Penn State sophomore and former State College standout Lauren Kenney and freshman Brannon Kidder both received Big Ten Athlete of the Week accolades, announced by conference offices on Wednesday evening.
Both Kenney and Kidder came away with event victories at last weekend’s Crimson Tide Invitational at the University of Alabama, putting up conference leading performances in their respective events.
Kenney launched a personal-best 176 feet, 11 inches in the javelin, earning an event victory and helping her Nittany Lion teammates to the overall title on the women’s side. Kenney’s performance — which was a lifetime best by nearly 10 feet — is not only the top-ranking effort in the Big Ten this season, but second-farthest throw in the NCAA this season. Kenney, who was fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships a year ago, now ranks second in the Penn State record books. Teammate Laura Loht made it a Nittany Lion sweep in the event, turning in an effort of 159-7 for second.
Kidder was also in top form in Tuscaloosa, winning the men’s 800 meters with a lifetime-best 1:47.71. Kidder, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year during the indoor season, led a bevy of Nittany Lions in the race, including sophomore Robby Creese, who finished second in 1:48.98. The freshman is currently tops among Big Ten competitors in the event, and also ranks No. 2, nationally. He stands at No. 9 in the all-time Penn State standings.