Track and field set to host Jim Thorpe Invite

May 07, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State track & field teams will close out the regular season Friday (May 8) as they host the Jim Thorpe Invite at the Nittany Lion Outdoor Track. The Jim Thorpe Invite is the final meet before the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships next week (May 15-17) in East Lansing, Mich.

LAST TIME OUT
MARYLAND TWILIGHT
The Penn State track & field team won fifteen events Friday at the Kehoe Twilight Meet. Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) and Dynasty McGee (Flint, Mich.) both tallied a pair of victories at the meet.

Fatherly captured titles in the hammer throw (184-4) and the shot put (53-4.25), while McGee won titles in the 200- and 400-meter dashes. McGee posted winning times of 24.33 and 53.71. With her toss today, Fatherly remains in fourth-place all-time in the Penn State record books.

The Nittany Lions swept both men's and women's javelin and pole vault events.

In the javelin, Anna Bailey (Harrisburg, Pa.) tallied a personal-best toss of 152-7 for the Nittany Lion women, while Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) posted a distance of 228-2 on the men's side and in the pole vault, Kasey Kemp (Irwin, Pa.) cleared a height of 12-4 on the women's side and Brandon Teribery (Bradford, Pa.) posted a height of 14-5.25 for the Nittany Lion men.

Dannielle Gibson (Nassau, Bahamas) and Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.) won their respective events Friday. Gibson tallied a distance of 18-9.75 in the long jump and Waithe posted a mark of 50-2.

In the hurdle events, Shelley Black (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) and Sancho Barrett (Amityville, N.Y.) both took home first-place finishes with their season-best times. Black recorded a personal-best run of 13.80, as she won the 100-meter hurdles, while Barrett clocked in for a season-best 14.11 for the 110-meter hurdles title. Black remains No. 6 all-time in the Penn State record books in the women's 100-meter hurdles.

On the track for the Nittany Lion men, freshman Xavier Smith (Douglassville, Pa.) won the 200-meter dash with a season-best 21.67 and Alex Shisler (State College, Pa.) won the 400-meter dash (48.34).

Redshirt freshmen Kory Decesaris (Danielsville, Pa.) and Jon Yohman (New Wilmington, Pa.) both posted personal-best performances Friday. Decesaris recorded a personal-best toss of 187-1 en route to a second-place finish in the hammer throw and Yohman hit a personal-best toss of 56-0.50 in the shot put for a second-place finish.

Yohman also tallied a first-place finish in the discus throw (167-6).

PAYTON JORDAN INVITATIONAL
Three Nittany Lion junior distance runners posted personal-best performances at the Payton Jordan Invitational Saturday. Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.), Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) and Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) climbed the NCAA leaderboards with their times at the Cobb Track.

After setting the school record in the 1,500-meter run last year at the Payton Jordan Invite, Kidder came close to breaking Casimir Loxsom's school record time of 1:45.28 in the 800-meter run Saturday.

Today, Kidder posted an NCAA-leading, and No. 2 Penn State all-time performance, time of 1:45.58 en route to a second-place finish in the 800-meter run.

Kidder bided his time near the back of the pack for the majority of the race and he made a strong move down the backstretch to put himself in contention for the win. Unfortunately, professional runner Boris Berian clocked in at 1:45.30 to hold off Kidder for the victory. With his time Saturday, Kidder jumps from eighth to second all-time at Penn State.

For the Penn State women, Gerlach was consistently near the top of the field throughout the 3,000-meter steeplechase, as she finished as the top collegian and No. 3 overall in her section. With her personal-best time of 9:57.47 Saturday, she becomes the second Nittany Lion to break the 10-minute barrier in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. She now ranks seventh in the NCAA this season and improves her No. 2 time at Penn State.

Heading into the final lap of the 1,500-meter run, Creese made his move to take the lead, but was edged out by Oklahoma State's Chad Noelle for the win (3:38.35). Down the homestrech, Creese held off Oklahoma State's Kirubel Erassa (3:39.05) for the runner-up finish (3:39.02). Creese now has the No. 2 time in the NCAA this year and the No. 3 all-time performance in school history.

Also competing at Stanford, redshirt freshmen Ean DiSilvio (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Bobby Hill (Wellsboro, Pa.) both posted fifth-place finishes with their personal-best times Saturday. DiSilvio clocked in at 9:07.10 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, while Hill posted a time of 3:49.30 in the 1,500-meter run.

LAST YEAR AT THE JIM THORPE INVITE
Penn State dominated the day at the Jim Thorpe Invitational, marking the team's last competition before the Big Ten Championships on May 14-16 at Purdue. Several seniors rounded-out their home careers in style, including throwers Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster, N.Y.), Laura Loht (McClure, Pa.) and Will Barr (Urbana, Ohio), who were all winners.

Freshman Lexi Masterson (Jeannette, Pa.) was another highlight on the day, clearing 12-11.75 in the pole vault, No. 2 all-time at Penn State.

Kurzdorfer was a double winner, taking the top spot in the discus (164-03) and hammer throw (204-07). Loht took the javelin with a throw of 167-5. Sophomore Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) used a PR of 52-8 to win the shot put. Her mark is fourth all-time at Penn State. Teammate Alyssa Robinson (Saint Clairsville, Ohio) also posted a PR, a 49-11.25, which is ninth in Penn State history.

