Women's track and field captures Big Ten Outdoor title

University Park, Pa. — Heading into the last event of the championships, the 4x400 meter relay, the defending Big Ten champion Penn State women's track & field team couldn't have been any closer to successfully defending its title and trailed Michigan by less than a point. A third-place finish by the relay, edging out the fourth-place Wolverine relay team, was all it took for the Nittany Lions to be able to hold high their second straight Big Ten women's outdoor track & field title. In the final tally, every individual place from first to 10th counted in a big way as the Nittany Lions won by just .25 points finishing with a 139 to Michigan's 138.75.

Sophomore Shavon GReaves (Lakewood, N.J.) was the highlight for Penn State and left the championships with a pair of Big Ten titles. Junior Fawn Dorr (Akron, N.Y.) also came up big for Penn State, finishing as the conference runner-up in the 400 meters and the 400-meter hurdles and then anchoring the relay to boost the Lions to the top.

Greaves captured the 100 meters with a regional qualifying time of 11.49 to grab the title. In the 200, she posted a 23.35, out-running senior Gayle Hunter (Riverside, Calif.), who finished second for PSU and posted a time of 23.81.

Hunter scored points for Penn State in the most events of any individual, scoring in three events in addition to the 200 meters while also running the 4x400 relay. Hunter posted points in the heptathlon after finishing third with a school-record 5730 points, finished the 100 meter hurdles with the fifth-place time of 13.58, and was fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 12.68 meters.

Senior Emma Schmelzer (Bloomington, Ill.) was also exceptional for the Nittany Lions, posting two Big Ten runner-up finishes. She was second in the hammer throw (54.71 meters) and in the discus (49.74 meters), and also finished fourth in the shot put (15.33 meters).

Competing in her home state, junior Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) continued to be a stronger performer for the Nittany Lions, as she placed second in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a regional qualifying 9:58.27. She also placed third in the 5000 meter run, posting a 15:58.31.

The 4x100 meter relay was the runner-up at the Big Ten meet, losing by a hair to Michigan, but posting a regional qualifying time of 45.62 doing it.

The Nittany Lions collected 15 points in the javelin, led by a Big Ten runner-up finish from sophomore Karlee McQuillen (Johnstown, Pa.), who threw for 53.62 meters, which is an NCAA regional qualifying throw. Sophomore Kim Hansloven also posted a regional qualifying mark, finishing third with a throw of 48.55 meters. Mattie Pancoast (West Chester, Pa.) grabbed the Nittany Lions a point with her eight-place throw to round out the scoring in that event for Penn State.

Other points scorers in the Nittany Lions' victory were: senior Aleesha Barber (Decatur, Ga.) placing seventh in the 100 meter hurdles; sophomore Gabriela Baiter (Greenlawn, N.Y.), placing eighth in the triple jump; sophomore Megan Duncan (North Huntingdon, Pa.), who finished fifth in the 400 meter hurdles; junior Caitlin Fairburn (Greenville, Pa.), who placed sixth in the pole vault; sophomore Bianca Fung (North Babylon, N.Y.), who was sixth in the long jump; and junior Brittany Maun (Greenville, Pa.), who finished fourth in the high jump.

Penn State (139) and Michigan (138.75) went one-two on the women's side of the competition. Minnesota was third (131.5), followed by Illinois (100), Indiana (74.25), Purdue (64), Michigan State (57.25), Ohio State (45), Wisconsin (38.25) and Iowa (31).

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Last Updated November 18, 2010