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Cross Country Faces Test at Wisconsin Adidas Invitational

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Robby Creese

Oct. 10, 2012

Meet Info and Results at | USTFCCCA Rankings

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Looking to build on promising performances at the Greater Louisville Classic last month, the Nittany Lion cross country squads will face an even greater test this weekend, traveling to the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational at the University of Wisconsin. The competition, which is set for Friday afternoon, is slated to feature the who's who of NCAA cross country, including 21 nationally-ranked programs on the men's side, as well as 20 women's squads, who are rated in the latest USTFCCCA Top 30.

The competition, which will welcome 49 women's teams and 46 men's squad, will feature the cream of the crop from across the country, led by host and top-ranked Wisconsin on the men's side, followed by No. 4 Oklahoma, and No. 5 Iona. Pac-12 rivals Arizona, and Washington - ranked No. 2, and No. 3, respectively, figure to contend for the women's title, along with No. 5 Iowa State.

The meet will also serve as a pre-conference preview for the Nittany Lions, as all 11 member of the Big Ten will field teams on the men's side, while 10 of 12 teams will be in attendance on the women's side. The Nittany Lion women, who come in ranked No. 14, nationally, are currently rated second among teams in Madison, with Michigan State in striking distance at No. 10. No. 27 Minnesota, and No. 29 Wisconsin are also slated to be in attendance. Michigan, who will not be in attendance this weekend, is currently the top-ranked women's conference foe at No. 8. A total of four Big Ten squads appear in the most recent men's top 30, with No. 16 Minnesota, No. 24 Michigan, and No. 26, all trailing No. 1, Wisconsin.

About the Adidas Wisconsin Invitational -
When: Friday, October 12
Where: Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course (Madison, Wisc.)
Host Website:

Race Times:

12:00 p.m. (CDT)Women's 6,000 Meters
12:40 p.m.Men's 8,000 Meters
1:20 p.m.Women's "B" 6,000 Meters
2:00 p.m.Men's "B" 8,000 Meters

Competing Men's Teams (USTFCCCA, Rank; Region, Rank) -

Arizona (USTFCCCA, ORV; West, No. 9)
Arizona State (West, No. 5)
Arkansas (USTFCCCA, No.17; South Central, No. 2)
Brown (Northeast, No. 9)
California (West, No. 10)
Cal Poly (West, No. 6)
UCLA (USTFCCCA, No. 27; West, No. 4)
Colorado State (Mountain, No. 9)
Columbia (USTFCCCA, No. 17; Northeast, No. 3)
Cornell (Northeast, No. 6)
Dartmouth (USTFCCCA, ORV; Northeast, No. 4)
Eastern Kentucky (USTFCCCA, No. 20; Southeast, No. 1)
Georgia (USTFCCCA, No. 24; South, No. 2)
Harvard (Northeast, No. 8)
Illinois (Midwest, No. 8)
Indiana (USTFCCCA, No. 26; Great Lakes, No. 4)
Iona (USTFCCCA, No.5; Northeast, No. 1)

Iowa (Midwest, No. 10)
Iowa State (USTFCCCA, ORV; Midwest, No. 7)
Kansas (USTFCCCA, ORV; Midwest, No. 6)
LaSalle (Mid-Atlantic, No. 5)
Michigan (USTFCCCA, No. 24; Great Lakes, No. 3)
Michigan State (Great Lakes, No. 5)
Minnesota (Midwest, No. 4)
Missouri (USTFCCCA, No. 30; Midwest, No. 5)
Nebraska (Midwest, No. 15)
New Mexico (USTFCCCA, No. 28; Mountain, No. 4)
North Carolina (Southeast, No. 6)
NC State (USTFCCCA, ORV; Southeast, No. 4)
Northern Arizona (USTFCCCA, No. 18; Mountain, No. 3)
Notre Dame (USTFCCCA, No. 13; Great Lakes, No. 2)

