Track and field ready for Penn Relays

April 23, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Following another trip south of the Mason-Dixon line this past weekend, the Penn State track and field team returns to action this week at the 121st Penn Relays. The Penn Relays are held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa., April 23-25. Flotrack will be live streaming the meet, but viewers must have a FloPro account to access the video.

PENN RELAYS HISTORY
Since 1910 the Nittany Lions have won 110 Penn Relays Championship of America titles, including 30 Championship of America relay titles.

Lee Talbot captured Penn State's first title at the Penn Relays with his toss of 160-6 in hammer throw in 1910 and he went onto win three more Penn Relays titles as a Nittany Lion.

Last year at the Penn Relays, they Nittany Lions captured five Championship of America titles.

Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.) won the women's 10,000-meter run, Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) finished first in the men's shot put, Laura Loht (McClure, Pa.) took home the women's javelin title, Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) was victorious in the men's javelin and Steve Waithe (Parkville, Pa.) won the men's triple jump.

IT WAS THIRTY YEARS AGO TODAY
The 2015 Penn Relays marks the 30th anniversary of the Penn State men's 4x800-meter relay that clocked in at 7:11.17.

At the 1985 Penn Relays, the quartet of Vance Watson, Steve Shisler, Chris Mills, Randy Moore finished first in the men's 4x800-meter relay with their time of 7:11.17. Their time still stands to this day and is the oldest standing Penn Relays record.

LAST TIME OUT - LSU ALUMNI GOLD
BATON ROUGE, La. --
Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) won the men's javelin throw Saturday, as the Penn State track & field team competed at the LSU Alumni Gold meet at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Shuey recorded his victory with his season-best toss of 242-8, which moved him into the top-10 in the NCAA this season.

Also capturing an individual title Saturday was Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.); Waithe posted a season-best distance of 51-7.25 in the men's triple jump. His mark today moved him into the top-25 in the nation.

The women's hammer throw featured a pair of top-five finishes from the Nittany Lions. Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) tallied a runner-up finish with her personal-best toss of 186-1; her mark moves her into sixth all-time in the Penn State record books.

Also in the women's hammer throw, Annjulie Vester (Homburg, Germany) rounded out the top-five with her mark of 176-3.

Three Nittany Lions hit season-best marks in the women's pole vault. Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) claimed second with her height of 13-1.75, while Hannah Mulhern (Altoona, Pa.) topped a height of 12-10 for ninth and Kasey Kemp (Irwin, Pa.) finished 11th with her height of 12-4. With their heights today, Mulhern moved into third all-time in the Penn State record books, while Kemp remains in ninth place.

The women's 800-meter run featured a pair of season-best times, including a personal-best performance from Julie Kocjancic (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Kocjancic ran 2:12.06 and Victoria Crawford (State College, Pa.) tallied a season-best time of 2:13.17. Kocjancic and Crawford finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS
During the 2015 outdoor season, the Nittany Lions have recorded nine top-10 all-time performances in the Penn State record books. At the 2015 Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Games, Dannielle Gibson (Nassau, Bahama) moved into fourth all-time in the triple jump (42-9.75) at Penn State.

B1G HONORS
APRIL 15
Junior Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) has been named the Big Ten Men's Track Athlete of the Week, as announced by the conference office Wednesday afternoon (April 15). This is the third career award for Creese.

This past weekend at the Bucknell Classic, Creese won the men's 1,500-meter run with his time of 3:41.74. Earlier this season at the Florida Relays, he finished 11th in the men's 800-meter run with his personal-best time of 1:48.54.

Creese currently ranks 12th in the 1,500-meter run and 30th in the 800-meter run.

APRIL 8
Following his performance at the season-opening Florida Relays, junior Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) has been named the Big Ten Men's Track Athlete of the Week, as announced by the conference office Wednesday afternoon (April 8). This is the third career award for Kidder.

At the Florida Relays, Kidder finished third in the men's 800-meter run with his time of 1:47.14 and he also ran the second-leg of the second-place 4x800-meter relay (7:22.22).

