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Sept. 24, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After training through the last two weekends, the Nittany Lion cross country squads will be in action this Saturday, traveling to the Greater Louisville Classic at Tom Sawyer Park. The competition will also serve as an "NCAA Preview" as the Cardinals are also set to host the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.
Click below to get a look into the Nittany Lions' practice session on Friday, September 21, and get team updates from senior standouts Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Sam Masters (Columbia, Missouri.).
Women's Team Update
The Nittany Lion women's squad has started off hot in 2012, winning team titles at both the Lock Haven Dolan Duals and Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. A pair of Nittany Lions have emerged at the front of the pack, starting with junior Rebekka Simko's (Mentor, Ohio) winning effort at Lock Haven, which was also good for Big Ten Athlete of the Week laurels. Junior Victoria Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.) was the Lions' top finisher the next weekend, placing second overall in a field chocked full of regional foes at the Spiked Shoe Invitational. The Nittany Lions are ranked 19th in the latest United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) rankings, with the next poll slated for release on Tuesday.
Ridder - a senior captain - has been running strong individually as well, placing sixth overall and fourth for Penn State at Spiked Shoe. The senior already has an outstanding cross country resume to her credit, appearing at three-straight NCAA Cross Country Championships, to go along with two-straight NCAA All Mid-Atlantic Region finishes, and an All-Big Ten effort in 2010.
Men's Team Update
The men's team has been just as productive thus far, finishing in the top spot at Lock Haven, thanks to a winning showing from redshirt-freshman Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.). Creese's gold-medal effort was also worth a Big Ten Athlete of the Week certificate - the first of his cross country career. Redshirt-sophomore Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) was the top Lion at Spiked Shoe, finishing second overall. The Nittany Lions held their own in an outstanding field, placing third in the team standings behind only Princeton and Georgetown, and ahead of regional rival Navy.
Masters, who is currently pursuing his PhD at Penn State, has stepped right into the fray for the Nittany Lions, finishing 13th overall and second for Penn State at Spiked Shoe. The University of Tulsa transfer comes to Happy Valley following an impressive career with the Golden Hurricane, including multiple All-Conference USA finishes.