Franek and Zarzeczny Earn Big Ten Runner of the Week Honors

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Sept. 26, 2007

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Nittany Lion cross country standouts Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) and Lucas Zarzeczny (Pittsburgh, Pa.) were named Big Ten Runners of the Week on Tuesday, the second citation of the season for Franek, and the first-career honor for Zarzeczny. It is also the second time this fall that the Nittany Lions have swept the conference's weekly awards.

Franek, a sophomore, led the Penn State squad to its second team victory of the season last Saturday, finishing in fifth overall and third in the team scoring at the Iona Meet of Champions, at historic Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y. Franek finished the challenging 6000-meter course in 21:51.0, helping the Lions to 48-point total, good for a team victory over a talented 19-team field.

Thanks to their outstanding showing, the Lion women vaulted to 29th in the USTFCCCA rankings, and third in the Mid Atlantic Regional poll this week.

Franek was named Big Ten Runner of the Week following her performance at the Lock Haven Dolan Duals on August 31. She also garnered the award as a freshman in 2006.

Zarzeczny, a freshman, helped the Penn State men's team to a third-place finish in tough competition in the men's race, placing eighth overall, and seventh in the team scoring in his first-career 8,000-meter race. Zarzeczny clocked a time of 25:35.2 and finished as the top rookie in the entire field. The Lion men scored 93 points to finish third behind Iona and Brown, and defeated regional foes Navy and American.

Zarzeczny is the second member of the Penn State men's squad to earn conference recognition this season, after Brian Fuller (Camp Hill, Pa.) won on Sept. 3.

The Lions will host the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational this weekend, which features two collegiate, and three high school races. The women's collegiate race starts at 10 a.m., with the men's to follow at 10:45 a.m.



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