Jan. 12, 2013
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The women’s 4x400 meter relay team ran the nation’s fastest time of the season to date and Tashaun Hill won the 60 meter hurdles to highlight the afternoon for the Pitt men’s and women’s track and field teams at the Nittany Lion Challenge.
“I am more pleased with today’s effort than last weeks,” head coach Alonzo Webb said. “We had some good results last week, but there was a lot better effort today. We try to get better every day, and we did that today. The women’s distance team had some great PR’s and I think the team is feeling good. Overall, we had a pretty balanced meet and I am excited for the next two weeks of practice.”
The women’s 4x400 relay team of Jonnique Lawrence, Funmi Alabi, Arielle Fonrose and Taylor Ellis-Watson set the nation’s fastest time at 3:40.10. They cruised past the field and won the event by 12 seconds, although the Penn State relay team, Pitt’s main competition, dropped the baton.
Fonrose also had a personal-best in the 60 meter dash at 7.77. She placed second in that event.
In her first time ever running the event, Evann Thompson ran Pitt’s second fastest 600 meter time in history with a second place finish as she crossed the line in 1:33.97. Also with an impressive performance was freshman Rachel Brown. After setting a personal-best in the 3,000 meter run a week ago, she bettered that time by seven seconds today with a time of 10:17.36. She finished sixth overall.
Brittany Lightfoot also bested her personal-record from a week ago in the weight throw as she placed fourth with a distance of 16.63 meters (54-06.73 feet). Julia Koloski had a career-day in the triple jump with a jump of 11.96 meters. She placed fourth overall in that event, while teammate Ashley Corum was third with a distance of 12.26 meters.
For the men, Hill left no doubt as to whom the best hurdler of the meet was as he placed first in prelims with a time of 8.04, and then came back in the finals to win the event in a season-best time of 7.96.
Olivier Philogene had a solid day with a pair of second place finishes. His first came in the 400 meter dash as he reached a Big East qualifying time with a run of 48.80. He was also a part of the men’s 4x400 relay team that took home second with a time of 3:16.28. Also on that team was Micah Murray, Daniel O’Toole and Josh Mindlin.
Other top-5 finishes included Murray in the 60 meter dash (5th – 7.13), O’Toole in the 200 meter dash (5th – 22.39) and Benjamine Hatch in the 600 meter dash (5th – 1:21.51).
The Panthers now have two weeks off to prepare for the most high profile meet that Penn State will host this year, the Penn State National. The meet is set for January 25-26.