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Oct. 31, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Assistant Coach Kevin Kelly is in his first year at Penn State, overseeing the men's jumps and multi-events, as well as the men's and women's pole vault. Kelly comes in with a solid group of athletes on the roster, including seven-foot high jumpers senior Sean Reilly (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) and Jon Hendershot (Nazareth, Pa.), who both qualified for the NCAA First Round in the event last spring. Kelly also welcomes in a crew of talented freshmen, including pole vault standouts Patrick Anderson (Kane, Pa.) and Kasey Kemp (Norwin, Pa.) - both PIAA State Champions as preps.
The following is the third in a series of fall updates from Nittany Lion track and field practice and fall conditioning. This installment features an early season practice session with student athletes in the men's jumps, including high, long, and triple jumps, as well as multi-event athletes and men's and women's pole vaulters.
Both Reilly and Hendershot enjoyed personal-best clearances during the indoor season a year ago, with Reilly going over 7-1.75 (218), and Hendershot topping out at 7-0.25 (2.14). Reilly would also turn in scoring finishes at both the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2012, including a bronze-medal effort during the indoor season. During the course of the year, Reilly claimed individual victories at the Penn State National, and Akron Invitational, indoors and the Jim Thorpe Invitational during the outdoor season.
Hendershot also came away with a successful sophomore campaign in 2011-12, winning the high jump at the Nittany Lion Challenge, and scoring an eight-place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Also adding depth to the high jump contingent is sophomore Mike McClelland (Washington, Pa.). McClelland was a member of travel squads at both Big Ten Championship events as a freshman.
Kelly will also oversee the men's horizontal jumps, including sophomore Brian Leap (Bellwood, Pa.) and freshman Jarred Posey (York, Pa.). Leap made great strides as a freshman in 2012, including an individual victory in the triple jump at the Akron Invitational. Posey was the 2012 PTFCA Indoor State Champion in the triple jump, amongst a lengthy list of high school honors.
On board for the 2012-13 campaign is a trio of freshen multi-event prospects, including Robby Cardina (Lancaster, Pa.), Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) and Patrick Conn (Uniontown, Pa.). Shuey comes to Happy Valley following a decorated senior year, as the Johnsonburg High School product tossed a PR 212-2 in the javelin in 2012, and went on to victories at the PIAA State Championships, and New Balance Nationals.
Anderson, along with freshman Jesse Laverdiere (Uniontown, Pa.), will cover the men's vault for Penn State, with Anderson coming in as one of the top prospects in the Pennsylvania high school ranks. Anderson's PR clearance of 16-4.75 was the second-best mark in the state in 2012. Kemp will join junior Lindsey Bacik (Pittsburgh, Pa.) in the women's vault, coming in with outstanding credentials as a high schooler. Kemp - the 2011 PIAA State Champion - cleared 12-6 as a senior, which ranked second in Pennsylvania on the year.
The Nittany Lion track and field squads will be in action at the Blue/White Instrasquad Meet on December 15.