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Sept. 4, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following victories at the Dolan Duals at Lock Haven last weekend, redshirt-freshman Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) and junior Rebekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio) have been named Big Ten Cross Country Athletes of the Week. The Nittany Lions provided a dominate effort in the team standings with both teams picking up victories over Lock Haven, including a 15-50 sweep by the women's squad.
Creese, who has a sensational freshman year on the track in 2012, proved his mettle over the longer distances, touring the men's 6,000-meter course in 18:12 in his first cross country appearance in a Nittany Lion uniform. Creese led a pack of three Nittany Lions in the top five finishing slots, including junior Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.), and Tom Luff (Emmaus, Pa.) taking third and fourth, respectively, in 18:36 and 18:37.
The Nittany Lion men's squad bettered the Bald Eagles, 25-30, in the team standings.
Simko, who is coming off an appearance at the US Olympic Trials this summer, stepped right into the Lion lineup, sprinting away from the competition down the homestretch to win the 4,000-meter race in 14:16. The Nittany Lions would cover the first eight finishing positions on the day, with classmate Victoria Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.) finishing next in line in 14:20 for second overall.
The honor is the first conference cross country citation for both Nittany Lion athletes.
The Nittany Lions will be back in action this weekend, hosting the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Saturday, September 8. Races are scheduled to get underway at 10:00 a.m., at the Blue-White Golf Courses.