Penn State track & field: Trio earn wins, Lions third at Big Tens

From CDT staff reportsFebruary 25, 2013 

Penn State’s Robby Creese, Brannon Kidder and Casimir Loxsom all won events and the Nittany Lions finished third as a team at the Big Ten Championships at the SPIRE Institute on Saturday.

The team race was tight, with Wisconsin taking the title with 90 points, Illinois right behind with 87.5 and the Nittany Lions next with 87. Nebraska was fourth with 86.67 and Minnesota was fifth with 86. Penn State’s point total was the highest in program history and the team matched its best finish at the conference meet.

Loxsom shattered a slew of records in winning the 600 meters in 1 minute, 15.42 seconds, the first time a Nittany Lion has won the event. He broke the Penn State, Big Ten and facility records, turned in the fastest time ever run by an American and by a collegian and was the third-best time ever run in the event indoors.

Creese turned in a time of 4:01.51 for Penn State’s first conference champion in the mile, and Kidder took the 800 in 1:49.73. Za’Von Watkins was third in the 800, an event the Nittany Lions have won indoors five of the last six years.

Penn State also won the distance medley relay on Friday.

In addition, Brandon Bennett-Green took second in the 400 in 46.82, Brian Leap cleared a personal-best 50 feet, 10 1/2 inches for third in the triple jump and the 1,600 relay team took third in 3:08.56 with Bennett-Green, Loxsom, Bernard Benett-Green and Matt Gilmore.

On the women’s side, Mahagony Jones and Marlene Ricketts each had second-place finishes as Penn State finished fourth as a team.

Illinois won the title with 115 points, edging Nebraska’s 112. Penn State had 73.

Jones was runner-up in the 60-meter dash in 7.42, while Ricketts earned her silver medal with a 42-4 3/4 in the triple jump.

Nittany Lion team members will split up and head to last-chance NCAA qualifying meets at Virginia Tech and Notre Dame next weekend.

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