The Penn State track and field team put up an impressive showing at the Sykes and Sabock Challenge Cup, the team’s first scored meet of the season.
The meet, which was held at the Horace Ashenfelter III indoor track on Saturday, was highlighted by a number of standout performances from Penn State.
Arizona State graduate and 2012 Olympian Ryan Whiting smashed a facility record which lasted for 23 years. Whiting, who is a volunteer assistant for the team, had a shot put throw of 70-10, which marked the first time anybody bested 70 feet in the facility. Whiting topped the long-standing record by a total of five feet and three inches. The previous best was 65-7 by CJ Hunter in 1990.
Junior Mahagany Jones also made her mark at the meet, winning both the 60 and 200-meter dashes. The Ohio native accomplished the feat with times of 7.40 and 23.64, respectively. Jones’ performance at the meet lead to her winning the first annual John Lucas women’s Athlete of the Meet.
Redshirt freshman Robby Creese garnered the men’s version of the award after earning victories in both the 800-meter dash and the distance medley relay. Creese’s 800-meter time of 1:49.13 is ranked in the top 15 in the NCAA this season.
Both the men and women were able to secure victories in the weight-throwing events at the meet. On the women’s side, junior Melissa Kurzdorfer finished first in the 20-lb weight throw with a toss of 64-11.50. The mark bested Kurzdorfer’s previous best of 64-10.50. Those two throws rank as the third and fourth best marks in school history.
For the 35-lb weight throw, redshirt junior William Barr and senior Nabil Mubarik finished first and second, respectively. Barr threw a 66-05.00, which ranks second all-time in school history. Mubarik’s 64-11.50 moves him into a tie for fifth place on the school’s all-time list.
Senior Natalie Bower also found her way onto the Penn State record books by running the 2,000 steeplechase in 6:29.38. The time set a meet and facility record.