This Saturday, the Penn State track team started of its 2012 campaign on the right foot at the Penn State Relays.
On the women’s side of the meet, Penn State notched 12 first place finishes. Sophomore Mahagony Jones pulled out the 60m/200m double running 7.41 and 23.68 respectively. According to Jess Riden at gopsusports.com, “her 7.41 [for 60m] is tied for the third-fastest effort in Nittany Lion indoor history, and her 200 mark stands fifth on the all-time list.” Jones seems to be setting herself up for a stellar season both indoors and out. Her 200m time currently stands at number one in the nation.
Perhaps even more impressive however, was the 4×400 meter relay at the end of the meet. Jones, Dynasty McGee (freshman), Kirsten Nieuwendam (sophomore), and Ije Iheoma (senior) put together the fastest time in the NCAA this year. Their impressive 3:36.91 was good for the victory and meet record.
Iheoma also had a stellar day individually with a second place finish in the 500m behind PSU Alum and Brooks athlete Fawn Dorr. Her second place time was 1:12.05 and a PR.
In the distance events, the Penn State women showed their strength. Freshmen Lauren Mills and Leigha Anderson led the charge in the 3000m, finishing only .02 seconds apart. Other notable finishes included Kerrin Jennings second place finish of 3:02.86 in the 1000m, a first place finish by the 4×800 team (Colleen Shannon, Marta Klebe, Kalyn Fisher, Markea Dickinson), and a first place result for the Distance Medley Relay team (Bekka Simko, Colleen Shannon, Rachel Casciano, Tori Perri).
Senior Jocelyn Witmer led the way for a slew of field victories with her meet record 12-6.25 pole vault. Senior Jane Swenson won the shot put; while Melissa Kurzdorfer brought home the gold in the 20 lb weight throw with a toss of 60-01.75.
On the men’s side, there were just as many impressive performances. Sophomore Aaron Nadolsky won the 200m in 21.59, good enough for a personal best.
Penn State continued their throwing dominance, taking the top two slots in the shot put. Other victories included the weight throw, triple jump, and long jump.
A victory by the 4×400 team set the tone for the rest of the season. Anchored by Nadolsky, their time of 3:09 is 3rd in the NCAA after only the first official meet. They were also without sophomore Brady Gehret, last year’s 3rd place finisher in the 400m at NCAA Indoors. Look for them to make a run come NCAA’s in March.
The men’s second place finish in the DMR was equally as impressive. The team, made up of all freshmen, currently has the leading time in the country (9:49.04). Wade Endress, Connor Manley, Robby Creese, and Ryan Brennen showed Saturday that they are ready to compete at the highest level. The first place DMR team was unaffiliated with any school and was made up of PSU Alums Kevin Fuller, Brian Fuller, and Ryan Foster (as well as current senior Owen Dawson).
You can watch a post-meet interview with Head Coach Beth Sullivan here, courtesy of GoPSUSports.
Penn State will look to continue their winning ways this Saturday (1/14) at home where they will host the Nittany Lion Challenge.