In the men's 800-meter run, Kidder ranks sixth in the NCAA and he has the top time in the Big Ten. His time is also the fastest since his freshman year when he finished third at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

IN THE RANKINGS
Seven Nittany Lions currently rank in the top-20 in the NCAA in their respective events. On the track, Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) is 12th in the men's 1,500-meter run (3:41.74), Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) ranks 20th in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:13.26) and Brannon Kidder is eighth in the men's 800-meter run (1:47.14).

In the field, Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) is 20th in the women's shot put (53-2.75), Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) ranks eighth in the men's shot put (64-11.50), Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) is seventh in the men's javelin (231-5) and Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.) ranks 20th in the men's triple jump (51-7.25).

NO. 15 IN THE LAND
The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its National Computer Rankings for week three (April 20) and the Penn State men's track & field team is ranked No. 15. The Nittany Lion men are the top Big Ten team in the USTFCCCA National Rankings.

This past weekend at the LSU Alumni Gold meet, javelin thrower Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) hit a season-best toss of 242-8, which moved him up two spots to 11th.

Also setting scored performances this season are Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) and Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio). At the season-opening Florida Relays, they both recorded scored performances in the 800-meter run.

In the 800-meter run, Kidder is 12th (1:47.14) and Creese is 47th (1:48.54). The duo also has scored performances in the 1,500-meter run, as they rank second (3:38.82) and 17th (3:41.03), respectively.

In the field events, the Nittany Lions have six marks ranked in the USTFCCCA National Computer Rankings. The triple jump duo of Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.) and Brian Leap (Bellwood, Pa.) rank 12th (52-11.50) and 35th (51-6.50), respectively.

Senior Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) currently has the fourth-best scored mark in the shot put (67-6) and Cole Proffitt (Manheim, Pa.) ranks 49th (224-4) in the javelin throw.

Robert Cardina (Lancaster, Pa.), a sophomore, is eighth in the decathlon with his score of 7,666 points. Cardina also ranks 42nd in the high jump with his height of 7-0.25.

Last year at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Cardina placed eighth in the decathlon (7,666 points), Kidder finished 12th in the 1,500-meter run (3:44.30), Hill placed 15th in the shot put (62-9.50) and Waithe and Leap finished fifth (52-11.50) and 16th (51-6.50), respectively, in the triple jump.

The Nittany Lion men opened up the 2015 outdoor season ranked 15th; their highest ranking is 11th, a feat they achieved twice in 2013.

WRAPPING UP INDOOR
With the indoor season in the books, the Nittany Lions recorded 14 top-five school record performances, including a pair of school records.

At the Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships, Penn State captured six Big Ten titles en route to a third-place finish by the women and a fourth-place finish by the men.

Nationally, nine Penn State student-athletes recorded first team All-America finishes and the Penn State men tallied a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The NCAA meet was highlighted for Penn State by a runner-up finish in the men's distance medley relay by Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio), Alex Shisler (State College, Pa.), Za'Von Watkins (Liverpool, N.Y.) and Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.).

ROAD WARRIORS
The Nittany Lions are scheduled to compete in seven meets in five states before they return to Happy Valley for the Jim Thorpe Invite (May 8). Following the Jim Thorpe Invite, Penn state will travel to East Lansing, Mich. (Big Ten Outdoors), Jacksonville, Fla. (NCAA First Round) and Eugene, Ore. (NCAA Outdoor Championships)

TWELVE SIGN EARLY
Twelve new student-athletes signed their National Letter of Intent during the week-long early signing period in November. Colin Abert (Easton, Pa.), Devin Bradham (Williamstown, N.J.), Frances Bull (Mentor, Ohio), Isaiah Harris (Lewiston, Maine), Maddie Holmberg (Greensburg, Pa.), Peter Hughey (Chambersburg, Pa.), David Lucas (Lititz, Pa.), David Marrington (Langhorne, Pa.), Sam Reiser (St Kilda, Aus.), Sarah Stanley (South Park, Pa.), Abby Stultz (Frederick, Md.) and Grace Trucilla (Erie, Pa.) have signed a National Letter of Intent and will attend Penn State next fall.

NEXT TIME OUT
The Nittany Lions split squads next weekend between the Maryland Twilight meet and the Payton Jordan Invitational. The Maryland Twilight takes place Friday, May 1 in College Park, Md., and the Payton Jordan Invitational is held in Palo Alto, Calif., Saturday, May 2. 

Last Updated April 23, 2015