|Follow PSU Cross Country:||Follow @PennStateTFXC|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's and women's cross country teams make their 2017 home debut this week as they host the annual Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Friday, Sept. 8. The Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational takes place at the Blue-White Golf Course starting at 10 a.m., with the women's 6K followed by the men's 5.2-mile run at 10:45 a.m.
Bucknell, Edinboro, Georgetown, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia.
Meet Coach Groves
The event is named after long-time Nittany Lion men's track and field and cross country coach Harry Groves. Groves spent nearly forty years at the helm of the men's program, beginning in 1968 until retiring at the conclusion of the 2006 track and field season. Groves is a 2001 USTCA Hall of Fame inductee, was named national Coach of the Year on five occasions and is a 26-time Regional Coach of the Year honoree. Throughout his Nittany Lion career, Groves coached 11 American record holders and 21 national champions. On the international level, 14 Groves-coached athletes made Olympic teams. Groves has also made countless international appearances of his own, including a trip to Barcelona, Spain, where he served as an assistant coach of the 1992 Olympic staff.
Last Time Out
For the ninth-straight year, the women's team finished with a perfect score of 15 at the Lock Haven Dolan Duals. Jillian Hunsberger led the way finishing the 4-kilometer race with the fourth-fastest time ever recorded on the course - 13:53.87. The only people to finish the course faster than Hunsberger are current teammates Elizabeth Chikotas (13:38.50) and Tessa Barrett (13:37.40) as well as former Penn State great Caitlin Lane who holds the course record at 13:26.52 from 2011.
On the men's side, Colin Abert led the way recording the second-fastest time on the 6-kilometer course. Abert crossed the line in 17:31.53 that trailed the course record, held by Penn State's Robby Creese, by only two seconds.
Last Year's Spiked Shoe
Penn State placed four runners in the top-10 led by Tessa Barrett who claimed individual honors making this her second win of the year in as many meets to open the 2016 season with back-to-back wins following last weeks Dolan Duals. The redshirt-sophomore from Waverly, Pa. finished the 6K in 20:31 smashing the meet record of 20:52 set by Katie Jazwinski of Michigan in 2000
Barrett becomes the seventh Nittany Lion to claim the individual title and marks the ninth time Penn State has grabbed the top spot. The Nittany Lions have now won 10-of-16 Spiked Shoe Invitationals since 2000.
Rounding out scoring for the Nittany Lions behind Barrett, a 2015 NCAA cross country All-American, were Elizabeth Chikotas (20:53), Jillian Hunsberger (21:13), Kathryn Munks (21:29), and Greta Lindsley (22:03) in second, fourth, 10th and 20th-place, respectively.
Chikotas' time ranks as the third-fastest time in Spiked Shoe Invitational history just a second behind the aforementioned Jazwinski. Also competing for Penn State were Victoria Crawford (22:13) and Rachel Banks(23:08) in 24th and 33rd-place.
The Penn State men's team was led by Tim McGowan who was the top finisher for the Nittany Lions in fifth-place (26:34.4). Rounding out the scoring for Penn State were Bobby Hill (27:28.3), John McGowan (27:30.7), Jaxson Hoey (27:46.5) and Colin Abert (28:48.4) in 26th, 27th, 33rd, and 55th-place, respectively.
Parking for Spiked Shoe Invitational
Remember, all spectators need to park in the Nittany Deck near the Nittany Lion Inn. The fee to park at Red-A will be $5.00 and the fee at the Nittany deck is $1/hr rate, parking is limited in both these areas. In addition to these two options, the commuter lots are also available for spectators.
Get Your 2017 Cross Country Posters
Make sure to stop by the Spiked Shoe Invitational to pick up your free 2017 Penn State Cross Country posters.
Next For Penn State
The Nittany Lions will travel to Stillwater, Okla. Sat., Sept. 30 for the Cowboy Jamboree set to begin at 12 p.m. ET
For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.