Penn State swept the jumps on the women's side with a PR of 5-10 for India McCoy (Ambridge, Pa.) in the high jump, which is ninth all-time at Penn State. Senior Marlene Ricketts (Old Westbury, N.Y.) recorded a jump of 42-2.75 to take the triple jump. Sophomore Kaitlyn Lopez (Buffalo, N.Y.) jumped 19-1.25 to win the long jump.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS
During the 2015 outdoor season, the Nittany Lions have recorded 17 top-10 all-time performances in the Penn State record books.

Brannon Kidder (800-meter run, 1:45.58),Tori Gerlach (3,000-meter steeplechase, 9:57.47) Darrell Hill (shot put, 68-2.5) and Ahmenah Richardson (high jump, 5-11.25) have all posted the No. 2 performances all-time in their respective events this outdoor season.

B1G HONORS
MAY 6
After posting the NCAA-leading time in the 800-meter run this past weekend, 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 (May 6). This is the fourth career award for Kidder.

At the Payton Jordan Invitational (May 2), Kidder placed second in the 800-meter run with his personal-best time of 1:45.58. With his time Saturday, he currently has the top performance in the NCAA this season and he ranks second all-time in the Penn State record books (Loxsom, 1:45.28, 2011).

APRIL 29
Senior Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) has been named the Big Ten Men's Co-Field Athlete of the Week, as announced by the conference Wednesday afternoon (April 29). This is the second career award for Hill.

This past weekend at the Penn Relays, Hill defended his 2014 Penn Relays shot put title with a lifetime-best mark of 68-2.5. His toss is the No. 2 all-time mark at Penn State, the No. 3 all-time performance at the Penn Relays and the No. 2 distance this outdoor season in the NCAA.

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.

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.

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 fifth 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
Six Nittany Lions currently rank in the top-25 in the NCAA in their respective events. On the track, Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) is second in the men's 1,500-meter run (3:39.02), Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) ranks seventh in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:57.47) and Brannon Kidder is first in the men's 800-meter run (1:45.58).

In the field, Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) is 25th in the women's shot put (53-4.25), Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) ranks second in the men's shot put (68-2.5) and Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) is seventh in the men's javelin (242-8).

NO. 12 IN THE LAND
Behind a pair of top-two performances in the NCAA this past weekend at the Payton Jordan Invitational, the Penn State men's track & field team has moved up three spots to No. 12 in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Computer Rankings.

This past weekend in Palo Alto, Calif., Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) and Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) not only climbed the Penn State all-time lists, but they also moved their way up the 2015 NCAA leaderboards.

In the 800-meter run, Kidder finished second with his NCAA-leading time of 1:45.58. Heading into the weekend, Kidder ranked eighth all-time at Penn State (1:46.87), but he now ranks second all-time, only to Casimir Loxsom's school record 1:45.28 (2011).

Also at the Payton Jordan Invitational, Creese took to the track for the 1,500-meter run. He went onto finish second in the 1,500-meter run with the No. 2 time in the NCAA this season (3:39.02). Creese also ranks 38th in the rankings in the 800-meter run (1:48.54). At Penn State, he ranks third all-time in the 1,500-meter run.

The Nittany Lions also have four marks in the field events ranked in the USTFCCCA National Computer Rankings.

Senior Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) currently has the second-best mark in the shot put (68-2.5) and the javelin duo of Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) and Ryan Kerr (Brookville, Pa.) rank seventh (242-8) and 31st (227-1), respectively. Also in the field, Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.) ranks 25th in the triple jump with his leap of 51-7.25.

Robert Cardina (Lancaster, Pa.), a sophomore, is eighth in the decathlon with his score of 7,666 points.

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 finished fifth (52-11.50) 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 Outdoor Championships), Jacksonville, Fla. (NCAA First Round) and Eugene, Ore. (NCAA Outdoor Championships)

ALBURY, PORTER SIGN WITH PENN STATE
Head coach and director of Penn State cross country and track & field John Gondak has announced the signing of Keianna Albury and Anton Porter. Albury and Porter will enroll in classes starting this fall.

Albury is currently finishing her senior year of high school at St. Augustine's College in Nassau, Bahamas, while Porter is wrapping up his senior year at Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx, N.Y. Albury and Porter both come to Penn State with great success during their time in high school.

Albury is a two-time (2012-13) winner of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations Most Outstanding Youth award and she also was named the Anita Doherty Junior Female Track Athlete of the Year in 2014.

At the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships, Albury finished third in the 100, won the 200 and ran on the third-place 4x100-meter relay.

While competing for Mount Saint Michael Academy, Porter recorded numerous Catholic High School Athletic Association (CSHAA) first-place finishes and he currently holds the CSHAA record in the 100 and 300. He was also brought home All-State honors and was named MVP three years in a row.

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 this fall.

NEXT TIME OUT
Next up for Penn State is the 2015 Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Michigan State. The Nittany Lions will travel to East Lansing, Mich., for the three-day meet (May 15-17). 

Last Updated May 07, 2015