Nittany Lion Men’s Track & Field Seeks First-Ever Indoor Big Ten Championship
The Penn State men’s track and field team will head to the two-day Big Ten Championship meet in Geneva, Ohio, this weekend in hopes of claiming its first-ever indoor Big Ten team title. The men claimed their first outdoor team title in 2017 and will now attempt to bring that momentum in to the highly competitive weekend.
This squad is poised to do just that as it heads into the weekend ranked No. 14 in the nation. It won’t be a cakewalk by any means as the Indiana men’s team comes in right behind at No. 15 and Ohio State sits at No. 19. The Nittany Lion men have continuously ranked in the top 10 nationwide throughout the course of the season and only fell down the rankings after last weekend, during which they took off from competition.
Several key events and team members will be targeted as big point scoring opportunities. Starting with the sprints, Xavier Smith will attempt to defend his 60 meter title from last year and his point-scoring performance in the 200 meter event. Smith is currently ranked No. 4 in the 60 meter within the Big Ten behind a trio of Ohio State Buckeyes. Smith is also ranked No. 5 in the 200 meter event.
Senior sprinter Malik Moffett will wrap up his indoor career as a Nittany Lion. Moffett is currently ranked No. 8 in the 60 meter and No. 3 in the 200 meter and will be chasing points in both events.
Freshman Terrance Laird comes into his first Big Ten Championships ranked No. 1 in the 200 meter and will try to grab the title ahead of a highly competitive field. In the 400 meter event, junior Dan Chisena is currently ranked No. 2 heading in to the weekend, closely following an athlete from Iowa.
In the mid-distance events, stud Isaiah Harris is coming off a stellar sophomore campaign where he won the indoor and outdoor 800 meter title. Harris will hopes to defend his indoor title in the event this weekend as he comes in ranked first in the Big Ten and fourth in the NCAA. Teammate Domenic Perretta will be chasing down Harris as he goes into the weekend with a fourth place conference ranking.
Colin Abert has certainly hit is stride in the midst of his junior year. He recently broke the four-minute mile barrier and will attempt a similar race this weekend as he battles for the Big Ten title in the event. He’s also ranked No. 6 in the Big Ten in the 3,000 meter event.
Off the track and into the field (to grandmother’s house we go?), competition heats up in a couple key events. Junior Bryce Williams will try to improve on his second place finish from the indoor Big Ten Championship last year as he heads into the weekend with a mark of 16.24 meters. This mark is a Penn State school record, ranks No. 5 in the nation and leads the Big Ten.
The weight throw will be a highly anticipated event of the weekend, as the top three Big Ten competitors all rank in the top seven throws in the nation. Nittany Lion sophomore stud David Lucas, who has continued to break the school record throughout the season and currently ranks No. 4 in the nation, will not have it easy this weekend. He’ll face a duo of Michigan athletes who rank slightly above and below him on the national scene. Junior Morgan Shigo is also a factor in the competition, as his throw is No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 12 in the nation.
Both the 4×400 meter relay and distance medley relay will be opportunities for the Nittany Lions to rack up some points as both relays are ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten. During last year’s competition, the men took home a very exciting 4×400 meter title when they edged out Iowa by just .13 seconds and set a school record.
The meet will be live-streamed through Flotrack throughout the weekend. This will be the last meet for the majority of the Lions, but a select few will continue on to the National Championship meet in March.
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