Four earn All-America finishes at NCAA Indoor Championships

Fayetteville, Ark. — Seniors Fawn Dorr (Akron, N.Y.), and Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) added two more All-America finishes to the weekend count, Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Championships at Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas. In front of a crowd of well over 5,000 spectators, the Nittany Lions picked up two more top eight efforts in the 800-meters, with juniors Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia), and Owen Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) tallying third and eighth-place finishes, respectively - the second All-America finish for Foster, and the first for Dawson. All told, the Lions come away from the weekend with an outstanding total of four All-Americans, with four on the men's side, and four from the women's squad.

The senior sprinted to a fifth-place effort in the 400-meters, in a sizzling 52.58 - just off her lifetime-best 52.53. Hampton's Francena McCorory was the event with an American Record setting 50.54, followed by Oregon's Keshia Baker, who clocked 51.63 out of the first of two seeded finals. The finish is the fifth All-America effort for Dorr, who is in her third year with the Nittany Lions, after transferring to Happy Valley as a sophomore. Dorr's standing is also the second highest by a Nittany Lion women in the indoor quarter mile - second to only Shana Cox, who placed fourth in 2008.

Foster held his ground early on the race, running comfortable in second for much of the three laps of the event. On the final turn, Oregon's Andrew Wheating and Virginia's Robby Andrews surged to the front of the pack with Foster holding on for third place with outstanding final lap. Foster finished in 1:48.79 - less than half a second off the winner - while Dawson turned in an effort of 1:49.59. Andrews and Wheating would go 1:48.39, and 1:48.40, respectively, for gold and silver-medal honors.

Foster ties the highest-ever finish by a Nittany Lion in the event with his bronze medal effort, while he and Dawson are the second and third indoor All-Americans in the 800 in PSU history. The Nittany Lions were one of the best represented teams in the field with two entrants, as LSU was the only other team with two athletes in the event.

With the top three place winners out well ahead of the rest of the field, Franek bided her time at the head of the chase pack, and held on for a furious final two laps to take seventh overall, crossing the finish line in 9:12.62 - with less than three second separating fourth-through-eighth positions. Illinois' Angela Bizzari finished first in the event, clocking 8:57.40. With her second-career All-America finish in the 3,000, Franek's career total is now up to an outstanding nine All-America finishes.

The Lion 4x400-meter squad closed out the evening with a ninth-place finish - just shy of All-America status. The team of Doris Anyanwu (Beltsville, Md.), Caitlin Defusco (Schwenksville, Pa.), Shavon Greaves (Lakewood, N.J.), and Dorr would place fourth in their heat, with a time of 3:35.39 - the team's second-fastest effort of the season.

The Nittany Lions also held their own in the team standings, with the women placing 13th, and the men tying for 14th. Oregon ran away with the women's competition with 61 points, followed by Tennessee with 36, LSU with 35, Florida with 33, and Texas A&M with 31. The Lions totaled 17 points, to claim their third-consecutive top 15 finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and second-highest indoor standing in program history. The men tallied 14 points in a three-way tie with Texas Tech and Oklahoma for 14th. Florida topped the men's competition with 57, with Texas A&M and Oregon tying for second with 44, LSU taking fourth with 42, and Arkansas rounding out the top five with 38. The men's team total is the best by a Penn State squad since the 1990 season, and is tied for the third-best effort in the Nittany Lion record books.

The Nittany Lions will continue their 2010 campaign at the end of the month, beginning outdoor season with the Jim Thorpe Invitational, set for March 27, at Nittany Lion Track.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010