Penn State to Host 2010 Big Ten Women's Indoor Championships

Feb. 25, 2010

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Penn State University and Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Facility is set to host the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships, slated for Saturday, Feb. 27 - Sunday, Feb. 28. The Nittany Lions lead the conference in the latest USTFCCCA poll with a No. 10 national ranking. Indiana is the only other Big Ten representative to appear on that list, apearing at No. 19. Minnesota is the three-time defending Big Ten Champions, but will face stiff competition from some of the best track and field athletes in the country as the Big Ten is home to five of the nation’s top-five event times and marks.

The Nittany Lions hope to improve upon their second-place showing at last year’s meet with a wealth of talent on the track. Junior Shavon Greaves enters the meet with the second fastest time in the nation in the 200 meters (23.16) and also boasts the seventh-fastest time in the 400 meters (53.14). PSU seniors Fawn Dorr and Bridget Franek have also left their mark on the national scene. Franek posted the fourth-fastest 5,000-meter time in the country after cruising to a career best and NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 15:56.76 at the Husky Classic, while Dorr completed the quarter in 53.10 to turn in the sixth-best time nationally. PSU’s 4x400 meter relay team will also look to bring home quality points this weekend as Dorr teams up with Greaves in anchoring a blistering mile relay, which currently boasts a conference-leading time of 3:36.43.

Minnesota will be in the hunt for its fourth Big Ten crown and will look to defending conference pole vault champion, Alicia Rue for leadership. The Gopher junior posted four NCAA automatic qualifying marks this season en route to the second highest clearance in the nation at 14’4.5 (4.38m).  Also look for the Gophers to be a top contender in the distance-medley relay.

Illinois seeks to improve upon its fifth-place showing at last year’s meet with help on the track from senior Angela Bizzarri. The 2010 NCAA Cross Country Champion, Bizzarri will look to lead the pack in the mile, owning the nation’s eighth-fastest and conference-leading time of 4:40.68 entering the meet. The Illini will also rely on the strong performances from senior hurler Aja Evans and the mile relay squad, which is poised to challenge Penn State for the top podium spot in the final event on Sunday.

The Wolverines will look to claim top honors after finishing in third place a year ago. Heading into the event, U-M features 17 top-10 Big Ten marks, highlighted by the distance medley relay team that owns the fastest time in the conference this season at 11:13.69. Leading the fearsome foursome is freshman Jillian Smith, who holds the second-best performance in the 800-meter run (2:06.90).  

Indiana senior Molly Beckwith leads the pack of half-mile runners with a scorching time of 2:04.50, which ranks third in the nation. Meanwhile, senior high jumper Ashley Rhoades will look to add another Big Ten title to her credit after winning at the 2009 outdoor championships as the Hoosiers aim to better their fourth-place performance from a year ago.    

Last year’s seventh-place finisher, Wisconsin will look to rack up major points in the field competition with seniors Megan Seidl and Chavon Robinson. With a leap of 6’0.75 (1.85m) earlier this season, Seidl enters Sunday’s high jump competition with the fourth-best clearance in the country. Robinson is also positioned among national leaders with a 43’3.25 (13.19) mark in the triple jump.

The Big Ten Network will be on hand to cover the action at the championships. The women's championships will be broadcast via tape delay on Tuesday, March 9 at 7 p.m. ET.