Women's Cross Country Vaults to No. 23 in USTFCCCA Rankings Thanks to Stellar Weekend
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: October 8, 2008 - Bolstered by a third-place finish at last weekend's Bill Dellinger Invitational at the University of Oregon, the Nittany Lion women's cross country team has vaulted to No. 23 in the latest United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) rankings. Over the weekend, the Lions earned victories over No. 25 Wake Forest, and No. 26 BYU.
"It was exciting to see our team represented in the most recent rankings," said Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan. "The women have worked hard in pursuit of a national berth, and this will definitely add to our confidence as we move into late October and championship time."
Propelled by a fifth-place effort from reigning Big Ten Athlete of the Week Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio), the Nittany Lions finished third to only No. 2 Oregon, and No. 10 Arkansas at the Dellinger Invite last Saturday. The Nittany Lions have impressed in the early goings of the 2008 campaign, turning in a team victory at the Iona Meet of Champions, which was highlighted by an individual win from redshirt-sophomore Leah Rosenfeld (Ridgefield, Conn.).
The Nittany Lion women have claimed top individual honors at three out of their four competitions this season, as junior Cheryl Spring (The Woodlands, Texas) topped the field at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational, and freshman Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) captured her first collegiate win at the Dolan Duals at Lock Haven.
Washington moved to number one in this week's poll, followed by No. 2 Oregon. Florida State claimed the third-place spot, while conference foe Minnesota sits in fourth, and regional rival Princeton stands fifth.
The Nittany Lions will be back in action on Friday, October 17 at the Penn State National at the Blue/White Golf Course. The competition - which is scheduled to include several of the national's top 30 squads - is slated for a 10 a.m. start.