Dorr, Loxsom and Alford-Sullivan take Big Ten track postseason awards

University Park, Pa. — After winning the program's third-straight Big Ten Outdoor Championship, and completing the 2009-10 "Triple Crown," the Nittany Lion women's track and field team was well represented in the conference's postseason awards, with senior Fawn Dorr (Akron, N.Y.) garnering Track Athlete of the Championship recognition, and Director and Head Coach of Penn State Track and Field Beth Alford-Sullivan earning Coach of the Year honors. Freshman Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) was recognized on the men's side, winning Freshman of the Year accolades, thanks to his victory in the 800-meters.

Dorr stood out throughout the entire competition, winning a grand total of four Big Ten gold medals with individual victories in the 400-meter and 400-meter hurdles, to go along with relay wins in the 4x100- and 4x400-meters. Dorr, who was joined by teammates Shavon Greaves (Lakewood, N.J.), Caitlin Defusco (Schwenksville, Pa.), and Aleesha Barber (Decatur, Ga.), anchored the winning 4x100 to a season-best 44.62 - which also ranks as the third-best performance in school history. Dorr would go on to impress in the individual events, running a career-best 52.51 to best the 400 field, and come back with a 57.50-effort in the 400 hurdles, adding another 10 points to the team total. Nationally speaking, the senior currently ranks eighth in the NCAA in the 400 (52.51), and seventh in the 400 hurdles (56.65). Dorr's anchor leg in the 4x400 capped the Lions' team title, and another event victory (3:35.18), along with teammates Megan Duncan (North Huntindon, Pa.), Greaves, and Doris Anyanwu (Beltsville, Md.).

Sullivan claims her third conference Coach of the Year citation, after winning the honor during the cross country and indoor track and field seasons. Sullivan's Nittany Lions fired on all cylinders last weekend, earning individual titles in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meters, as well as in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase, and the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays. The Lions totaled 133.50 points to win out in an exciting team battle with Minnesota, which eventually finished second with 123. Sullivan is the first Big Ten coach to lead a program to the "Triple Crown" title sweep since Michigan accomplished the feat in 2002-03. Penn State joins only Michigan (1993-94, 2002-03), and Wisconsin (1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1996-97) as programs to win cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field titles across the same academic year.

Sullivan, who now has six Big Ten titles to her credit, has been voted Coach of the Year by her Big Ten peers on six occasions. All told, Sullivan has earned an impressive total of 23 coaching citations over her decorated career. Since coming to Penn State in the fall of 1999, Sullivan has coached 91 Big Ten Champions on the women's side, and 14 men's champions since taking over the Nittany Lion men during 2006-07 season.

 

Loxsom, who currently ranks second in the NCAA in the 800 at 1:46.74, captured his first-career Big Ten victory, running away with the 800-meter crown in 1:48.06 - well over a full second ahead of the second-place competitor. The frosh also anchored Penn State's seventh-place 4x400, which ran a season-best 3:11.85. Loxsom is the first Nittany Lion to win Freshman of the Year honors in track and field, and the second overall for the Penn State program after Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) was named top rookie during the 2008 cross country season. The freshman continues a long-standing tradition of middle distance success by the Nittany Lions at the conference level, as Loxsom is second-straight Nittany Lion to win the outdoor 800 title, following teammate Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia), who won the crown in 2009. In all, the Nittany Lions have won five of the last six conference 800 titles over the indoor and outdoor seasons.

A total of 10 Nittany Lions were named to the All-Big Ten First and Second Teams following their outstanding efforts at the Championships, including Dorr, Greaves, Anyanwu, Duncan, Barber, DeFusco, and steeplechase winner Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) on the women's first team, and Loxsom and shot put champion Blake Eaton (Allegany, N.Y.). Throwers Karlee McQuillen (Johnstown, Pa.) and Joe Kovacs (Nazareth, Pa.) both earned second-team recognition for runner-up finishes in their respective events. Meanwhile, Dorr and senior Brad Lawrence (Voorhees, N.J.) were recipients of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

The Nittany Lions continue the championship portion of the 2010 campaign next weekend at the NCAA First Round, set for May 27-29 in Greensboro, N.C.

Contacts: 
Last Updated May 21, 2010