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Women's Cross Country, Dawson and McNally to NCAA Championships

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Brooklyne Ridder will be making her third straight trip to Terre Haute.

Nov. 18, 2011

2011 NCAA XC Postseason Guide Get Acrobat Reader

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Nittany Lion cross country squads will lay it all on the line on Monday, competing at the NCAA Championships at Indiana State University. Coming off stellar finishes at the Big Ten and NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, the No. 21 Nittany Lion women's squad will make its third-straight appearance at the national meet, while the men's team will be represented by senior duo Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.), and Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.). The Lions will send a seasoned group of veterans into action, as six of seven members of the women's competing squad have been to the national championships on at least one occasion, while McNally will be making his fourth-career appearance, and Dawson makes the meet for the third time.

Led by seniors Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) and Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.), the Penn State women's contingent has been on fire over recent weeks, placing third in a stacked field at the Big Ten Championships, and coming back with a fourth-place showing in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Lane has hit her stride individually, capturing top honors at the Big Ten Championships with Millhouse following in seventh place - also earning all-conference status. The duo was just as solid at the regional meet, with Lane turning in a sixth-place finish against some of the country's top individuals, and Millhouse placing 11th overall.

Lane and Millhouse will also joined by teammates Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.) on the all-region awards stand, with the pair of juniors taking 20th and 22nd in the region, respectively. All four Nittany Lions - Lane, Millhouse, Ridder, and Bower - will be making their third-straight trip to Terre Haute. The quartet were all members of Nittany Lions' 14th-place NCAA squad in 2009 - the highest finish by a Penn State team since the Lions placed 11th in 1996. The occasion also marks the first time the Nittany Lions have made three-straight NCAA appearances since Penn State went in consecutive years in 1991, 1992, and 1993.

Dawson and McNally will also have experience on their side, with McNally becoming just the 13th male athlete in Penn State history to earn four-straight qualifying bids. Dawson is also no stranger to the competition, leading the Nittany Lions with a 64th-place overall finish a year ago.

The Nittany Lions will square off against a field of well over 200 runners in the races, with some of their toughest competition coming from within the Big Ten Conference and the Mid-Atlantic Region. On the women's side, the field will include No. 2 Villanova, and No. 4 Georgetown from the Mid-Atlantic, along with No. 9 West Virginia. The Nittany Lions ran tough against all three squads a week ago, finishing just behind West Virginia for fourth place. Penn State will also get another look at several foes from the Big Ten in No. 10 Michigan, No. 15 Michigan State, No. 25 Wisconsin, and No. 28 Minnesota.

No. 1 Florida State enters as the overall favorite on the women's side, while Wisconsin is rated No. 1 in the men's race, followed by defending champ Oklahoma State.

The men's race is set to kick things off at 12:08 p.m., ET, on Monday, with the women's competition following at 12:58 p.m..

About the NCAA Championships ...
Where: Terre Haute, Ind. (Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course)
When: Monday, November 21
Race Times (Distances): 12:08 p.m., ET (Men's 10,000-meters); 12:58 p.m., ET (Women's 6,000-meters)
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At the 2010 NCAA Championships: The Nittany Lion men's and women's cross country teams capped sensational 2010 seasons, both posting top 30 finishes at the NCAA Championships at LaVern Gibson Championship Course at Indiana State University. Sophomore Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) paced the Nittany Lion women to a 26th-place showing in the team standings, while junior Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) was the top Nittany Lion finisher in the men's race, headlining Penn State's 30th-place finish.

Vince McNally is just the 13th male athlete in PSU history to earn four straight NCAA qualifying bids.

At the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships: Paced by top 10 finishes by seniors Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.), and Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.), both Nittany Lion cross country squads turned in fourth-place efforts in the team standings, last Saturday at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. Along with Lane and Dawson, a total of seven Nittany Lions finished in all-region status, including senior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.), and juniors Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.) on the women's side, and seniors Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) and Owen Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) in the men's race.

Postseason Accolades: On the heels of a convincing victory at the Big Ten Championships, senior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) has been named Big Ten Athlete of the Year, announced by conference offices on November 1. Also earning conference recognition were junior Tyler Corkedale (West Windsor, N.J.) and Emily Giannotti(Coudersport, Pa.), who were the Nittany Lion recipients of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

At the Big Ten Championships: Senior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) took top honors, leading the Nittany Lion women's squad to a third-place finish in the team standings, Sunday, at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships at the University of Illinois Arboretum. Lane led a trio of Nittany Lions on the women's all-conference team, with senior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.) earning first team status, and sophomore Emily Giannotti (Coudersport, Pa.) claiming second team honors. Seniors Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) and Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lions' sixth-place finish on the men's side, placing 12th and 13th, respectively, both capturing all-conference second team accolades.

At the Penn State National: Despite a driving rain, and extremely muddy conditions, the Nittany Lion men took top honors in the team standings, on October 14, at the Penn State National. The women also held their own in a challenging field, placing third overall. Senior Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) led the men with a third-place effort, while senior Kara Millhouse(Boiling Springs, Pa.) placed fourth individually in the women's race, with classmate Caitlin Lane(Greenwich, N.Y.) following on her heels in fifth overall.

At the Notre Dame Invitational: Running in rainy and windy conditions, senior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.) turned in a 12th-place finish individually, leading the Nittany Lion women's squad to a fourth-place standing at the Adidas Notre Dame, Friday at Notre Dame Golf Course. The women's squad also knocked off a pair of ranked teams in the effort, upending No. 22 and regional foe Princeton, as well as No. 29 BYU. The Nittany Lions finished 14th in the men's standings, paced by a 27th-place effort from senior Kyle Dawson(Coatesville, Pa.).

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.




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