Nittany Lions close out Penn Relays in winning fashion

April 30, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The Nittany Lions capped a successful 122nd Penn Relays snagging three more event wins on the weekend as well as setting a school record in the men's 4x200-meter relay Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field.

"Penn State had a fantastic weekend at the Penn Relays," said head coach John Gondak.

"The meet is incredibly important to our team and our alumni, it's important to be able to go to the Penn Relays and have a successful weekend and we took care of business at Franklin Field."

"The best part about this year's Penn Relays is that we had representation across the board in multiple events. Our women's team performed well and had some great showings in all event areas. The men followed up on Friday and both teams continued through the weekend," Gondak continued.

"It was one of the best Penn Relays weekends I can remember in my 10 years here at Penn State; hopefully we can use that momentum as we head into championship season."

Penn State started the day off with a win in the first event on the schedule Saturday morning the men's javelin throw.

Ryan Kerr stole the show in the field, finishing the event with a season's best mark of 69.72m (228'-8") to claim his first career Penn Relays win. Teammate Robert Cardina competed in the event as well finishing 17th with a best mark of 57.43m (188'-5").

For the third time in five years, the Nittany Lions won the college men's 4x800-meter relay championship this year clocking a current NCAA leading time of 7:17.37.

The quartet of Robby Creese (1:50.25), Jordan Makins (1:50.05), Isaiah Harris (1:48.50), and Brannon Kidder (1:48.59) combined to bring the title back to Happy Valley for the first time since 2013 when Creese, Za'Von Watkins, Casmir Loxsom and Kidder combined to run 7:14.14.

Kidder was named the 2016 College Men's Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events. The senior from Lancaster, Ohio anchored the Nittany Lions to championships in both the distance medley relay and the 4x800-meter relay over the course of the weekend.

"Brannon's race on Friday was just a phenomenal display of his strength right now," said Gondak.

"Everyone got the baton within a couple meters of each other as he was in the lead with 10 guys sitting just off his shoulder. He controlled the race, ran with confidence and really dropped the hammer with a 54 second final 400-meters to pull out the win. Today's race (4x800-meters) was a little different. Isaiah Harris opened up a lead for Brannon on the third-leg handing off the baton allowing Kidder to cruise home to secure the win."

Claiming another Nittany Lion win on the day was senior Brian Leap as he jumped his way to a Penn Relays event win in the triple jump posting a mark of 16.15m (53'-0"). Leap captures the first triple jump crown at Penn Relays since Steve Waithe won the event in 2014.

The quartet of Xavier Smith, Dan Chisena, Malik Moffett, and Anton Porter ran their way into the record books Saturday afternoon with their performance in the men's 4x200-meter relay.

Penn State qualified for today's final after posting a time of 1:25.77 in yesterday's prelim before laying down a time of 1:23.75 today to best the previous record of 1:23.85 set by Alex Langan, Chris Lolagne, Jaret Campisi, and Ernie Terrell back in 2005.

True freshman Chisom Ifedi didn't let the big stage of Penn Relays rattle him, the Columbus, Ohio native walked away from the meet with a second-place finish in the men's high jump clearing 2.12m (6'-11.5").

In the final event of the day for Penn State, the men's 4x400-meter relay strung together a total time of 3:10.25 by Dan Chisena (48.1), Xavier Smith (48.5), Samuel Reiser (46.83), and Isaiah Harris (46.81) to finish seventh overall in the College Men's 4x400 Championship of America Invitational.

Last Updated May 02, 2016