NCAA Round-Up: Big Ten student-athletes earned 12 top-eight finishes at the 2014 Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., from March 14-15, en route to All-America honors. Six Big Ten student-athletes placed in the top eight of their respective events at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuqueque, N.M. Penn State's Mahagony Jones and Purdue's Dani Bunch posted third-place efforts in the 200-meter dash (22.93) and weight throw (21.81 meters), respectively, while Michigan's distance medley relay squad of Jaimie Phelan, Maya Long, Danielle Pfeifer and Brook Handler took fifth (11:14.60). The Big Ten recorded nine top eight finishes on the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Three student-athletes took home fifth-place efforts, including Michigan State's Tori Franklin in the triple jump (13.17 meters), Purdue's Dani Bunch in the shot put (16.97 meters) and Wisconsin's Deanna Latham in the pentathlon (4252). Penn State's Brittney Howell also placed in the pentathlon, coming in at seventh with 4202 points. The Nittany Lion 4x400-meter relay team of Dynasty McGee, Mahagony Jones, Tichina Rhodes and Kiah Seymour also finished in fifth, running a time of 3:33.13. Seymour placed sixth in the 400-meter fun (52.85), while Michigan's Cindy Ofili also recorded a sixth-place finish, clocking a time of 8.07 in the 60-meter hurdles. Michigan State's Leah O'Connor and Minnesota's Alena Brooks each posted seventh-place efforts in the mile run (4:40.86) and 800-meter run (2:08.31), respectively. For more on the NCAA Championships, click HERE.
Regional Recognition: Two schools collected regional awards from the USTFCCC, it was announced on March 10. Student-athletes and coaches from Michigan State and Penn State and Wisconsin earned recognition in two different regions: Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic. In the Great Lakes Region, Michigan State's Leah O'Connor earned Track Athlete of the Year honors and fellow Spartan Tori Franklin collected Field Athlete of the Year recognition. Penn State's Mahagony Jones took home Track Athlete of the Year honors in the Mid-Atlantic region, while Nittany Lion head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan was named Coach of the Year and Randy Bungard was tabbed tabbed Assistant Coach of the Year. Click HERE for more on the USTFCCCA awards.
And The Awards Go To: The Big Ten Conference office announced the 2014 Big Ten women's indoor track & field individual award winners on March 4. Highlighting the list, Michigan's Cindy Ofili was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year and Purdue's Dani Bunch earned the nod as Field Athlete of the Year. Penn State's Kiah Seymour was tabbed Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships and Michigan State's Tori Franklin took home Field Athlete of the Championships laurels. Michigan's Erin Finn was tabbed Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches, while Nittany Lion head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan was named Coach of the Year by her peers. For more on the conference's end of the year awards, click HERE.
Lions Leap To Big Ten Title: The Penn State women won the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 1 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The Nittany Lions posted three individual crowns and one relay title to claim the championship. The title marks Penn State's third overall and first since 2010. Penn State totaled 114.50 points en route to the championship, while Michigan (104 points) and Nebraska (92 points) came in second and third, respectively. Minnesota finished in fourth place with 64.50 points, while Purdue rounded out the top five with 53 points. The Nittany Lions picked up first-place finishes from Tori Gerlach (3,000-meter run), Mahagony Jones (200-meter dash) and Kiah Seymour (400-meter dash) and the 4x400-meter relay team made up of Jones, Seymour, Dynasty McGee and Tichina Rhoades. For more on the Big Ten Championships, click HERE and HERE.