Track and field heads to Big Ten Outdoor Championships

May 14, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Following a strong month of competition, the Penn State track & field team heads to East Lansing, Mich., for the three-day (May 15-17) 2015 Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The 2015 Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships are held at Ralph Young Field.

LAST TIME OUT
JIM THORPE INVITE

The Penn State track & field team closed out the regular season with personal-best performances across the board at the Jim Thorpe Invite (May 8). The meet was capped off with a lifetime-best throw from Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the men's shot put.

Hill, a senior, captured the men's shot put title with a lifetime-best, and No. 2 mark in school history, 68-5.25.

Rachel Fatherly (Williamsport, Pa.) led Penn State in the women's shot put, as she won the event with her personal-best toss of 54-10.25. Her mark ranks third all-time at Penn State.

Freshman Obeng Marfo (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) tallied a pair of second-place finishes with a pair of personal-best throws. In the shot put, she posted a toss of 51-0 and in the discus she tallied a mark of 155-1. Marfo's throw of 51-0 ranks ninth all-time at Penn State.

The Nittany Lions recorded a pair of top-10 school performances in the women's hammer throw. In the event, Fatherly finished second with her throw of 188-0 and Alyssa Robinson (Saint Clairsville, Ohio) finished third with her mark of 180-10. With their performances today, Fatherly ranks fifth all-time at Penn State and Robinson moves into eighth all-time.

After posting season-best performances last week at the Maryland Twilight Meet, hurdlers Sancho Barrett (Amityville, N.Y.) and Shelley Black (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) found their stride again today.

After running a season-best 14.11 in the 110-meter hurdles last week, Barrett won the 110-meter hurdles Friday with his personal-best time of 13.80. With his time today, Barrett moves from 10th all-time in the Penn State record books to a tie for third all-time (Timpson - 1988).

On the women's side, Black tied her personal-best time of 13.80 for the win in the 100-meter hurdles.

LAST YEAR AT THE BIG TEN MEET
The Penn State women's track and field team captured its fifth Big Ten Outdoor Championship on the strength of four individual champions, a championship in the 4x400 relay, a new Big Ten Championships record and a new school record. The Penn State men finished sixth, just two points shy of fourth place, with three Big Ten champions and a runner-up finish.

Senior Brittney Howell (Wyncote, Pennsylvania) captured the Big Ten title in the heptathlon, highlighting a strong day two for the Nittany Lions.

Howell captured her first career Big Ten title after a PR in the javelin (108-2) and solid performances in the long jump (19-8) and 800 meters (2:28.38). Howell finished with 5,515 points, 25 points ahead of the runner-up. Later in the day, she also finished fourth in the long jump with a jump measuring 20-0.25.

Howell used a PR in the 200 meters as well as quality efforts in the 100 hurdles (13.90), high jump (5-8) and shot put (37-0.25) to complete Day 1 with 3,423 points

Senior Melissa Kurzdorfer's (Lancaster, New York) Big Ten championship in the hammer throw was the highlight for the Nittany Lions on day one of the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Kurzdorfer won her first Big Ten championship with a throw of 198-6.

In Big Ten Championships record fashion, sophomore Kiah Seymour (Washington, D.C.) won the 400-meter hurdles in 56.40 and senior Mahagony Jones (Cleveland, Ohio) captured the 200 meter dash to help pace Penn State's championship efforts. Jones was also runner-up in the 100 meters. Jones and Seymour teamed-up with junior Dynasty McGee (Flint, Michigan) and freshman Tichina Rhodes (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) for the victory in the last event of the day, the 4x400 relay. McGee also made it to the podium in 400 the meters with a third-place finish.

The men's team celebrated three conference champions on the final day of competition, the first of which was sophomore Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania) in the javelin, throwing a 236-2. Junior Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) used a throw of 67-6, which is second place all-time at Penn State, to win the shot put. Junior Steven Waithe (Parkville, Md.) notched the third Big Ten title of the day for the men, jumping a 15.85 meters to find victory in the triple jump after posting a fourth-place in the long jump on Saturday.

LOOKING TO DEFEND THEIR TITLES
Big Ten champions Darrell Hill, Michael Shuey and Steve Waithe have their sights set on defending their 2014 Big Ten titles.

Hill currently leads the Big Ten in the shot put (68-5.25), Shuey is first in the javelin (242-8) and Waithe ranks second in the triple jump (51-7.25).

IN THE RECORD BOOKS
During the 2015 outdoor season, the Nittany Lions have recorded 19 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, 68-5.25) and Ahmenah Richardson (high jump, 5-11.25) have all posted the No. 2 all-time performances 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 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
Eight Nittany Lions currently rank in the top-25 in the NCAA in their respective events. On the track, Sancho Barrett (Amityville, N.Y.) is tied for 23rd in the men's 110-meter hurdles (13.80), 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 13th in the women's shot put (54-10.25), Darrell Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.) ranks second in the men's shot put (68-5.25), Ahmenah Richardson (Philadelphia, Pa.) is tied for 24th in the women's high jump (5-11.25) and Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) is seventh in the men's javelin (242-8).

NO. 11 IN THE LAND
Following a personal-best performance in the 110-meter hurdles from Sancho Barrett (Amityville, N.Y.) this past Friday at the Jim Thorpe Invite, the Penn State men's track & field team has moved up one spot to No. 11 in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Computer Rankings.

The Nittany Lions' No. 11 ranking Monday ties the highest ranking in school history (April 23, 2013 & May 7, 2013). The Nittany Lion men have been ranked in the top-16 throughout the 2015 outdoor season.

At the Jim Thorpe Invite, Barrett tied the No. 3 performance all-time at Penn State in the 110-meter hurdles with his time of 13.80 (Timpson -- 1988); he is currently tied for 23rd nationally in the event.

Also on the track, Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio) leads the NCAA in the 800-meter run (1:45.58), while Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.) is second in the 1,500-meter run (3:39.02). Creese also ranks 39th in the 800-meter run (1:48.54).

All-time at Penn State, Kidder ranks second in the 800-meter run and Creese has the third-best 1,500-meter run performance.

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 (68-5.25) and the javelin duo of Michael Shuey (Johnsonburg, Pa.) and Ryan Kerr (Brookville, Pa.) rank seventh (242-8) and 32nd (227-1), respectively. Also in the field, Steve Waithe (Parkville, Md.) ranks 26th in the triple jump with his leap of 51-7.25.

Last year at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, 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.

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
The Nittany Lions will not compete next weekend as they prepare for the 2015 NCAA East Preliminary Round. The East Preliminary Round is hosted by the University of North Florida at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. (May 28-30).

The top-48 declared student-athletes will be accepted for individual events and for each relay event, the top-24 declared relay teams will be accepted into the East Preliminary Round.

For more on Nittany Lion track & field, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.

Last Updated May 14, 2015