December 21, 2012 at 6:21 PM
For more than six years, John Gondak has been the assistant coach of the cross country and track teams at Penn State, and now his dedication and tenure have paid off.
Director and head coach of Penn State track and cross country program Beth Alford-Sullivan announced that Gondak has been promoted to associate head coach.
"It's exciting time for John to have received this promotion," said Sullivan in a GoPSUSports press release. "In the previous six years, he has done a tremendous job in recruiting and really helping shape the direction of our program. It is certainly well deserved and it's been a great honor to work with him over the years. I look forward to continuing to work with John in the future."
In his six years of service, Gondak, who oversees the middle and long distance student-athletes, has coached 10 first-team All Americans and 12 Big Ten champions.
That includes some of the most successful athletes at Penn State, like former Big Ten champion Ryan Foster, current sophomore Robby Creese and senior Casimir Loxsom, who ran the 800 meter prelims at the U.S. Olympic Trials this past summer.
"We have accomplished many great feats with the program and will continue to strive to achieve at the highest level," Gondak said in the press release. "Penn State is one of the best Universities in the world and a premier place to be a student-athlete. I believe our success in Cross Country/Track and Field, along with the success we achieve in all of our sports in Happy Valley, demonstrates this."
November 9, 2012 at 8:34 PM
In what was a close race, the Penn State women were able to pull out the upset and become regional champions.
With beautiful weather conditions Friday at the Blue and White Golf Course, the women were able to score 61 points, just edging out second-place Georgetown’s 63 points for the Mid-Atlantic crown.
Both Penn State and Georgetown have now earned automatic qualifying team bids to the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
The Nittany Lions had an impressive finishing stretch with three of their runners finishing in the top ten overall.
Junior Victoria Perri led the women’s side with a fourth place finish and a time of 20:31 in the 6,000-meter course. Senior Brooklyne Ridder was able to finish sixth followed closely behind by junior Rebekka Simko, who finished 10th.
Sophomore Leigha Anderson and junior Emily Giannotti rounded out the scoring five runners for this championship squad.
The overall winner of the women’s race was Villanova’s Nicky Akande who finished the race in 20:14.
The Penn State men’s team also had a strong day finishing fifth in the region, scoring 147 points.
The Georgetown men won the Mid-Atlantic Region with 56 points, just one point better than second-place Villanova.
Graduate student Sam Masters ran well in his first Regionals, running the 10,000-meter course in 30:48 to earn a 12th place finish and a possible individual bid to Nationals.
Senior Tyler Jones, junior Nick Scarpello, senior Tyler Corkedale, and freshman Robby Creese made up the second through fifth scoring spots respectively for Penn State.
The overall winner for the men’s race was Temple’s Travis Mohaney who ran the course in 30:24.
The Penn State women will look to continue their success as the move on to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 17.