UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Nittany Lion men’s track and field team has entered the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) Top 25 for the first time this season, entering the rankings at No. 17. Penn State is coming off another outstanding weekend of action, highlighted by a sub-four minute mile by freshman sensation Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.), who set the collegiate record at 1000 meters last month.
The rankings include several Nittany Lions with performances in the national top 20 in their respective events, led by junior Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.), who currently stands ninth nationally in the 800 meters at 1:48.24. Not far behind is Creese, who ranks 16th in the half mile with a PR 1:48.64 from last month.
Senior Hanif Johnson (Harrisburg, Pa.) leads the Lions in the field events, thanks to a season-best leap of 51-9 (15.77) in the triple jump, which currently stands 13th in Division I. Also excelling the field this winter has been junior Sean Reilly (Lagrangeville, N.Y.). Reilly topped out at 7-1.75 (2.18) in the high jump at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup, which is tied for the best in the Big Ten this season, as well as a top 20 mark nationally.
The Nittany Lions also own a pair of high-ranking relay performances, including a 9:35.24 distance medley relay – with Wade Endress (Altoona, Pa.), Aaron Nadolsky (Altoona, Pa.), Connor Manley (Jamison, Pa.), and Creese – that currently stands fourth in the NCAA. Penn State has also run 3:07.72 – the sixth-fastest effort of 2012 – in the 4×400-meter relay, with team members Nadolsky, Brady Gehret (Altoona, Pa.), Loxsom, and Matt Gilmore (Elkins Park, Pa.).
The Nittany Lions will take the weekend off before competing at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, which are set for February 24-25, in Lincoln, Neb.