The men and women’s track and field team turned in a number of standout performances at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio over the weekend, leading to third- and fourth-place finishes by the men and women, respectively.
Two juniors in particular made their presence felt for the women, as Mahagony Jones and Marlene Ricketts both earned silver medals at the meet. Their performances helped to ensure that the women would place within the top four at the meet for the 11th consecutive time.
Like those teams, Jones managed to finish in the top four of the two events she ran, finishing second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.42 and fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.56.
“It was a good feeling cause it was my highest Big Ten place of my entire college career, so it really meant a lot,” Jones said.
Jones wasn’t alone in her accomplishments, as her teammate and fellow medal-winner Ricketts set a personal best in the triple jump with a distance of 42-04.75 feet. Aside from personal accomplishments, Ricketts also made her way into Penn State record books by posting the second-best triple jump in school history.
Ricketts entered the meet with the goal of finishing in the top two of her event, which she did accomplish. Nonetheless, she couldn’t help but to feel some disappointment after falling just short of the gold medal.
“I was really hoping to take first, although top two was my goal,” Jones said. “I was really happy that I accomplished that goal, but I felt like I could’ve gotten that gold. But I’m really happy with the silver that I got.”
While happy with earning the silver medal and setting a personal best, Ricketts pointed to solidifying her presence in Penn State record books as her greatest accomplishment of the weekend.
“Setting the Penn State second best ever [was a bigger accomplishment] for me, that [personal record] was not a PR that I would want,” Ricketts said. “I want something better than that and just being on the list as number two is an accomplishment for me. Hopefully I can do better and I can set the standard higher.”
Like their female counterparts, many male team members were able to put up some impressive performances. Chief among them being senior Casimir Loxsom .
Loxsom, who already holds a number of Penn State records, continued to add to his list of accolades by running the 600-m dash in 1:15.42. The mark broke school, meet, facility, and Big Ten records. According to Loxsom, his time was also just a loophole away from setting some national records as well.
“Because it was an oversized track it didn’t count for the American record or the collegiate record, but it was faster than both of those so I was pretty excited to see that as well,” Loxsom said.
As noted, Loxsom is no stranger to personal success, but with the NCAA Indoor Championships less than two weeks away, he’s already looking toward the bigger picture. Loxsom’s hope is that the team will be able to use its solid performance in the Big Ten Indoor Championships to generate momentum moving forward.
“Not everything’s always going to go perfect in a championship meet like that, but I think it was one of the first times since I’ve been here that the team’s been so together,” Loxsom said. “After the meet was over there wasn’t a single person that competed there that weekend that didn’t care and that was the biggest part for me.”