Franek, Foster earn Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors

April 17, 2009

University Park, Pa. — Thanks to an NCAA and world-leading performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) has been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week, announced by conference offices on Tuesday (April 14). Sophomore Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia) also copped conference honors following his blistering run in the 800-meters at last weekend’s Bison Outdoor Classic at Bucknell University.
Franek’s NCAA regional-qualifying effort of 9:53.7 in the steeplechase is the best in the world by three seconds, and also bettered her own Penn State record of 9:58.56, which she set in 2008.  The junior also shattered her own Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium record of 10:16.4 from 2007.  Franek — who finished third in event at the NCAA meet in 2008 — sped to the front of the field last Friday, and bettered the rest of the competition by nearly 40 seconds.  Teammate Cheryl Spring (The Woodlands, Texas) captured second in the race, also bettering the regional-qualifying standard.
Foster clocked a sizzling 1:48.79 in the 800 — the second-fastest time in the NCAA this season — to win the event, better the NCAA regional qualifier and set a new stadium record. Foster's performance is also the seventh faster in Penn State's rich half miler history.  Foster led the Lions in a one-two-three sweep of the event, followed by Owen Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) and Lionel Williams (Staten Island, N.Y.).
The Lions are back on the road this weekend, traveling to the War Eagle Invitational at Auburn University.  Action is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. CT on Friday, April 17.

  • Bridget Franek

    IMAGE: Penn State Sports Information

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010