Ohio State (Great Lakes, No. 7)
Oklahoma (USTFCCCA, No. 4; Midwest, No. 2)
Penn State (Mid-Atlantic, No. 4)
Portland (USTFCCCA, No. 5; West, No. 1)
Princeton (USTFCCCA, No. 11, Mid-Atlantic, No. 1)

Providence (Northeast, No. 5)
Purdue (Great Lakes, No. 13)
Stanford (USTFCCCA, No. 8; West, No. 2)
Syracuse (USTFCCCA, No. 10; Northeast, No. 2)

Texas A&M (USTFCCCA, ORV; South Central, No. 3)
Texas (USTFCCCA, No. 22; South Central, No. 1)
Virginia (USTFCCCA, No. 29; Southeast, No. 3)

Washington (West, No. 8)
Wisconsin (USTFCCCA, No. 1; Great Lakes, No. 1)
Yale (Northeast, No. 7)

Competing Women's Teams (USTFCCCA, Rank; Region, Rank) -

Arizona (USTFCCCA, No. 2; West, No. 1)
Arizona State (West, No. 7)
Boston College (USTFCCCA, No. 21; Northeast, No. 3)
Brown (Northeast, No. 9)
BYU (Mountain, No. 5)
California (West, No. 8)
Cal Poly (West, No. 13)
UCLA (West, No. 12)
Colorado State (Mountain, No. 14)
Columbia (USTFCCCA, No. 23; Northeast, No. 2)
UConn (Northeast, No. 6)
Cornell (USTFCCCA, No. 9; Northeast, No. 1)
Dartmouth (USTFCCCA, ORV; Northeast, No. 5)
Duke (Southeast, No. 5)
Eastern Kentucky (Southeast, No. 11)
Georgia (South, No. 4)
Harvard (Northeast, No. 14)
Indiana (Great Lakes, No. 7)
Iona (Northeast, No. 12)
Iowa (Midwest, No. 6)
Iowa State (USTFCCCA, No. 5; Midwest, No. 1)
Kansas (Midwest, No. 13)
LaSalle (Mid-Atlantic, No. 6)
Michigan State (USTFCCCA, No. 10; Great Lakes, No. 2)
Minnesota (USTFCCCA, No. 27; Midwest, No. 3)

Missouri (Midwest, No. 8)
New Mexico (USTFCCCA, No. 19; Mountain, No. 2)
North Carolina (USTFCCCA, ORV; Southeast, No. 3)
NC State (USTFCCCA, No. 26; Southeast, No. 2)
Northern Arizona (Mountain, No. 4)
Northwestern (Midwest, No. 5)
Notre Dame (USTFCCCA, No. 16; Great Lakes, No. 4)
Ohio State (Great Lakes, No. 8)
Penn State (USTFCCCA, No. 14; Mid-Atlantic, No. 2)
Princeton (USTFCCCA, ORV; Mid-Atlantic, No. 4)
Providence (USTFCCCA, No. 28; Northeast, No. 7)
Purdue (Great Lakes, No. 11)
San Francisco (USTFCCCA, No. 5; West, No. 5)
Stanford (USTFCCCA, No. 7; West, No. 4)

Syracuse (USTFCCCA, ORV; Northeast, No. 8)
Texas A&M (South Central, No. 4)
Toledo (USTFCCCA, No. 15; Great Lakes, No. 3)
Vanderbilt (USTFCCCA, No. 12; South, No. 2)

Virginia (USTFCCCA, ORV; Southeast, No. 6)
Washington (USTFCCCA, No. 3; West, No. 2)
Weber State (USTFCCCA, No. 13; Mountain, No. 1)
Wisconsin (USTFCCCA, No. 29; Great Lakes, No. 6)
Yale (USTFCCCA, No. 30; Northeast, No. 4)

ORV - Others receiving votes in national poll
BOLD - Ranked in USTFCCCA Top 30

Nittany Lion Notes -

Last Time Out ...
Led by top 20 performances by juniors Rebekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio), and Victoria Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.), the 17th-ranked Nittany Lion women's cross country squad placed fifth overall at the Greater Louisville Classic on September 29, knocking off No. 8 Vanderbilt, as well as No. 29 and conference rival, Wisconsin. The men's squad also posted a solid effort, placing 10th in the team standings, thanks to a 17th-place finish from senior Sam Masters (Columbia, Mo.), individually.

