Women's track team posts record performance at national championships

June 16, 2003

Sacramento, Calif. -- The Penn State women's track team kept its best-ever season going last weekend at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif. as the Lions posted the school's highest ever finish in their third post-season competition of the year. Penn State garnered a school best six outdoor All-Americans, its first national champion since 1977, and scored a school record 24 points to take 10th in the NCAA outdoor competition -- the Lions' best ever finish.

Penn State's All-America take equaled the school record of six at the 1982 NCAA Indoor Championships and bettered the previous best outdoor mark of four collected last season. The Lions were the second-highest placing Big Ten team behind only Indiana (6th), and were the third-highest placing team from north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Louisiana State University won the team competition with 64 points.

The performance capped their best-ever third place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships and second place tie at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships this season.

"We are awfully proud and excited to bring a top 10 finish home for Penn State," said Beth Alford-Sullivan, head coach. "It was a total team effort. We had an almost perfect weekend with people getting through to the finals and performing well. We set a good foundation this weekend and we're really excited for the future."

Six Nittany Lions brought home All-America honors from the weekend led by senior Deshaya Williams who won the NCAA title in the discus on Friday. With the win, Williams became Penn State's first NCAA champion in track and field since 1977 and the first Penn State woman to win a title in a field event. For Williams, it was her third All-America title in the event and fourth overall on her career.

Junior Connie Moore added two more All-America titles to her resume on the weekend to bring her career total to seven, tying shot putter Elaine Sobansky (1981-84) for the most ever for a Nittany Lion woman in track and field. Moore posted the best-ever finish for a Penn State woman below 1,500-meters as she took third in the 200-meters in a time of 22.88. She added a fifth place finish in the 100-meters, finishing in a time of 11.37. Senior Aleen Bailey of South Carolina won both races in times of 22.65 and 11.18, respectively.

Senior Brianne Johnson collected the third All-America honor of her career leading a charge of two All-Americans for Penn State in the javelin. Johnson uncorked a season best throw of 163-11 to take fifth in the event, the highest NCAA finish of her career. She was joined by sophomore Ashley Colley in earning All-America honors in the event. Colley finished 11th with a throw of 153-3, but was among the top eight American finishers thus gaining the honors.

Sophomore Molly Landreth rounded out Penn State All-American haul as she claimed 11th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 10:11.07. She also was among the top eight American finishers.

Freshman Tracey Brauksieck was just shy of All-America honors in the event finishing 14th in a time of 10:33.68.

Also just missing All-America status was sophomore Kate Johnston and junior Ja'nai O'Connor. Johnston finished 11th in the hammer throw with a toss of 190-3, while O'Connor took 11th in the shot put with a heave of 50-1 1/4.

Penn State will stay in California for the week as many members of the team will compete in the U.S. Senior and Junior National Championships at Stanford University, June 19-22.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009