No. 29 Women's Cross Country Takes Team Title at Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invite
Sept. 29, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: September 29, 2007 - The 29th-ranked Nittany Lion women's cross country team won its second team title in as many weeks, capturing top honors at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational, Saturday at Penn State Blue/White Golf Course. Sophomore Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) led the Lion women with an individual win, while junior Brian Fuller (Camp Hill, Pa.) cruised to victory on the men's side, helping the Lions to a second-place finish.
Franek clocked 21:02 to break the tape on the 6,000-meter course - the second-fastest time ever run at the Spiked Shoe event. A trio of Lions finished fourth, fixth, and sixth, with Claire Percival (Sarnia, Ontario) leading the way in 21:58. Cheryl Spring (The Woodlands, Texas) and Leah Rosenfeld (Ridgefield, Conn.) followed in 22:04, and 22:07, respectively. Junior Claire Berryman (Morgantown, W.Va.) was the fifth Lion finisher, taking 10th in 22:24.
Juniors Kathryn Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Meghan Noecker (Reading, Pa.) rounded out the Lion top seven, placing 12th and 17th, overall. The Lions took the team title with a total of 25 points. Columbia placed second with 43, with St. Joseph's claiming third with 119.
"Bridget ran another tremendous race for the win," said Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan. "She ran an extremely smart and composed race against great competition, and definitely represented us well today."
Fuller notched his second win of the season, as well as the second of his career, with a time of 23:39 for 5.2 miles. Fuller is the 10th Nittany Lion to win the individual men's title in the 29-year history of the Spiked Shoe. Freshman Lucas Zarzeczny (Pittsburgh, Pa.) took second overall with a furious finishing kick, running 26:48.
"Brian was outstanding in his second win of the season," continued Sullivan. "But the race of the day goes to Lucas, who really displayed what our team is all about, running a tough race throughout and really digging deep over the last stretch."
Dennis O'Connor (Philadelphia, Pa.) also posted a top 10 finish, placing ninth in 27:05. Tyler McCandless (Bath, Pa.) and John Mahoney (Richboro, Pa.) rounded out the Lion top five in 11th and 12th - both finishing in 27:09.
Also turning in top seven finishes were Michael Syrnick (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Tim Johnson (New Cumberland, Pa.), who placed 14th and 15th, respectively. Columbia's men put five men in the top eight finishers to edge the Nittany Lions for the team title, 26-35. St. Joseph's took third with 86.
Following a weekend off, the Lions are set to host the high-caliber Penn State National on Friday, October 12. The women's race will kick off the day at 10 a.m., followed by the men's competition at 11 a.m.
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