of student-athlete's embodies what we want for our cross country/track and field program here at Penn State, high-quality athletes that will help us win Championships along with outstanding students who will continue the strong tradition of academic excellence within Penn State Athletics" said Interim Head Coach John Gondak.

The athletes announced on February 27th had outstanding spring Track Seasons. Some of their highlights include Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pennsylvania) setting the High School National Record while winning the 5000m at the High School Indoor National Championships, Anthony Russell ( West Chester, Pennsylvania) running 8:58 for 3200m while also anchoring his team to the Distance Medley Championship of American at The Penn Relays, Quenee Dale (Saline, Michigan) placing second at the High School Indoor National Championships in the 60m hurdles and Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pennsylvania)following up her State Cross Country Championship with a 3200m State Title on the track.

"With a total of 36 new athletes joining the program in the fall, Penn State cross country/track and field is continuing its commitment of being a broad-based program covering all of the events" said Gondak. "With the newcomers arrival in Happy Valley in the fall, combined with an already extremely talented roster for both our men's and women's team, our program is in position to attain one of our goals - winning both the men's and women's Big Ten Championship on the same day!"


 

 

The following signees enhance an incoming class that has had success on a state, national, and international level. It includes 5 transfer students, 18 freshmen, an NCAA Division 3 All-American, a member of Australia's World Junior Championship team and numerous State Champions.

MEN:

Cody Amengual - West Babylon, New York - West Babylon/Cortland University
Events: 3000m Steeple Chase
Personal Bests: 8:57.54 (3000m SC)

Two time qualifier to the NCAA Division 3 Outdoor National Championships. Posted a best finish of 6th place in the 3000-meter steeple chase. Also qualified to the NCAA Division 3 Cross Country Championships.

Justin Berg - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. - Spring Ford/Temple
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Bests: 176-7 (Hammer Throw), 52-10.25 (Weight Throw)

4th place finish at Atlantic-10 Championships while competing for Temple. Qualifier to IC4A Outdoor Championships in the Hammer.

Tyler Hope - Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. - Tamaqua Area
Events: Javelin
Personal Bests: 198-4

Three time qualifier to the Pennsylvania State Meet outdoors. Best finish of 2nd in 2012. Three time District 11 Champion.

Jordan Makins - Perth, Australia - Aquinas College (HS)
Event: 800m
Personal Best: 1:49.33 (800m), 3:52.60 (1500m)

A former Australian Under 16 national champion at 800-meters, Makins, a native of Australia, will join the Nittany Lions just weeks after competing at the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, for team Australia.

Malik Moffett - Erie, Pennsylvania - Cathedral Prep/Penn State Behrend
Event: 100m, 200m, High Jump
Personal Bests: 10.61 (100m), 21.10 (200m), 6-9 (High Jump)

Had an outstanding freshman year at Penn State Behrend where he emerged as one of the best sprints talents in NCAA Division 3. Set PRs in both the 100-meter and 200-meter in 2014. Capped season with a bronze medal finish in the 200-meters at the NCAA Division 3 Outdoor National Championships.

Matt Nawrocki - Moscow, Pennsylvania. - North Pocono
Events: Javelin
Personal Bests: 201-4

Senior year capped off by 3rd place finish at Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Also posted 2nd place finish at District 2 Championships.

Luke Pease - Haddonfield, New Jersey - Haddonfield Memorial
Events: Multis
Personal Bests: 15.16 (110mH), 188-2 (Javelin), 14-0 (Pole Vault)

Combining indoors and outdoors, was a three time qualifier to the NJ State Meet of Champions. Qualified in both the javelin and the pole vault.

Mason Post - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: 400m, 800m
Personal Bests: 49.57 (400m)

State Champion indoors and outdoors at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship as part of State College's 4x800-meter relay (split 1:54). Also qualified to Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 400-meters.

Robert Rhodes - Brooklyn, New York - Boys and Girls High School/University of Connecticut
Event: 400m, 500m, 600m, 800m
Personal Best: 47.81 (400m), 1:02.02 (500m), 1:17.36 (600m), 1:49.34 (800m)

During two years as a University of Connecticut Husky, Rhodes set a school record indoors at 500-meters and was the IC4A champion at that event. Ran the number 3 time in the NCAA for 600-meters during the 2014 indoor season. Outdoors, qualified to the NCAA Championships First Round.

