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Oct. 16, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: October 16, 2010 - Juniors Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) and Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) posted second and third-place finishes, respectively, leading the 23rd-ranked Nittany Lions to a second-place finish in the team standings, Saturday at the Penn State National at the Blue and White Golf Courses. On the women's side, sophomore Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) paced the Nittany Lions to a third-place effort, finishing 20th individually.
"It was a tremendous day for the Penn State National," said Director of Track and Field/Cross Country and Head Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. "It was a typical mid-October day in Happy Valley, with great competitions from both squads."
Dawson mounted an outstanding last 1,000-meters, crossing second overall in 25:24 - just off individual winner Terefe Ejigu of Eastern Michigan, who finished in 25:23. McNally posted an impressive finish, making a charge to the head of the pack up the final hill, and holding on for third in 25:29. Dawson and McNally have been outstanding all season, as both also notched top 15 finishes at the Notre Dame Invitational earlier this month.
"The men ran inspired, chasing a highly-ranked Syracuse team, and taking care of one of our rivals, Villanova," continued Sullivan. "Dawson and McNally showed early race patience that paid out for big finishes, and our pack ran strong to secure second-place finish for our team."
Junior Chris Cipro (Harmony, Pa.) was next to cross as the Lions' number three, placing 25th in 26:00. In their regular season appearances on their home course, seniors Owen Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) and Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia) turned in 30th and 31st-place finishes, respectively, finishing off the scoring with times of 26:04, and 26:05. Sophomore Tom Luff (Emmaus, Pa.) and freshman Nick Scarpello (Jameson, Pa.) covered the Lions' sixth and seventh spots, placing 63rd and 69th overall, breaking the tape in 26:34 and 26:40.
The men's team held solid in an outstanding field with No. 14 Syracuse taking the team title with 61 points. The Nittany Lions claimed second overall totaling 91 points, to edge Villanova - which was among those receiving votes in the most recent USTFCCCA pool - in third with 95. Grand Valley State placed fourth overall with 139, while Cornell rounded out the top five with 178.
Ridder ran as the Lions' number one for the second-straight race, taking 20th in 21:18 her top performance of the year for 6,000-meters. Junior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) was not far behind as the Lions' second runner, placing 25th overall in 21:26. Sophomore Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.) finished on Lane's heels, taking 27th overall in 21:27.
Junior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.) was the fourth Nittany Lion across the finish line, placing 30th in the individual standings with a time of 21:35. Sophomore Lindsey Graybill (Macungie, Pa.) stepped up as the Lions' fifth and final scorer for the first time this season, taking 35th overall in 21:42.
"The women had a tough draw with Villanova and Syracuse but I think we held our own," said Sullivan. "We ran a little lost in the pack, but continue to show the strength of a Penn State pack that we hope to utilize strongly at the Big Tens. We look forward to the home course advantage in November, and we're pleased with the outcome today."
Villanova's Sheila Reid won the individual title, running 20:23 - seven seconds ahead of the rest of the field - leading her number-one ranked Wildcat squad to a run-away victory with 26 points. No. 7 Syracuse placed second overall with 57 points, while the Nittany Lions - currently ranked 30th in the NCAA - came in third overall with 137. Miami (Ohio) placed fourth with 155, followed by Grand Valley State- the top ranked team in Division II - with 166.
The Lions have now concluded their regular season competition, and will move into postseason action with the Big Ten Championships, set for October 31, at the University of Wisconsin.