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Oct. 4, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Assistant Coach Pat Ebel takes to his first season at the helm of the Nittany Lion throws contingent this fall, joining a wealth of returning talent, including 2012 NCAA qualifiers Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio), and Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster, N.Y.). Ebel will also oversee one of the most prolific javelin contingents in the conference, with junior Laura Loht (McClure, Pa.) and sophomore Lauren Kenney (State College, Pa.), who popped a one-two finish at the Big Ten Championships last spring, both returning to the 2013 roster. Loht - a US Olympic Trials qualifier - and Kenney also made a splash on the national stage in 2012, with Loht finishing third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, followed by Kenney in fourth - both finishing with First Team All-America status.
The following is the first in a series of fall updates from Nittany Lion track and field practice and fall conditioning. This installment features a practice session with the Penn State 20- and 35-lb weight throwers.
Fall in Happy Valley || Nittany Lion Throws
Kurzdorfer also made waves in her first year with the Nittany Lions in 2012, capped by a third-place finish in the hammer throw at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The then-sophomore also wasted no time in making her mark in the Nittany Lion record books, moving to second in the all-time Penn State hammer rankings at 207-10 (63.35). Kurzdorfer was just as productive indoors, ending the season at third overall on the Nittany Lion Top Five, thanks to a toss of 64-10.50 (19.77) in the 20-lb weight.
Joining Kurzdorfer on the women's roster is senior Jane Swenson (Brandon, S.D.), who has a full year of eligibility remaining following a redshirt campaign last spring. Swenson currently ranks fourth in the all-time Nittany Lion shot put annuls, with a PR toss of 52-6 (16.00) to her credit.
Barr made impressive strides during his redshirt-sophomore campaign, qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the discus, via a PR performance of 183-6 (55.93) at the NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round. Barr also improved upon his hammer career best a year ago, posting a throw of 198-7 (60.53), which was good for seventh overall at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Also leading the way in the men's throws will be senior Nabil Mubarak (Loganville, Ga.).
The Nittany Lions have also added freshman Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) to the throws roster. Fatherly enjoyed an outstanding high school career, turning in double victories at the PIAA Outdoor Championships as a senior, thanks to wins in the shot put and the discus. Fatherly, who also took top honors in the shot put at Penn Relays, posted a lifetime-best toss of 47-11.50 in the shot last spring, which was the top throw in Pennsylvania, and ranked 15th nationally.
Fall in Happy Valley || Assistant Coach Pat Ebel
The Nittany Lions will be in action for the first time this December, competing at the Blue-White Instrasquad Meet, which is slated for Saturday, December 15, at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.
Fall in Happy Valley || Junior Melissa Kurzdorfer