Women's track and field captures Big Ten championship

GENEVA, Ohio -- Penn State capped a historic weekend Saturday afternoon at the Spire Institute as the women's team captured their fourth Big Ten indoor championship in program history scoring 96.5-points; the men's team recorded their highest finish in team history taking second-place with a total score of 84-points.

The women's Big Ten championship paired with the men's second-place finish is the highest combined finish in Penn State track and field history.

The indoor title is the first for the Nittany Lion women since 2014, a year that saw Penn State win both the indoor and outdoor titles.

The second-place finish for the men's team is the highest finish at the indoor championships topping the third-place finishes by Penn State in 2013 & 2014.

Robert Cardina got things started for Penn Stateon day two finishing out the men's heptathlon.

Cardina posted marks of 8.32 in the 60-meter hurdles, followed by a 14'-5.25" (4.40m) vault and completed the day with a time of 2:57.23 in the 1,000-meters.

Cardina's two-day total of 5,419 fell just short of a personal best as he finished in sixth-place.

Dannielle Gibson captured the women's triple jump title with her mark of 43'-4" (13.25m) to become just the second Penn State athlete to win the event at the conference meet joining Chi-Chi Aduba who won the event in 2003 with a mark of 44'-1.50" (13.44m).

In the men's triple jump, Bryce Williams took silver with his jump of 51'-7" (15.72m) - just short of his personal best mark of 15.75m set earlier this season.

Megan McCloskey took silver in the women's high jump tying her personal best in the process clearing 5'-10.5" (1.79m).

David Lucas scored in the men's weight throw finishing in fifth-place with a new personal best of 65'-10" (20.08m).

Penn State senior Julie Kocjancic scored in the women's mile finishing sixth in the final running a time of 4:48.53, while sophomore dual-sport (women's soccer) athlete Marissa Sheva finished 10th in her first Big Ten meet.

In the women's 60-meter final, sophomore Keianna Albury made some noise bringing home some hardware tying (7.422) for a third-place finish in the race clocking a quick 7.43.

Xavier Smith represented Penn State in the men's 60-meter final bringing the title to Happy Valley for the first time in program history as the junior from Douglassville, Pennsylvania, by way of Daniel Boone high school ran a school record time of 6.66 seconds surging down the middle of the track.

Smith lowered his school record from the previous mark of 6.68 seconds set last season at the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.

The next event on the track, the 800-meters, saw both teams lay down impressive performances.

Sophomore Isaiah Harris, the Big Ten indoor and outdoor defending champion as well as a 2016 All-American and USATF Olympic Trials finalist at 800-meters defended his title bringing home the gold for Penn State in 1:47.23 making it back-to-back-to-back titles for the Lewiston, Maine, native.

Alongside Harris at the medal podium was true freshman Domenic Perretta who ran his way to a bronze medal in the event with his time of 1:48.49.

With the win by Harris, Penn State has now won eight out of the last 10 800-meter titles dating back to 2007 when Mark Miller captured the title in a time of 1:52.65.

The women's 800-meters featured true freshman and school record holder Danae Rivers who simply did what she has done all year, win.

Rivers led from beginning to end running 2:06.10 to earn her second Big Ten championship of the weekend (Women's DMR).

Fellow freshman Rachel Banks had a successful run in the 800-meter final alongside Rivers as she recorded a time of 2:09.11 taking sixth-place.

Quenee Dale ran faster than she ever had before in the 60-meter hurdles as the junior from Ypsilanti, Michigan, posted a time of 8.21 seconds that ranks No. 3 all-time in program history taking fifth-place.

Frances Bull - who is from Mentor, Ohio just a short 30-minute drive away from the Spire Institute - finished the 600-meters in 1:31.41 to score for Penn State.

Sam Reiser scored for the men's team in the 600-meter as he crossed the line in 1:18.45 to take seventh-place.

Keianna Albury returned from the 60-meter final to take the track for the 200-meter final where Albury finished fourth in a time of 23.69.

The men's 200-meter featured the same two Nittany Lions as it did last year in Malik Moffett and Xavier Smith.

The 200-meter final produced a second school record in the event in as many days as Moffett lowered his record time from yesterday (20.81) to the new mark of 20.76 that earned the junior a bronze medal along the way.

Smith finished close behind in fourth at 21.07.

Both the men's and women's 5,000-meters featured huge moves by Penn State athletes on the bell laps.

Tim McGowan ran with the front pack for the entire race before breaking away and using some late race speed to secure his bronze medal running 14:06.02.

Tessa Barrett and Jillian Hunsberger combined to score 13-points in the women's 5,000-meters as Barrett used a sprint over the final 300-meters to take second-place in 15:28.99 just one-tenth of a second behind the 5K champion Katherine Receveur of Indiana.

Hunsberger took fourth-place in 16:01.90, Both Barrett and Hunsberger's times were personal best times.

As is traditional with every track and field championship, the meet comes down to the 4x400-meter relay.

The men's relay of Dan Chisena (46.4), Xavier Smith (45.2), Samuel Reiser (46.8), and Isaiah Harris (45.7) combined to run a school record time of 3:04.80 and capture the Big Ten title in the event for the first time. The time of 3:04.80 is a new Big Ten and Spire Institute record.

The women's 4x400-meter relay posted a season best time of 3:38.36 with the quartet of Frances Bull, Tichina Rhodes, Kiara Lester and Danae Rivers.

Last Updated March 13, 2017