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Sep 6, 2013
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Redshirt-sophomore Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) took home an individual victory in course record fashion, while senior Marta Klebe (Chesterbrook, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lion women to a 15-point perfect score, Friday at the annual Dolan Duals at West Branch Cross Country Course. Both Nittany Lion squads came away with a victory in the effort, with the women's squad winning 15-40 over local rival Lock Haven, and the men's team topping the Bald Eagles, 22-35.
"Today was a great day for an opener in the sport of cross country," said Director and Head Coach of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan. "Perfect weather and perfect conditions led to a great start to the season all around. It was a great showing by the women, who once again dominated the meet with a perfect score, and a great run as a collective team on the men's side, and of course, a course record by Robby Creese. We had a great start today, and we're excited to get back out there next weekend."
Klebe zipped to victory with a finishing time of 14:16 over the 4,000-meter course, leading the a pack of Nittany Lions that would claim the first 11 finishing spots. Klebe showed outstanding improvement in her first-career cross country victory, shaving over 30 seconds off her finishing time from 2012. Following closely behind was junior Abbie Benson (Elma, N.Y.), who claimed second-place overall, and second for the Nittany Lions, thanks to a finishing time of 14:18. Benson also significantly bettered her 2012 finish, improving her top time on the course by more than 20 seconds.
Freshman Stephanie Aldrich (West Chester, Pa.) impressed in her Nittany Lion debut, going 14:24 for third. Sophomore Sarah Jane Underwood (Alexandria, Va.) finished as the Lions' number four - as well as fourth overall - clocking a finishing time of 14:27, while senior Dani Kocjancic (Kane, Pa.) rounded out the Nittany Lion scoring in fifth place, finishing in 14:28. Kocjanic was another Nittany Lion who was much improved from a year ago, finishing over a minute faster than her 2012 result.
Creese found himself in a two-man race with Lock Haven's Alex Monroe, but gapped his competitor over the last 1000 meters, to break the tape in 17:29 - 20 seconds fastest than the second-place finisher. Creese's performance bettered former Nittany Lion Kyle Dawson's course-record 17:36 from 2011. The standout redshirt-sophomore, who also won the individual title in 2012, improved his own PR on the Lock Haven course by over 40 seconds.
The Nittany Lions got strong performances from junior Chris Campbell (Newtown, Pa.), and redshirt-freshman Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio), who both scored top five finishes, taking third and fourth overall, in 18:00, and 18:02, respectively. Campbell clipped a total of 55 seconds off his 2012 finishing time in the effort.
Redshirt-freshman Conrad Lippert (Middletown, N.J.) was the Lions' number-four finisher, taking sixth overall in 18:04. Next to cross was junior Wade Endress (Altoona, Pa.), who eighth overall in 18:08 to round out the Lion scoring.
Senior Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.) made it six Lions in the top 10, thanks to a ninth-place finish, while redshirt-freshman Za'von Watkins (Liverpool, N.J.) finished in 14th as the Penn State number seven.
The Nittany Lions will be back in action next weekend, hosting the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. The event, which includes both collegiate and high school races, will begin at 4:00 p.m., on Friday, September 13.
For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log on to www.GoPSUsports.com.