Women’s Lacrosse Crowned Champions At THON 2023 Pep Rally
The women’s lacrosse took home the title of champions Saturday night, but an entertaining slew of athletes and Penn State figures came together to give an invigorating performance.
In front of a sea of white with a touch of green glow sticks, the THON 2023 Pep Rally electrified the crowd once again.
To start off the night, the Penn State cheerleaders, the Nittany Lion, and the Blue Band gave the BJC the Penn State classic, “Let’s Go State”. The Nittany Lion also finished 46 one-armed pushups on stage for every hour dancers have been standing
A quick hype video then played on the screens before the student-athlete engagement captains introduced the emcees for the event — former Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin and communications student Destiny Sanchez.
Making their THON Pep Rally debuts, President Neeli Bendapudi and Athletic Director Pat Kraft then took to the stage to share a few words.
“This is unlike anything anywhere in the world, this is extraordinary,” Bendapudi said.
Kraft expanded on Bendapudis’s message, saying, “They talk about the White Out being the best event in college. They are wrong — this is.”
James Franklin was next in the round of introductions, and he too shared his encouraging remarks with the crowd.
“I say this every year and I mean, this is what makes Penn State special — nights like tonight,” Franklin said.
The acts then got underway, the first coming from the women’s volleyball team. The team entered the stage in matching sequin jackets and did their routine to “Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas.
Men’s golf opted for a Katy Perry mashup with “Hot and Cold” and “Teenage Dream.” They continued with “Marry You’ by Bruno Mars before passing it off to another video, this time from women’s tennis.
An acrobatic routine soon wowed the BJC when women’s gymnastics took the stage to High School Musicals, “A Night to Remember” and “I Like It” by Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias. Plenty of flips filled the stage, and even a rendition of the dance prom scene in High School Musical 3.
Men’s lacrosse strutted to the stage in all gray tracksuits to dance to “Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Bieber. Mixing both dancing and lip-syncing, the team had cheers raining down from the crowd.
In a brief intermission from the acts, Penn State wrestling legend Bo Nickal talked to the crowd. Nickal gave the dancers some more much-needed motivation.
Women’s soccer then became the second act of the night with sequin jackets, but its act consisted of “Give Me Everything” by Pitbull and “Forever” by Chris Brown.
In blue jeans and white tees, men’s fencing rocked out to the Backstreet Boys, the “Macarena,” “Soulja Boy,” “Single Ladies,” and “Gangnam Style.” Some shirts were also ripped in the process.
Another quick five-minute break came for yet another line dance, and the BJC sure was boomin’.
Members of the women’s golf team then channeled their inner disco girls, dancing to ABBA and Mamma Mia’s “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Super Trouper.” Quite a few shiny heeled boots and flare jeans also made an appearance.
After much anticipation, Penn State football opted for a number of rap songs ranging from artists like Pop Smoke to Lil Uzi Vert. The team also took a moment to honor its Rose Bowl victory with a sign and dozens of roses.
Women’s lacrosse followed men’s lacrosse with the all-matching tracksuits. The soundtrack included “Wildest Dreams” and “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. The dance was very well put together, and it showed in the encouragement from the crowd.
The Nittany Lion then made a return to lead the crowd in singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey.
With another routine full of tricks, men’s gymnastics put on a clinic, fully decked out in its uniforms. The performance sure was impressive, accompanied by Bruno Mars’ “24k Magic” and “Magic” by B.o.B.
Field hockey then gave the “greatest show” using tracks from the movie “The Greatest Showman”. The team even incorporated a field hockey stick with the leader of its routine.
The defending Pep Rally Champions, men’s soccer, was next. With hits “One Kiss” by Dua Lipa, “Temperature” by Sean Kingston, and “Everytime We Touch’ by Cascada, the team put up a good act for a repeat title.
Finishing up the acts, the Lionettes stunned the crowd, like usual. The classic kickline also made the crowd go crazy.
The two finalists, men’s soccer and women’s lacrosse, were welcomed back to the stage to perform once again, and time was given for voting.
After some deliberation from the judges and the votes from the crowd, the women’s lacrosse team took home the title. CEO of the Alumni Association, Paul Clifford, made the announcement and brought the team back to the stage. Congratulations, ladies!
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For the second year in a row, the Land Grant Trophy is headed back to State College.
Tickets for the event will go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, December 1.
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