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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's and women's cross country/track & field teams announced its team awards for the 2014 season last week.
Matt Fischer (cross country), Brannon Kidder (track) and Steve Waithe (field) were named Most Valuable on the men's side of the program, while Elizabeth Chikotas (cross country), Mahagony Jones (track) and Laura Loht (field) were named Most Valuable on the women's side.
During Fischer's senior year of cross country, he won the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational and the Mid-Atlantic Regional to advance to the NCAA Championships for a second-straight year. Fischer was also named second team All-Big Ten for his eighth-place finish at the Big Ten meet.
Kidder was named Most Valuable for his performances on the track. Kidder won his second-straight indoor 800-meter run Big Ten title and he ran the anchor leg of the distance medley relay to secure a third-straight DMR Big Ten title for Penn State. He also ran the opening leg of the distance medley relay team that posted the second-fastest time in collegiate history (9:26.59) at the Penn State National, which is a school, facility, and meet record.
On the national stage, Kidder was a three-time All-American. At the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, Kidder finished 13th in the 800-meter run and was on the 11th-place distance medley relay team. At the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Kidder finished 12th in the 1,500-meter run.
Waithe, a two-time All-American in the triple jump, garners Most Valuable honors for his work in the field events. In the triple jump, Waithe won the Big Ten title at the outdoor meet and finished second at the indoor meet.
At the national level, Waithe finished sixth in the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Chikotas, a freshman from Hellertown, Pa., was named Most Valuable on the women's cross country team. Chikotas was the top Nittany Lion finisher in four of the six meets she competed in. She was also named the Big Ten Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year as she placed 15th at the Big Ten meet.
Jones had a stellar senior year for the Nittany Lions and was named Most Valuable on the track for the Penn State women. During her senior season, Jones captured two indoor Big Ten titles, two outdoor Big Ten titles and was named a first team All-American five times.
Jones recorded the second-fastest times in school history in the 60-meter dash (7.26) the indoor 200-meter dash (22.93) and the outdoor 200-meter dash (22.90). Jones also posted the third-fastest 100-meter dash time (11.29) in school history.
She was also on the 4x200-meter relay that set the collegiate record at Penn State Indoor Relays with their time of 1:35.65 and she was a member of the 4x400-meter relay team that set the school record with their time of 3:33.13 en route to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Loht garners Most Valuable honors for the women's field events as she ended her career with All-America honors in the javelin. At the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Loht recorded a school record throw of 178-6 to finish fifth and garner first team All-America honors.
2014 Penn State Team Award Winners
Men: Matt Fischer (cross country), Brannon Kidder (track), Steve Waithe (field)
Women: Elizabeth Chikotas (cross country), Mahagony Jones (track), Laura Loht (field)
Men: Glen Burkhardt (cross country), Wade Endress (cross country), Brian Leap (track & field)
Women: Katie Rodden (cross country), Brittney Howell (track & field)
Men (cross country): Matt Fischer
Men (track & field): Will Barr, Bernard Bennett-Green, Matt Fischer, Jon Hendershot, Aaron Nadolsky
Women (cross country): Leigha Anderson, Katie Rodden
Women (track & field): Evonne Britton, Emily Giannotti, Melissa Kurzdorfer, Laura Loht, Marlene Ricketts
Following winter break, the Nittany Lions are back in action at the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track as they host the Penn State Indoor Relays on Jan. 10.
For more on Nittany Lion track & field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.