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Cross Country Fares Well at Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational

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Lucia Sofo

Sept. 17, 2011


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: September 17, 2011 - The Nittany Lion cross country squads hosted a quartet of competitions on Saturday, including college and high school races, at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational at the Blue-White Golf Courses. Sophomore Lucia Sofo (State College, Pa.) was the top finisher on the women's side, while junior Colin Anderson (Northport, N.Y.) led the men's efforts.

"It's an honor to host an event named after such a great coach, and such a great figure in the State College and distance running communities in Coach Harry Groves," said Director and Head Coach of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan. "Once again, we had perfect cross country weather, and were able to put on four quality races at the college and high school levels."

Sofo paced the women's team, placing 25th in team scoring with a time of 22:51 over the 6,000-meters course. Sophomore Marta Klebe (Chesterbrook, Pa.) finished on her heels, coming in 26th in team scoring - also crossing in 22:51.

Freshman Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.) also scored a top 30 finish in her first-career 6K appearance, placing 29th in 22:54. Fellow rookies Kerrin Jennings (Glen Mills, Pa.) and Rachel Casciano (Wyomissing, Pa.) rounded out the Nittany Lion top five, finishing 33rd and 39th in team scoring, breaking the tape in 23:14, and 23:27, respectively.



Georgetown freshman Hannah Neczypor took the individual title in 21:05, leading her number-one ranked Hoya squad to a runaway 16-point victory. Ohio University placed second in the team scoring with 84 points, with Geneseo State following in third with 94.

Anderson scored a top 10 finish in the men's 5.2-mile race, covering the course in 27:07, as the Nittany Lions' number one. Sophomore Colin Baker (Haddonfield, N.J.) also raced for the Nittany Lions, coming in 23rd in 27:34. Redshirt-freshman Shawn Quinn (Ambler, Pa.) crossed as Penn State's number three, placing 27th overall in 28:09.

Geneseo State's Lee Berube ran away with the men's race in 25:54, leading his teammates to the Spiked Shoe team title. Geneseo State scored 33 points in the win, followed by Dickinson in second with 45 and Ohio University with 54.

The Nittany Lions held out the top nine athletes on both the men's and women's sides for the race, in the interest of racing back-to-back competitions on September 24 at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., and the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., on September 30.

"Our athletes that competed today were prepared to go out and race competitively, and represent on our home course," continued Sullivan. "I'm really pleased with the efforts of many of our younger athletes, and am really excited about the depth our both our teams. It's really tough to compete at this level for three straight weeks, so I'm hopeful the group we travel next week will go in fit and ready to pick up some national-qualifying points."

The Lions will make one more home appearance this season, running the Penn State National on Friday, October 14, at the Blue-White Golf Course.


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