Nittany Lions Divide & Conquer During Last Big Weekend Of Competition Before Big Ten Championships
The Penn State men’s and women’s track and field teams split up and competed in three meets across the country this past weekend. While the bulk of the team previewed the Big Ten championship facility in Geneva, Ohio, distance runners also competed in Iowa and Washington in highly competitive fields.
Starting in Washington at the Husky Classic meet, two women and one man competed in the mile distance. Sophomore standout Danae Rivers covered this distance for the first time of her 2018 season, running 4:37.71 to finish in fifth. Teammate Marisa Sheva had a personal best run finishing exactly 10 seconds behind Rivers, running 4:47.71. The sole male out west Billy McDevitt ran himself to a personal record, finishing in 4:05.29.
A slightly bigger crew ran in Iowa at the Iowa State Classic. Tim McGowan posted one of the fastest times in school history, running a 13:55.00 in the 5k race as he finished fifth. His brother, John McGowan, wasn’t far behind, finishing in 14:13.36.
A trio of Nittany Lion women also competed in the 5k event. Jillian Hunsberger ran 16:07.26, Alison Willingmyre ran 16:37.71, and Kathryn Munks ran 16:38.77 to finish eleventh, nineteenth, and twenty-first, respectively.
Junior Isaiah Harris also competed at this event. Harris finished second in the 800 meters, running 1:47.38. This mark puts him at No. 4 in the NCAA as championship season begins.
The majority of the team headed to the Spire Indoor Classic at the same facility where Big Tens will be hosted in two weeks. The Nittany Lions shined and took home a host of wins during the two-day competition.
The men were once again led Friday night by David Lucas as he threw his way to a win in the weight throw competition. He was followed by teammates Morgan Shigo, Luke Grodeska and Ben Peterson, finishing second, fourth, and eighth, respectively. Lucas currently sits No. 3 in the NCAA heading into championship season.
All of these Nittany Lions returned Saturday to compete in the shot put, where they were led by Joh Yohman as they went 1-3-4-5-8. After Yohman’s throw of 17.71 meters, Peterson, Shigo, Grodeska, and Lucas followed.
In similar fashion, the men dominated the 200, finishing 1-2-3-5-6-8. Freshman Terrance Laird took the title in 20.81, but was closely followed by Malik Moffett, Xavier Smith, Anton Porter, Kier Miner, and Darian Williams. Smith returned to take home the title in the 60 meter event, running 6.72 seconds.
Bryce Williams, who currently sits at No. 5 in the NCAA in the event, took home the triple jump title with a mark of 15.50 meters. Miner claimed the title in the 400 meter event, running 47.65 seconds, while Jordan Makins won the 800 meter event in 1:50.83.
On the female side, Alyssa Yeboah-Kodie took the crown in the pentathlon, scoring 3,179 points. Hannah Mulhern continued her strong season with another win in the pole vault, leading the Nittany Lions to a 1-3-4 finish in the event.
Keianna Albury and Kiara Lester ran their way to a first and second place in the 200 meter event, running 24.05 and 24.10, respectively. Megan McCloskey won the high jump as she cleared 1.73 meters, and Kelsey Vieira won the triple jump with a mark of 12.33 meters.
Both teams will compete at home next weekend in the Tune-Up Meet on February 17 before heading to the Big Ten Championship meet February 23-24.