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Aug. 7, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Interim head coach John Gondak and five Nittany Lions are heading to Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, to take part in the 2014 North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) U-23 Championships. The 2014 NACAC U-23 Championships are held at Hillside Stadium from Aug. 8-10.
Coach Gondak is slated to coach the United States men's distance runners, while five Nittany Lions will be representing their respective countries.
Competing for the U.S. team is Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.), Brittney Howell (Wyncote, Pa.), Kiah Seymour (Washington, D.C.) and Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.). Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.) is also scheduled to compete this weekend, as he will be competing for Trinidad & Tobago.
Gondak earns his first U.S. coaching role through the success seen by his distance and middle distance student-athletes. During Gondak's eight year tenure at Penn State he has coached 19 First Team All-Americans, 22 Big Ten Champions, had athletes set 20 Penn State school records, five Penn Relays championship wins in distance relays, as well as coaching three of the four Penn State Nittany Lions to run a sub-4 minute mile.
Hill, who just concluded his junior season, has continued the Nittany Lion tradition of highly successful shot putters. During 2014, Hill became the number two thrower in Penn State history en route to winning the 2014 Outdoor Big Ten Championships shot put title. His throw of 67 feet, 6 inches is behind only current United States champion Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) in the record books. Hill was honored as the 2014 Big Ten Field Athlete of the Championships, and 2014 Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year.
Joining Hill in Kamloops on the U.S. men's team will be sophomore javelin thrower Shuey. Shuey concluded his 2014 collegiate season with a best throw of 238-6 which places him number two all-time in the Penn State record books. He claimed the first Big Ten title of his career when he won the javelin throw with his toss of 236-2 at the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
On the women's U.S. squad, recently-graduated Howell and soon-to-be junior Semyour will be in action this weekend as well. Howell had a banner 2014 year including All-American finishes both indoors and outdoors in the multi-events. 2014 highlights for Howell included her first ever Big Ten title when claiming the outdoor heptathlon - as well as heptathlon champion of the prestigious Texas Relays with a lifetime best of 5,625 points - good for number three all-time in the Penn State record books.
Seymour will be running in the 400-meter hurdles. Seymour was a revelation for the Nittany Lion team in 2014 tallying four All-American finishes, and claiming four Big Ten titles, as well as two runner-up Big Ten finishes. Seymour set the number two all-time Penn State performance in the 400-meter hurdles, running 55.88 seconds.
Outside of the U.S. national team, Waithe will represent Trinidad & Tobago in the men's triple jump. During his first season in blue and white, Waithe would claim All-American triple jump finishes at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships. Additionally, Waithe was the indoor Big Ten triple jump runner-up, before claiming his first Big Ten title by winning the same event outdoors.
List of events/schedule:
400-Meter Hurdles - Seymour - 1:45 p.m. EDT (Sunday)
Heptathlon - Howell
100-Meter Hurdles - 7 p.m. EDT (Friday)
High Jump - 7:40 p.m. EDT (Friday)
Shot Put - 9:20 p.m. EDT (Friday)
200-Meter Dash - 11:15 p.m. EDT (Friday)
Long Jump - 4:10 p.m. EDT (Saturday)
Javelin Throw - 5:30 p.m. EDT (Saturday)
800-Meter Run - 6:30 p.m. EDT (Saturday)
Javelin Throw - Shuey - 4:05 p.m. EDT (Saturday)
Shot Put - Hill - 2:45 p.m. EDT (Sunday)
Triple Jump - Waithe - 2:50 p.m. EDT (Sunday)