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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State cross country and track & field program hosted its second-annual awards banquet Thursday night in Deans Hall at the Penn Stater with several student-athletes receiving recognition through awards voted on by the coaches.
“It is extremely important to me to host an awards banquet like we had to honor all of the amazing accomplishments our student-athletes had in 2015,” said head coach John Gondak. “They put their heart and soul into being the best they can be and that needs to be recognized. It is also a chance for our up and coming athletes to see that their hard work will pay off down the road.”
The 2015 indoor track & field season saw the women’s team record a third-place finish, while the men placed fourth. It was the third-consecutive year the men’s team has been in the top-four, and the 11th-consecutive year the women have been in the top-four. The men’s team would go on to finish 12th at the NCAA indoor championships in Fayetteville, Ark. to close out the indoor season.
During the 2015 Big Ten outdoor track & field championships the Penn State men finished fifth while the women placed seventh. The men’s team would wrap up the outdoor season recording the highest finish in team history since 1966 (ninth-place) with their 10th-place finish.
This fall semester would see the men’s cross country team finish sixth at the Big Ten championships, followed by a fifth-place finish at the Mid-Atlantic regional. Three Nittany Lions were named All-Region for their performances at the meet in Princeton, N.J.
The women’s cross country team entered the Big Ten championships as the No. 16 team in the nation, behind No. 2 Michigan. Penn State would go on to win the Big Ten championship by the fourth-smallest margin of victory in Big Ten history (five points), defeating the Wolverines by a score of 53-58, placing six athletes in the top-25 and capturing the second Big Ten cross country championship in program history. The Nittany Lions would go on to capture the Mid-Atlantic regional championship, with five student-athletes earning All-Region honors, before recording a 16th-place finish at the NCAA championships where freshman Tessa Barrett earned her first All-American honor following a 38th-place finish.
Penn State had three Penn Relays champions, 11 student-athletes win a Big Ten championship, 10 student-athletes earn 13 All-American honors, and set three new school records during the 2015 calendar year. This year’s team banquet featured 30 student-athletes earning awards highlighting the success of the 2015 track & field seasons and cross country seasons.
2015 Penn State Track and Field Ed Moran Memorial – Freshman of the Year
- Bryce Williams
2015 Penn State Track and Field Freshman of the Year
- Elizabeth Chikotas
2015 Penn State Track and Field Most Inspirational
- Tichina Rhodes
2015 Penn State Track and Field Kevin Dare – Most Inspirational
- Glen Burkhardt
2015 Penn State Track and Field Coaches Award
- 4x400 Meter Relay – Megan Osborne
- 4x400 Meter Relay – Tichina Rhodes
- 4x400 Meter Relay – Dynasty McGee
- DMR – Brannon Kidder
- DMR – Alex Shisler
- DMR – Robby Creese
- DMR – Za’von Watkins
- Michael Shuey
- Brian Leap