Harris, Rivers Claim 800 Meter Titles During Big Ten Competition
The Penn State men’s and women’s track and field teams finished fourth and sixth, respectively, at the Big Ten Track and Field Championship over the weekend. The women’s team scored a total of 70 points to claim their finishing spot, while the men took home 86 points.
The men were led by a single individual champion with Isaiah Harris in the 800 meter. Harris, a junior, is the two-time defending champion in the event and has yet to lose an 800 meter final at a conference event. Harris will head to the NCAA Championship meet ranked No. 7 in the nation with a season-best time of 1:47.38.
Several second place finishes helped boost the Nittany Lions with eight points each. Freshman star Terrance Laird shaved a bit off his school record to finish second in the 200 meters, running a 20.56 good for No. 8 in the nation.
In what many would consider the deepest field of the weekend, David Lucas threw a personal best in the weight throw to finish second. His best throw of the competition landed out at 23.31 meters, which is a new personal best and an improvement on his own school record.
Morgan Shigo wasn’t far behind him, finishing in fourth place with a mark of 22.06 meters. The Big Ten will send a large contingent of weight throwers to the National Championship meet, as the top five finishers from the weekend all rank in the top 12 in the nation.
The men’s 4x4oo meter relay of Dan Chisena, Xavier Smith, Kier Miner, and Isaiah Harris finished second with a time of 3:05.12, only .03 seconds behind Ohio State. Senior Malik Moffett, along with scoring points in both the 60 meter and 200 meter, finished second in the long jump with a mark of 7.47 meters.
On the women also tallied a sole champion over the weekend. Sophomore Danae Rivers was on the prowl to defend her title in the 800 meters from last year, and she did just that. Rivers finished almost a second in front of the field in a time of 2:07.75. Her season best is 2:03.13 and she heads in to the National Championship meet seeded No. 3.
Sophomore Madeline Holmberg competed in a total of six events throughout the weekend. Holberg scored 4,168 points in the pentathlon event, which combines five separate events, to finish second and score eight team points. Holmberg also competed in the long jump separately, where she took home another second place finish, racking up a total of 16 points out of the total 70 points the team scored throughout the weekend.
Jillian Hunsberger had a busy weekend and scored 11 points for the team with a second-place finish in the 5,000 meters and a sixth-place finish in the 3,000. Senior Quenee Dale also posted a second place finish with a time of 8.29 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles.
Penn State came up just short of defending its distance medley really title from 2017. The team of Great Lindsley, Kiara Lester, Victoria Tachinski, and Danae Rivers ran 11:11.91 to finish second to Michigan in the event.
The National Championship meet will be held at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas on March 9 and 10. The Nittany Lions will attempt to improve on their Big Ten performances as they face tough competition across the board.