Last Time in Madison ...
Penn State's last appearance on the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course was at the 2010 Big Ten Cross Country Championships, where both Nittany Lion squads captured fourth place finishes thanks to top ten individual efforts from then-sophomore Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio), and then-junior Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.). Ridder's ninth-place effort was good for All-Big Ten Second Team status, with classmate Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.) also earning all-conference recognition, thanks to a 14th-place standing. Dawson claimed his second-career all-conference certificate via an eighth-place effort individually, with junior Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) followed in 13th, also posting the second all-conference performance of his career.

NCAA Qualifying ...
September 21 served as the opening for the NCAA's "At-Large" window, in which "points" can be earned over opposing schools, that could later count towards a team's bid to the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The NCAA accepts a total of 31 teams per gender to the NCAA Cross Country Championships each fall, with the top two teams from each of the nine Regional Championships races receiving automatic berths. The next 13 teams are chosen via an "at-large" system, based upon "points" earned throughout the season.

Recent Rankings ...
Coming off a stellar performance in an outstanding field at the Greater Louisville Classic, the Nittany Lion women's cross country team has vaulted to No. 14 in the latest United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA). This week's position is the highest national ranking since Penn State was tabbed No. 11 in November of 2009, following the Nittany Lions' dramatic victory at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships. The Nittany Lions held their own against sensational competition on September 29, placing fifth out of 31 schools at Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, which will also play host to the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.

Home Course Advantage ...
Junior Victoria Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.) and redshirt-sophomore Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lions individually despite rainy and windy conditions, each turning in runner-up finishes, Saturday at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational at the Blue-White Golf Courses. The Nittany Lion women's squad posted a dominant effort in the team standings, winning the competition with a 25-point total, thanks to five finishers in the top 10, and seven in the top 16. Penn State also fared well on the men's side, taking third overall in a solid early-season field.

Early Big Ten Honors ...
Following victories at the Dolan Duals at Lock Haven last weekend, redshirt-freshman Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) and junior Rebekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio) have been named Big Ten Cross Country Athletes of the Week. The Nittany Lions provided a dominate effort in the team standings with both teams picking up victories over Lock Haven, including a 15-50 sweep by the women's squad.

Off and Running ...
Redshirt freshman Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) and junior Rebekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio) led the way with individual titles, pacing the Nittany Lion cross country squads to a pair of team victories at the annual Dolan Duals at Lock Haven University on Sept. 31. Simko headed up a perfect effort from the women's squad, which saw the Nittany Lions better the Bald Eagles, 15-50. Simko gapped the field down the homestretch of the 4,000-meter course, finishing in 14:16. Teammate Tori Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.) was next in line, finishing in 14:20 for second overall. The men's squad was just as successful, bettering their competitors, 25-30, with Creese picking up the individual victory in 18:12 over 6,000-meters, in his first cross country appearance in a Nittany Lion uniform. The Nittany Lions covered three of the top five finishing spots, with junior Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.), and Tom Luff (Emmaus, Pa.) taking third and fourth, respectively, in 18:36 and 18:37.

Nittany Lions in Charge ...
A quintet of seniors will serve at Penn State's team captains for the 2012 seasons, with 2011 NCAA qualifiers Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.), Lindsey Graybill (Macungie, Pa.), and Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) captaining the women's squad, and Tyler Corkedale (West Windsor, N.J.), and Tom Luff (Emmaus, Pa.) leading the men's team.

Next Time Out ...
Following Wisconsin, the Nittany Lions will be back on the conference stage, competing at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships, hosted by Michigan State University on October 28.

Mark Your Calendars ...
The road to the NCAA Championships will begin in Happy Valley, as the Nittany Lions are slated to host the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships on Friday, November 9. Regional races are set to begin at 12:00 p.m.




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