Track and field squads travel to Big Ten Outdoor Championships

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Looking to carry the momentum from an already impressive outdoor campaign, the Nittany Lion track and field squads will go full steam into postseason action this weekend, competing at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships at Purdue University.

The No. 17 Nittany Lion men's team - coming off a third-place conference finish indoors - will be in a dog fight for the team title, entering the weekend as one of four Big Ten programs in the USTFCCCA Top 25. Penn State will also look to contend for another impressive finish on the women's side, boasting 10-straight top four finishes at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Last year, the women won the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and are coming off an impressive Big Ten Indoor Championships win.

About the Big Ten Championships ...

When: Friday-Sunday, May 16-18, 2013

Where: Rankin Track & Field (Purdue University)

Meet Information: www.purduesports.com

The Nittany Lions are at no loss for experience in Big Ten action with a pair of individual indoor conference champions looking to leave their mark outdoors in sophomore Kiah Seymour (Washington, D.C.) and Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio). Kidder, who won the indoor Big Ten crown at 800 meters, will look to be the favorite in the 1500 meter run - coming in with the top time in the country of 3:38.82. The sophomore has been on an impressive roll all spring, including a Big Ten Athlete of the Week award and a new school record in the 1500.

Kidder is joined in the middle distances by standout sophomore Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.) and junior Ryan Brennan (Chester, N.Y.). Watkins is currently ranked fourth in the conference with a time of 1:48.94 and Brennan is currently ranked ninth with a time of 1:50.07.

Seymour- the indoor 400-meter champion - is looking to score points in many different ways this weekend. Seymour has the top time in the country in the women's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.88.

Also in position to make a splash at the championships is junior Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.). Hill - in his second year with the Nittany Lions - is the top seed in the men's shot put thanks to a season-best toss of 64-5.25 (19.64m). The Nittany Lions have been on a roll in the shot put in recent years, with Blake Eaton capturing outdoor crowns in 2010 and 2011, and Joe Kovacs keeping up the Penn State streak in 2012. Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio) has also been at the top of his game in the throws in 2014, sitting seventh going into the conference hammer competition at 205-5 (62.62).

The Nittany Lions will also look for strong results in the distances, led by sophomore Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) is the No. 9 seed in the 3000-meter steeplechase at 10:21.40. Also set to fare well in the endurance events is sophomore Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.), who leads all conference competitors in the 10,000-meters at 33:52.32.

Competition in West Lafayette gets underway at 11:00 a.m., on Friday.   

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Last Updated May 16, 2014