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Aug. 31, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: August 31, 2011 - As has become an annual tradition, the Nittany Lion cross country squads will make the short trip to Lock Haven University, competing at the Dolan Duals on Friday evening. The Nittany Lions return two veteran-laden teams, including seniors Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.), and Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) leading the men's program, and Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.), and Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.) looking to pace the 18th-ranked Penn State women's squad. Lane has had stellar success at the competition, taking top honors in the women's 4,000-meter competition over the past three years, and will look to capture her fourth-straight title. Meanwhile, McNally placed first in the men's 6,000-meter race in 2010.
About the Dolan Duals -
When: Friday, September 2
Where: Lock Haven, Pa. (West Branch Cross Country Course)
Race Times: 6:00 p.m. - Women 4K; 6:45 p.m. - Men's 6K
Host Website: http://www.golhu.com/index.aspx?path=cross
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The Nittany Lions return an outstanding group of harriers from the 2010, with both squads coming off appearances at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Along with 2010 All-Region finishers Lane and Millhouse, the Nittany Lions also return juniors Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.), who both captured All-Big Ten and All-Region honors a year ago. The women's squad, which placed third in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and fourth in the Big Ten conference, will also welcome back junior Lindsey Graybill (Macungie, Pa.) and sophomore Emily Giannotti (Coudersport, Pa.), who were both members of the Lions' NCAA-qualifying team last year.
Also vying for spots in the top seven will be sophomore middle-distance specialists Kayln Fisher (Lewisburg, Pa.) and Bekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio), who both enjoyed tremendous success on the track last spring. Joining the Nittany Lion lineup will also be freshman and four-time PIAA qualifier Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.) as well as N.Y. standout Abbie Benson (Iroquis, N.Y.).
Dawson and McNally provide a sensational one-two punch at the front of the men's pack, as the duo captured second and third places, respectively, at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional in 2010. Both also boast outstanding national appearances on their resumes, as Dawson and McNally were two key members of the Lions' NCAA qualifying squads as freshman in 2008, and as juniors in 2010. In fact, McNally has a trio of NCAA trips to his credit, also qualifying as an individual in 2009. Also back for the 2011 go-around are seniors Chris Cipro (Harmony, Pa.) and Owen Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.), as well as sophomore Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.) - all members of last year's NCAA team.
The Nittany Lions will also add redshirt freshman Matt Fischer (West Chester, Pa.), who is coming off a promising summer, to the lineup, as well as freshmen Wade Endress (Altoona, Pa.) and Chris Campbell (Newtown, Pa.). Endress placed second at the PIAA Championships as a senior, and would go on to qualify for Nike Cross Country Nationals, while Campbell took seventh at the state meet, and captured a slot at the prestigious Foot Locker Cross Country Championships last year.
The Nittany Lions will train through next weekend, before hosting the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on September 17, at the Blue-White Golf Courses. The Penn State contingent will then close out the month of September with an outstanding slate of competition, traveling to the Minnesota Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., on September 24, and the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., on September 30.