Track and Field Overall 2011 Season Preview
Dec. 13, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion Track and Field squads opened the 2010-11 indoor campaign last weekend at the Blue/White Intrasquad Meet. The Nittany Lions impressed in their first competition of the season, including a pair of facility records in the 300-meters by senior Shavon Greaves (Lakewood, N.J.), and freshman Brady Gehret (Altoona, Pa.). Last year, the Penn State program engineered outstanding indoor and outdoor efforts, highlighted by Top 25 standings from both the men's and women's squads at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, including a fourth-place "Trophy Team" finish by the women's squad outdoors. All told, the Nittany Lions collected 22 NCAA All-America finishes, 12 individual Big Ten titles, three relay conference wins, and seven Penn State records in 2010, and are poised for even more success in 2011.
Following the Blue/White competition, Director and Head Coach of Track and Field Beth Alford-Sullivan gave her impressions of the first competition of the year, as well as her thoughts on both the men's and women's squads for the upcoming year.
Penn State Track and Field Season Preview
Riding the momentum from appearances by both the men's and women's squads at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, the Penn State track and field teams look to pick up where they left off a year ago, with a wealth of NCAA All-Americans and Big Ten Champions returning to the 2010-11 roster. With the Blue/White Meet under their belts, the Nittany Lions will begin the regular season with the Penn State Relays, scheduled for January 8, 2011, at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.
Nittany Lion Women's Preview
The 2009-10 campaign was one for the record books in Happy Valley, as the Nittany Lion women's cross country and track and field squads captured the Big Ten "Triple Crown," thanks to team titles in the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field. The Nittany Lion highlight reel included a grand total of eight Big Ten individual titles, as well as three relay victories at the conference level. On the NCAA stage, the Lions made the trophy stand for the second time in three years, garnering fourth-place honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, thanks to nine All-America finishes, including an NCAA victory by then-senior Bridget Franek in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Lions ripped through the competition at all three conference championships, led by an individual victory by Franek in cross country, three individual crowns and one relay win indoors, and a staggering total of six individual titles and two relays golds outdoors.
The Nittany Lions return a wealth of NCAA and Big Ten success on the 2010-2011 squad, including senior sprints standout Greaves. Greaves dominated Big Ten competition as a junior, capturing individual titles in the 60- and 200-meters indoors, to go along with gold-medal finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes outside. Greaves was also a member of a trio of winning relays on the Big Ten stage, including the 4x400 indoors, and the 4x100 and 4x400 outdoors. On the NCAA scene, Greaves turned in four All-America efforts, highlighted by a bronze-medal effort in the 200 at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Nittany Lions Men's Preview
Highlighted by eight NCAA All-America performances, the Nittany Lion men's track and field program enjoyed an outstanding campaign within the Big Ten Conference, as well as on the NCAA and international levels in 2010, posting top 25 finishes at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. The Lions also experienced a great deal of success at the conference level, claiming a total of three Big Ten titles over the year. The Lions also enjoyed two successful appearances at the NCAA Championships, scoring a 14th-place finish in the team standings indoors, and earning 23rd at the outdoor championships. Both team finishes were the highest by the Nittany Lion men's squad in nearly two decades.
Returning nearly all of the members of its NCAA teams from the 2010 seasons, the Nittany Lions will be amongst the best in the conference across all event areas, particularly in the distance and throwing events, with All-American middle distance runners Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia), Owen Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.), and Lionel Williams (Staten Island, N.Y.) back for the 2011 campaign, as well as standout throwers and fellow NCAA All-Americans Blake Eaton and Joe Kovacs. Also back in 2011 is World Junior Silver Medalist Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) in the middle distances.