Nittany Lions Face First Road Test at Roy Griak Invitational

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Chris Cipro

Sept. 22, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - With a pair of low-key competitions under their belts, the Nittany Lion cross country teams will take on some of the nation's best this weekend, competing at the Roy Griak Invitational, Saturday at the University of Minnesota. Along with several Big Ten squads in the field, the competition is set to feature several highly ranked programs from across the country, including No. 8 Iowa State, No. 10 Arizona, and No. 11 Washington - as well as the No. 18 Nittany Lions - on the women's side. Meanwhile, No. 10 Portland, and No. 11 North Carolina State look to headline the men's competition. The Nittany Lion men are currently just outside the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) rankings.

About the Roy Griak Invitational -
When: Saturday, September 24
Where: Les Bolstad Golf Course (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Results/Host Website: http://www.gophersports.com/sports/m-xc/spec-rel/roy-griak-invitational.html
Meet Coverage:

Race Times:
12:20 p.m. CDTMerrill Fischbein Men's 8,000-Meters
1:10 p.m. CDTJack Johnson Women's 6,000-Meters

Nittany Lion Notes ...

Last Year at the Roy Griak Invitational ... Then-junior Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) turned in a 13th-place finish individually, leading the Nittany Lion men to a ninth-place finish in a national-class field, at the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota last fall. The Penn State women's squad would also end up ninth in the team standings, paced by 34th-place effort from then-sophomore Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.).

At the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational: The Nittany Lion cross country squads hosted a quartet of competitions last Saturday, including college and high school races, at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational at the Blue-White Golf Courses. Sophomore Lucia Sofo (State College, Pa.) was the top finisher on the women's side, while junior Colin Anderson (Northport, N.Y.) led the men's efforts. Sofo paced the women's team, placing 25th in team scoring with a time of 22:51 over the 6,000-meters course. Sophomore Marta Klebe (Chesterbrook, Pa.) finished on her heels, coming in 26th in team scoring - also crossing in 22:51. Anderson scored a top 10 finish in the men's 5.2-mile race, covering the course in 27:07, as the Nittany Lions' number one. Sophomore Colin Baker (Haddonfield, N.J.) also raced for the Nittany Lions, coming in 23rd in 27:34. Redshirt-freshman Shawn Quinn (Ambler, Pa.) crossed as Penn State's number three, placing 27th overall in 28:09.

At the Lock Haven Dolan Duals: Seniors Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) and Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) both captured individual titles, leading the Nittany Lion cross country squads to a pair of one-through-five perfect scores at the annual Dolan Duals at the Lock Haven University on September 2. Both Nittany Lion captains also posted course records in the effort, with Lane breaking the tape at 13:26.52 over the 4,000-meter women's course, and Dawson running 17:36.40 to win the men's 6,000-meters. Lane also recorded her fourth-straight victory at Lock Haven, completing a four-year sweep at the Dolan Duals.

Big Ten Honors: Seniors Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) and Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) have been named Big Ten Runners of the Week following winning efforts at the Dolan Duals, on September 2, at West Branch Cross Country Course, at Lock Haven University. Both seniors paced their respective Nittany Lion squads to 15-50 "perfect" score victories over Lock Haven, each setting course records in the process. Dawson was also named Penn State Athlete of the Week for his efforts.

Next Up: The Nittany Lions will take on a national-class field at the Roy Griak Invitational at Minnesota next week. The competition is slated to include Big Ten foes Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan State, as well as No. 10 Arizona, and No. 11 Washington on the women's side, while No. 13 North Carolina looks to headline the men's race.

 

 

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