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Nov. 12, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Seven Nittany Lions have officially earned United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) all-region status, announced by Coaches' Association offices on Monday. The Nittany Lions will travel a healthy contingent to the NCAA Cross Country Championships this weekend, including the No. 15 Penn State women's squad, which is coming off a winning-effort at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, along with senior Sam Masters (Columbia, Mo.), who has qualified as an individual.
The Nittany Lions edged out defending NCAA Champion Georgetown, 61-63, for the Mid-Atlantic title - the first regional win in the program's history. Earning her first all-region citation was junior Victoria Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.), who paced the Nittany Lions with a fourth-place effort, finishing in 20:31 over the 6,000-meter course.
Senior Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) turned in her second-straight all-region effort, via a career-best 10th-place showing. Ridder, who finished in 20:33, will make her fourth-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championships this weekend. Capturing her first-career all-region certificate was junior Rebekka Simko (Mentor, Ohio), who placed 10th overall in 20:44. Simko also earned All-Conference status at the Big Ten Championships, thanks to a fifth place finish.
Also claiming all-region status for the first time were Nittany Lion fourth and fifth finishers, sophomore Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.), and junior Emily Giannotti (Coudersport, Pa.). The Penn State duo crossed in 20th and 21st, respectively, clocking 21:14 and 21:17.
Penn State and Georgetown each had the highest amount of all-region honorees, each putting five in the Top 25. Nationally speaking, the Big Ten Conference garnered the most all-region finishes, earning 29 in total.
Masters was the Lions' top finisher on the men's side, leading the Nittany Lions with a 12th-place effort. Masters, who finished in 30:48 over 10,000-meters, helped the Nittany Lions to a fifth-place finish in the team standings. Also copping all-region honors was senior Tyler Jones (Chalfont, Pa.), who finished in 31:09, for 25th overall.
The NCAA Cross Country Championships are scheduled for Saturday, November 17, at the University of Louisville.