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Penn State Ready to Host Annual Spiked Shoe

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Sept. 9, 2015

About the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational
When: Friday, September 11
Where: Blue-White Golf Courses Race Times: HS Girls - 4:00 p.m., HS Boys - 4:45 p.m.; College Women - 5:30 p.m.; College Men - 6:15 p.m.
Results: Available at; or
Parking: Parking Map

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's and women's cross country teams make their 2015 home debut this weekend as they host the annual Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Friday, Sept. 11. The Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational takes place at the Blue-White Golf Course starting at 5:30 p.m., with the women's 6k and the men take the course at 6:15 p.m., with a 5.2 mile run.

Penn State Coaches Radio Show
Second-year head coach John Gondak will be featured on this week's edition of the Penn State Coaches show Thursday, Sept. 10 at 6:05 p.m. Gondak will preview his meet as well as talk about all things Penn State cross country on ESPN 1450.

College Competitors
Bucknell, Grove City, Lebanon Valley (W), Lock Haven, Michigan (M), Penn State, Syracuse, West Virginia (W)

The High School Contingent
Bayport-Blue Point (B), Bellefonte Area, Carlisle, Central Mountain, Clearfield, Daniel Boone, Elk Lake, Hazleton Area, Hempfield, Kennard-Dale, Kiski Area, Phoenixville Area, Selinsgrove Area, Shikellamy, S. Williamsport , State College, Tunkhannock Area, University (W.V.), and Williamsport Area

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 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
Making the winning move over the final 800-meters of the race, Ean DiSilvio (Pittsburgh, Pa.) outlasted Lock Haven's Dylan Mountain to claim the individual title on the men's side while senior team captain Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) led the women to a perfect score of 15 for the seventh consecutive year.

Spiked Shoe History
The Penn State men's and women's cross country teams both captured team titles at last year's Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. Fifth-year senior Matt Fischer captured the individual title in the men's race as he finished the 5.2-mile course in a time of 26 minutes, 12 seconds and on the women's side, freshman Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pa.) tallied a third-place finish to lead the Nittany Lions; Chikotas finished the 6,000-meter race in 21:04. The Penn State women tallied a score of 27 points to claim the team title, while No. 13 Syracuse finished second with their score of 38 points and No. 20 West Virginia took fifth with a score of 133 points. On the men's side, seven points separated the top-three teams. Penn State claimed the men team title with their score of 41 points. No. 8 Syracuse and Georgetown finished second and third, respectively with their scores of 47 and 48 points.

B1G Honors
Coming off his first Dolan Duals title, Ean DiSilvio was named the Big Ten Men's Cross Country Athlete of Week, as announced by the league office on Sept. 9. Disilvio opened the 2015 season as he won his first Dolan Duals title with a final time of 17 minutes, 41.74 seconds as he led the Nittany Lions to a first-place finish at the season-opening meet in Lock Haven, Pa. The winning time laid down by DiSilvio was the No. 3 time in course history for 6,000-meters. This is the first career award for DiSilvio.

Parking for Spiked Shoe Invitational
Remember, all spectators need to park in the Nittany Deck near the Nittany Lion Inn. When arriving at the deck please let the attendant working know that you are there for the Harry Groves Spikes Shoe Invitational meet.



Quotes From Coach

Head coach John Gondak speaking about last week's meet

"Last week's meet was a good competitive effort for us; it really showed us where everyone is at this point in the season. It allowed us to continue to prescribe to the students what their training should be and how they need to continue to improve their fitness."

Were there any pleasant surprises at the Lock Haven meet?

Gondak: "It was a pleasant surprise to see Ean DiSilvio pull out the victory. Dylan Mountain from Lock Haven is a very accomplished athlete and it was nice to see Ean battle him to the finish."

Coach Gondak speaking about the upcoming Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational

Gondak: "We have a tough one this weekend coming up with two top-ten teams coming in to State College it'll be a good test to see where we are on the men's side, and I'm excited about putting a full women's team on the course."

Next Up
The Nittany Lions will train through the next several weekends, before traveling to Louisville, Ky. for the Greater Louisville Classic Oct. 3. The race will also serve as a course preview for the NCAA Championships, which are scheduled for November 21.


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