Lindell Robinson-Swenson - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. - Milton Hershey
Events: 200m, 400m
Personal Bests: 22.29 (200m), 48.21 (400m)

Multiple Pennsylvania Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships qualifier competing at 100m, 200m, and 400m.

Joseph Segreto -Oakdale, New York - St Anthony's
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Bests: 204-9 (Hammer Throw), 68-0.25 (Weight Throw)

Twice competed at New Balance Outdoor Nationals - posting a best finish of 10th in the hammer throw. Twice competed at New Balance Indoor Nationals with a best finish of 2nd. Also finished runner-up in the weight throw at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York.

Xavier Smith - Douglasville, Pennsylvania. - Daniel Boone
Event: 60m, 100m, 200m
Personal Bests: 6.86 (60m), 10.67 (100m), 21.50 (200m)

Recorded two runner-up finishes at the Pennsylvania State Meet during 2014. Indoors finished second in the 60-meter dash. Outdoors finished second in the 100-meter dash, and third in the 200-meter dash.

David Stellato - Ambler, Pennsylvania. - Wissahocken
Events: 200m, 400m
Personal Bests: 21.74 (200m), 47.89 (400m)

Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championship runner-up at 400-meters. Posted a 4th place finish at the Pennsylvania Indoor Track and Field Championships at 400-meters

Bryce Williams - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: Triple Jump, Long Jump
Personal Bests: 48-7.5 (Triple Jump), 22-10 (Long Jump)

Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships 3rd place in the triple jump. Runner-up finish at the Pennsylvania Indoor Track and Field Championships in the triple jump. Multiple time qualifier to New Balance National Championships with a best finish of 8th indoors.

WOMEN:

Lisa Bennatan -Lake Forest, Illinois - Lake Forest
Events: Cross Country, Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:16.85 (1600m)

Typhanee Booker - Cibolo, Texas - Schertz Steele
Events: 60m, 100m, 200mPersonal Bests: 7.66 (60m), 11.99 (100m), 24.70 (200m)

2014 Carl Lewis Invitational 60-meter Champion. Outdoors was District 28 Champion at 200m, as well as posting a runner-up finish at the Region 4 Championships.

Hannah Catalano - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:06.51 (1600m)

Qualified to the Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship during both the indoor and outdoor season. Outdoors she advance to the final in the 1600m.

Rachael DeCecco - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. - Cumberland Valley
Events: 400m Hurdles
Personal Bests: 43.68 (300m Hurdles), 1:02.53 (400m Hurdles)

Multiple time qualifier to Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship at 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. Best finishes include a 4th place effort in the 100-meter hurdles in 2012, and a 3rd place finish at 300-meter hurdles in 2013.

Megan Hellman - Rumson, New Jersey - Rumson Fair Haven
Events: Cross Country, Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:10.25 (1600m)

Two time qualifier to New Jersey Meet of Champions in cross country. Set best 3-mile time of 17:58 at the Shore Conference Championships.

Obeng Marfo - Ontario, Canada - Father Henry Carr
Events: Shot Put, Discus
Personal Records: 44-3.25 (Shot Put), 131-9 (Discus)

A Canadian Youth Champion, Marfo was a representative at the2013 IAAF World Youth Championships held in Kiev, Ukraine

Elyse Skerpon - Sayre, Pennsylvania. - Sayre Area
Events: 400m Hurdles
Personal Records: 44.55 (300m Hurdles)

Three time qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles at the Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Recorded an 8th place finish at the 2013 New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championship over 400-meter hurdles.

Annjulie Vester - Homburg, Germany - Gymnasium Johanneum/Virginia Tech
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Records: 203-2 (Hammer Throw), 61-1 (Weight Throw)

In her time as a Hokie, Vester was an ACC champion in the hammer throw. Other career highlights include a 13th place finish at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the hammer throw.

Cheyenne Winkle - Hookstown, Pennsylvania. - South Side
Events: Javelin
Personal Records: 137-3 (Javelin)

Qualified to Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships all four years of high school in the javelin throw. Career best finish of 5th place.

Online Store