Five Nittany Lions garner track and field All-America status

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A total of five Nittany Lion track and field standouts - including senior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.), freshman Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio), sophomore Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.), junior Laura Loht (McClure, Pa.), and sophomore Lauren Kenney (State College, Pa.) - have officially garnered United States Track and Field/Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) First Team All-America status, announced by USTFCCCA on June 10. To earn First Team All-America status, athletes must have placed among the top eight finishers in the their respective event, last week at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Loxsom capped his Nittany Lion career in tremendous fashion, bringing home a second-place finish in the 800 meters - good for the sixth All-America citation of his career, as well as his second NCAA silver-medal finish of 2013. Also standing out in the same race was Kidder - just a freshman - who impressed the Hayward Field faithful with a third-place finish in the half mile. Kidder is also now a two-time All-American in as many tries, having finished second as a member of the Penn State's distance medley relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Historically speaking, Penn State is the first program to have two top three finishers in the men's outdoor 800 since Michigan in 1945, when the Wolverines earned first and third-place standings. Kidder's performance is historic among freshman athletes, as the frosh is the highest finishing frosh in the 800 since 2010, and is one of just three rookies to earn a top three finish in the event in the last 10 years.

Creese also stood out in the middle distances, finishing sixth overall in the men's 1500 meters. The sophomore, who earns the Nittany Lions' first All-America finish in the event since 1994, is now a two-time First Team All-America selection.

Loht and Kenney - the Nittany Lions' outstanding javelin duo - also garnered finishes in the top five, taking fourth and fifth, respectively, in a highly-competitive women's javelin field. Loht also enjoyed a lifetime best during the competition, turning in a toss of 176-9 (53.88) - the third-best effort in program history. Both Loht and Kenney bring home their second-career All-America certificate, as the pair went three-four in the javelin standings in 2012.

The Nittany Lions would pick up another 14 Second Team All-America certificates, which are awarded to athletes who placed between ninth and 16th-places at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Leading the way on the second team squad was redshirt-junior Mahagony Jones, who placed 10th in the 200 meters, and 16th in the 100 meters, individually. Jones would clock a lifetime all-conditions best 23.05 in the 200, coming up just short of a spot in the final. Also garnering a 10th-place finish was redshirt-junior Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas) in the 100-meter hurdles. Britton blitzed to a personal-best 13.06 in the semi-final round - just seven hundredths of a second from a lane in the final round.

Also picking up second-team honors individually were freshman Kiah Seymour (Washington, D.C.), and seniors Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.), and Ricky West (Toronto, Ontario). Seymour placed 11th in the 400-meter hurdles - the highest finish among freshman in the event - while Bower and West closed out their Nittany Lion careers, with Bower finishing 15th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and West placing 13th in the 800.

Both Nittany Lions 4x400-meter relays would come away with Second-Team All-America certificates, including Bernard Bennett-Green (Philadelphia, Pa.), Emunael Mpanduki (Harare, Zimbabwe), Aaron Nadolsky (Altoona, Pa.), and Brandon Bennett-Green (Philadelphia, Pa.) on the men's side, and Seymour, Jones, Shelley Black (Laflin, Pa.), and Dynasty McGee (Flint, Mich.) on the women's relay. Both Nittany Lion squads placed 14th in their respective semi-finals, with the men's team turning in a finishing time of 3:06.84, and the women's squad running 3:35.23. Both times were the teams' second fastest of the 2013 outdoor season.

Rounding out the Nittany Lions' list of awardees were Honorable Mention All-America recipients junior Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster, N.Y.) in the women's discus and hammer, senior Sam Masters (Columbia, Mo.) in the men's 5,000-meters, senior Sean Reilly (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) in the men's high jump, and freshman Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) in the men's javelin.

Next up for the Nittany Lions will be the USATF Senior and Junior Championships, which are set for June 20-23, in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Last Updated June 21, 2013