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Cross Country Opens Season at Lock Haven

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Aug. 31, 2017

USTFCCCA Polls and Rankings

Lock Haven, Pa.

Friday, September 1
6:00 p.m. ET – Women's 4K
6:30 p.m. ET – Men’s 6K

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's and women's cross country teams kick start the 2017 regular season on Friday at the Dolan Duals. The Dolan Duals are hosted by Lock Haven University at the West Branch Cross Country Course in Lock Haven, Pa. The meet begins with the women’s (4K) at 6:00 p.m. followed by the men’s (6K) run at 6:30 p.m.

"I've been very pleased with how our teams have been training the last three weeks," said head coach John Gondak.

"Lock Haven has always provided us a good start to the season as we get the rust off the legs. It's a nice flat 4K course and suits us well as we prepare to open at home next weekend with the Spiked Shoe Invitational. Our goal tomorrow is to run together as a pack through the first half of the race and then test themselves after that. They've been doing very well with that at practice so hopefully, they can continue that at the competition tomorrow night."

At last year’s Dolan Duals, for the eighth-consecutive year, the Nittany Lion women’s cross country team finished the Dolan Duals with a perfect score of 15, while the men narrowly missed earning the perfect score finishing 1-2-3-4-6 to record a score of 16.

At the regional level, the women were picked as the preseason favorite holding the No. 1 spot in the Mid-Atlantic by the USTFCCCA. The men of Penn State checked in at No. 5 in the Preseason Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings behind Georgetown, Navy, Princeton, and Penn. 

During the 2016 campaign, the Nittany Lion women finished runner-up at Big Ten Cross Country Championships, captured the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional and finished 18th as a team at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, competing at the NCAA Championships as a team for the seventh time in the past eight years.

The women's team returns four of the five runners that scored at last year's NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., with the lone loss from that group being Julie Kocjancic. The 2017 team is led by team captains Elizabeth ChikotasTessa Barrett, and Jillian Hunsberger.

Barrett (First-Team), Hunsberger (First-Team) and Chikotas (Second-Team) combined to bring home three All-Big Ten honors while five Penn State athletes were named All Mid-Atlantic Region. For the first time in the NCAA era, Penn State had two athletes earn All-American honors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships with 15th and 36th-place finishes by Chikotas and Hunsberger, respectively.

The men are led by senior Timothy McGowan, who earned All Mid-Atlantic Region honors last season, and senior Bobby Hill, both of whom are team captains for the 2017 season.

The Nittany Lions return home next weekend as they host the annual Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Sept. 8.

For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log onto or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.





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