Two School Records Mark Strong Start To Nittany Lions’ Indoor Track Season

The Penn State men’s and women’s track and field teams started their 2018 campaigns with strong showings at the Nittany Lion Challenge that included school records and a number of other performances that rank in the top ten in the NCAA. The men’s team was led by school records by David Lucas and Bryce Williams in the weight throw and triple jump, respectively.

Lucas, a redshirt sophomore, entered the meet with the No. 5 throw in Penn State history, but bested his own mark by nearly a meter and a half on his first throw of the season to set the new record at 21.52 meters (70′-7.25″). The previous record stood at 21.50 and was set by Will Barr in 2014. Lucas’s throw currently sits at No. 4 in the NCAA.

Williams, a junior, also set a impressive personal best on his way to a school record in the triple jump. With the previous record of 16.17 meters dating back to 2003, Williams jumped out to 16.24 meters (53′-3.5″) to surpass his previous best by half a meter. William’s mark is currently sits at No. 1 in the NCAA.

Several other men had notable performances during their first meet of the season. Colin Abert, a junior, ran his way to a win, a meet record, and an NCAA No. 1 time in the mile with a 4:02.50. The 4×400 meter relay team of Kier Miner, Sam Resier, Xavier Smith, and Isaiah Harris claimed the top spot and currently sit at No. 10 in the nation with a time of 3:10.66. The Nittany Lions also showed their depth in shot put, as Jon Yohman, Morgan Shigo, Ben Peterson, and Luke Grodeska, finished second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

The women also had an impressive start to their season with several event wins and personal bests. Individual wins include Keianna Albury in the 60 meters, Rachael DeCocco in the 400 meters, and Megan McCloskey in the high jump. Tori Gerlach, a former Nittany Lion and Big Ten Steeplechase Champion, returned to her home turf to claim the mile title in 4 minutes and 42 seconds.

Several other Nittany Lion women had top three finishes, including Queenee Dale finished second in the 60-meter hurdles, Kelsey Vieira was second in the triple jump, and Katie Jones finished third in the pole vault, while Greta Linsley rounded out top three finishes with a third place in the mile.

The women hope to continue to build momentum this season as they head in to the Big Ten Championship in late February. They are reigning Big Ten Team Champions from the 2017 season and are poised to claim the title for another year. The men’s team hopes to improve on a second place team finish from last year.

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Janelle Rothacker

Currently a junior studying Kinesiology, Janelle is proud to call upstate NY (the real part, not the 30 minutes north of the city part) home. She's an avid runner and enjoys everything and anything sports. She also has a love of pancakes, avoids the HUB like the plague during the in between classes rush, and can quote the majority of Friends episodes from memory. If you want to hear all the embarrassing things she does daily, or want to contact her, follow her on twitter at @janellerothack or email her at [email protected]

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