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Nov. 3, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Junior Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) set a new Penn State standard at the Big Ten championships with a third-place finish at Purdue's Boilermaker Cross Country Course Sunday morning. Fischer led the Nittany Lion men to a ninth-place finish, while the women's squad placed fourth.
A Kennett Square, Pa., native, Fischer bested former Nittany Lion Kyle Dawson's fourth-place outing at the 2008 Big Ten Men's Cross Country Championship. The junior crossed the finish Sunday in 24:19.7, less than three seconds behind the meet's individual champion.
As a team, Fischer paced the squad, which was without two of its top five runners due to injury, to a ninth-place finish. Senior Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.) was the second Nittany Lion across the line as he finished in 39th place with a time of 25:19.0.
Freshman Austin Pondel (Columbus, Pa.) secured a 54th-place finish with a time of 25:29.5, while classmate Connor Quinn (Horsham, Pa.) finished in 58th place (25:32.4). Freshman Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) rounded out the Nittany Lion scoring five with a time of 25:45.8 (68th place).
The men's contingent secured 209 points in the 8,000-meter race, while Indiana claimed the conference crown with 51 points.
A quartet of Nittany Lions claimed top-30 finishes as the women's squad finished fourth among the 12-team field. Senior Marta Klebe (Chesterbrook, Pa.) paced the team with a 16th-place effort (21:27.3), while junior Katie Rodden (Ardmore, Pa.) crossed the finish line in 21:39.5, good for 22nd place.
Classmate Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.) secured a 25th-place finish with a time of 21:42.6, while senior Emily Giannotti (Coudersport, Pa.) crossed the finish line two spots later with a time of 21:44.8. Sophomore Sarah Jane Underwood (Alexandria, Va./57th place, 22:25.4) rounded out the top five.
In the 6,000-meter race, Penn State finished in fourth place with 143 points. Michigan State captured the title with 43 points.
The Nittany Lion will return to action Friday, Nov. 15 when they compete at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional.