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Nittany Lions Back in Action at Adidas Notre Dame Invitational

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Natalie Bower

Sept. 28, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coming off solid finishes at the Minnesota Roy Griak Invitational just under a week ago, the Nittany Lion cross country squads will be back at it again this weekend, traveling to the Adidas Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind.  Featuring a total of eight nationally-ranked programs on the men's side, and sixth top 30-rated squads on the women's start list, the Nittany Lions will have an opportunity to compete for NCAA-qualifying points against some of the nation's best.  Led by top 10 efforts from seniors Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.), and Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) at Griak last weekend, both Nittany Lion squads proved their potential to figure prominently on the national scene over the coming months as the men's team turned in a fifth-place finish in a national-class field, and the women's contingent finished eighth in the team standings.

The competition will be just as taxing this weekend, headlined by third-ranked Stanford in the men's race, and No. 2 New Mexico, and No. 7 Florida State leading the women's entrants. The Nittany Lions will also get a look at some of their toughest competition in the Mid-Atlantic Region with rival Princeton - which ranks 12th on the men, and 22nd on the women - entered in both competitions. The men's squad will toe the line against some of the top Big Ten talent, with No. 25 Ohio State set to compete.

Following Dawson and Lane, the Nittany Lions enjoyed outstanding efforts from their entire top five last weekend, including a 30th-place finish by redshirt-freshman Matt Fischer (West Chester, Pa.). Senior Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) also turned in a top 40 standing in the men's race, placing 36th overall. On the women's side, senior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.) also ran strong over the 6,000-meter course, placing 28th overall. Junior Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.) ran as the Nittany Lion number three in 58th place.

About the Notre Dame Invitational -

When: Friday, September 30
Notre Dame Golf Course (South Bend, Ind.)

Race Times (Distances):

3:30 p.m. JV/Open Race
4:15 p.m. Women's Blue Race (5,000-Meters)
5:00 p.m. Men's Blue Race (5 Miles)

Results/Host Website
Flotrack Meet Coverage

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The Competition:

Women's Blue Division

Team Region, RankingNational Ranking
Air ForceMountain, No. 12NR
ArkansasSouth Central, No. 2USTFCCCA, No. 18
AuburnSouth, No. 12NR
BaylorSouth Central, No. 4NR
ButlerGreat Lakes, No. 10NR
BYUMountain, No. 3USTFCCCA, No. 29
ClemsonSoutheast, No. 4USTFCCCA, ORV
Florida StateSouth, No. 1USTFCCCA, No. 7
Fresno StateWest, NRNR
GeorgiaSouth, No. 5NR
James MadisonSoutheast, No. 6NR
MissouriMidwest, No. 14NR
New MexicoMountain, No. 1USTFCCCA, No. 2
Notre DameGreat Lakes, No. 5NR
Ohio StateGreat Lakes, No. 8NR
Penn StateMid-Atlantic, No. 4USTFCCCA, No. 28
PrincetonMid-Atlantic, No. 3USTFCCCA, No. 22
RiceSouth Central, No. 6NR
SMUSouth Central, No. 5NR
Stony BrookNortheast, No. 8NR
Texas A&MSouth Central, No. 3NR
ToledoGreat Lakes, No. 3USTFCCCA, ORV
UABSouth, No. 15NR
UTEPMountain, No. 13NR
Utah StateMountain, No. 15NR
Washington StateWest, No. 14NR
Weber StateMountain, No. 6NR

Men's Blue Division

Team Region, Ranking National Ranking
Air ForceMountain, No. 4USTFCCCA, ORV
AuburnSouth, No. 13NR
BaylorSouth Central, No. 8NR
ButlerGreat Lakes, No. 9NR
BYUMountain, No. 2USTFCCCA, No. 14
ClemsonSoutheast, NRNR
Eastern KentuckySoutheast, No. 3USTFCCCA, No. 27
Eastern MichiganGreat Lakes, No. 7NR
Florida StateSouth, No. 1USTFCCCA, No. 10
Fresno StateWest, NRNR
GeorgiaSouth, No. 3NR
Indiana StateGreat Lakes, No. 10NR
MissouriMidwest, NRNR
New MexicoMountain, No. 5USTFCCCA, No. 21
Notre DameGreat Lakes, No. 4USTFCCCA, No. 23
Ohio StateGreat Lakes, No. 3USTFCCCA, No. 25
Penn StateMid-Atlantic, No. 4USTFCCCA, ORV
PrincetonMid-Atlantic, No. 1USTFCCCA, No. 12
Santa ClaraWest, NRNR
StanfordWest, No. 1USTFCCCA, No. 3
Texas A&MSouth Central, No. 3USTFCCCA, ORV
UCLAWest, No. 5NR
UTEPMountain, No. 12NR
Utah StateMountain, No. 7NR
Washington StateWest, No. 8NR
Weber StateMountain, No. 6NR

Nittany Lion Notes ...

Last Year at Notre Dame: The Nittany Lion men's cross country squad knocked off a total of five nationally ranked opponents on their way to a fifth-place finish in the team standings at the highly-charged Notre Dame Invitational at the Notre Dame Golf Course last fall. The Penn State women's team also impressed in a national-class field, placing 10th overall - also besting a handful of teams in this week's USTFCCCA Top 30. Then-junior Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) led the way for the Nittany Lion men, turning in a seventh-place finish, while classmate Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) was on his heels in 13th overall. Then-sophomore Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) was the top Penn State finisher on the women's side, placing 50th.

At the Roy Griak Invitational: Led by top 10 efforts from seniors Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) and Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.), the Nittany Lion cross country squads both tallied solid finishes in a national-class field, on September 24, at the Roy Griak Invitational at Les Bolstad Golf Course, at the University of Minnesota. Both Nittany Lion number ones improved upon their 2010 Griak finishes, with Lane turning in a seventh-place effort to lead the women, and Dawson taking eighth overall in a talented men's field. Dawson's finish would propel the Nittany Lion men to a fifth-place finish in the team standings, while Lane paced the women's contingent to an eighth-place standing.

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: Following a weekend off, the Nittany Lions will return home for their final home meet of the season at the Penn State National. Competition is set for Friday, October 14.




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