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Track and Field 


  •  Horace Ashenfelter- won Gold medal in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase at the Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952

         o   Beat world record holder Vladimir Roczjack for the Gold. Ashenfelter was at the time an FBI agent and won the Gold

              in an Olympic record time of 8:45.4 and returned home to a heros welcome.

         o   Brother Bill was also a Penn State Steeplechase runner

         o   Winner if the James E. Sullivan Award given annually by the Amateur Athletic Union

              -  Given to the top amateur athlete in the U.S.

         o   Inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1975

         o   Penn State’s Multi-Sports Complex is named after Ashenfelter

  •  Steeplechase

         o   Challenges runners with 28 hurdles and seven water jumps of 3000 meters

  •  1977 George Malley set American Record of 8:22.54 at the National AAU championships

         o   In 1976 he won the steeplechase at the Penn Relays

  •  Barney Ewell

         o   Nicknamed the “Lancaster Flash”

         o   Nine-time NCAA All-American, won 12 IC4A Titles in the 100, 220, and long jump from 1940 to 1942.

         o   At 1948 Olympics Ewell won silver medals in the 100 and 200 (missing both events by inches) Ewell also won a gold

              in the 4x100-meter relays

         o   Broke or tied 5 world records at distances of 50, 60 and 200 yards. In 1986 he was inducted into the Track and Field Hall

              of Fame

  •  Michael Sands

         o   Raced to the NCAA 440 meters Indoor title in 48.5 seconds in 1974 on an 11 lap banked track in Detroit’s Cobo Hall.

              Competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics in 100, 200 and 4x100-meter relay.

              -  Returned to the Olympics as head manager of the Bahamas track and field team in 1992 and by 2005 was the director

                 of the country’s entire track and field program. Sands was a native of the Bahamas.

         o   Won the 440 yard Central Collegiate Championship in 1975 in a time of 48.2 and won a NCAA title in 48.5 in the same year.

  •  Tammie Hart ran a 53.80 in the 400 in 1981. Four years later, she ran a 2:04.37 in the 800 meters
  •  Consuella Moore was Penn State’s most decorated female sprinter, dominating both indoor and outdoor tracks by

         setting four individual school records and being a part of four record-setting relay teams.

         o   11-time NCAA All-American, Gold medal winner at 2009 Pan Am Games in 4x100-meter relay

         o   Selected to the 2004 Olympic team to run in the 4x100 meter relay

  •  Olympians Larry Shields, Schuyler Enck, William Cox, and Alan Helffrich dominated the mile at the IC4A championships.

         o   William Cox earned a bronze medal in the 3000 in Paris in 1924 and also won the tow-mile at the Penn Relays in 1927

         o   Larry Shields won a bronze medal in the 1500 at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp. Two years later won IC4A Championships in 

              the mile run with a time of 4:20.08

         o   Schuyler Enck won bronze medal in the 800 at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris

  •  Kim McGreevy earned All-American in the mile, 1500 and distance medley in 1997 and was also named Big Ten Athlete

         of the Year.

  •  Larry Mangan was the first Lion to break the four-minute mile in 3:58.4 in 1980. Later that year Mangan reached the finals

         in the 1500 at the U.S. Olympic Trails. Distance Runners

  •  Curt Stone won 13 national titles in track and cross country at Penn State and after graduating. He set three American

         records and competed in the 1948, 1952, and 1956 Olympics. Stone finished his career with two victories at the 1957 Pan

         American Games

         o   Won two-mile at 1947 Penn Relays, a decade later he won the 10,000 and 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Pan

              American Games

  •  Greg Fredericks won Penn Relay titles in the three-mile in 1971 and 1972. In a historic race against legendary

         Steve Prefontaine of Oregon at the NCAA championships in 1972, they broke the American record at 5,000 meters

         (Fredericks narrowly lost at the finish).

         o   Also set American record in the 10,000 meter in 1972 at the national AAU championships

         o   Set five school records and qualified for the 1980 Olympics but the U.S. boycott prevented him from competing

  •  Kathy Mills earned her third AIAW title in 1978 at 5,000 meters with world’s best time of 15:35.52. She also received

         the Broderick Award as the nation’s top female track athlete.

         o   The AIAW is the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women it was the former governing athletic body for women

              sports. In the early 1980’s after conflicts with the NCAA many schools abandoned the AIAW for NCAA governance

         o   Set school records in the 3000 and 5000 meters in 1978 that remained on the books in 2001

  •  Ed Moran won the mile event at the 1959 IC4A Outdoor Championships. In the same year he also won an IC4A Indoor title
  •  Kim Kelly earned All-American at 10,000 meters finishing fifth at nationals

          o   Kim’s twin sister Kris also ran track for Penn State in the early 90’s

  •  Charlie Maguire won the NCAA National Championship in the 6-mile in 1973  Relays
  •  Lion athletes captured 49 individual Penn Relays crowns and 23 Championship of America relay titles in 20th century
  • Eight Nittany Lion foursomes have won titles at the prestigious Penn Relays during the last century. The first of which

         was captured in the 4x800 in 1923 by Edgar Carter, J. Russell Edgerton, Schuyler Enck, and Alan Helffrich

         o   In 1985 Vance Watson, Steve Shisler, Chris Mills and Randy Moore raced to a 4x800 at the Penn Relays. The 1985

              team ranked No. 1 in the world and won a national championship

  •  Mike Shine anchored Penn State’s 1975 Indoor national champion sprint medley relay team at Madison Square Garden,

         along with teammates Mike Sands, Jack Davis, and Steve Hackman

  •  In 1978 Lea Ventura, Kathy Byrnes, Penny Fales, and Sandy Miller finished second at the national Outdoor 4x800 relays
  •  In 1986 the 4x1500 team of Bob Hudson, Mark Overheim, Eric Carter and Steve Shisler was the first American collegiate

         team to break 15 minutes

  •  In 1985 the men’s 4x800 team won the national championship and earned a No. 1 ranking, the team consisted of Randy

         Moore, Vance Watson, Steve Shisler and Chris Mills 


  •  Alan Bates set the record by which Penn State long jumpers are measured all the way back in 1928. Bates soared

         24 feet, 10 3/8 inches to claim the IC4A title. The jump propelled him to the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, where he won a

         bronze medal.

         o   His school record was beat in 1985 when All-American Dave Coney jumped 25-11, 20 years later Coney’s jump was still

              the best

         o   Won the broad jump at the 1926 Penn Relays

  •  George Audu won his second Big Ten Title in 1999 with a jump o f25-8 ¾ he also won the IC4A Indoor championship

          that year

  •  Sprinter Barney Ewell was also an outstanding long jumper. He won the Penn Relays and IC4A titles in 1940 and 1942
  •  Hurdles-That Silver Shine

         o   Harold Barron won an Olympic Silver Medal in Antwerp in 1920

         o   Mike Shine used blinding speed to capture two Penn Relay’s titles before winning a silver medal in the 400 intermediate

              hurdles at the 1976 Montreal Olympics

         o   Michael Timpson in 1986 set the school record in the 55-meter high hurdles at 7.31 seconds and it remained the best mark

              into 2006

  •  Ernestine Marsh set a school record for Lion women in the 100-meter hurdles in 1986
  •  Charles “Crip” Moore won IC4A crowns in 1924 and 1925 in the 70-yard hurdles. He also won the 120-yard hurdles at the

         1932 and 1925 Penn Relays. Moore was also a U.S. Olympic team alternate in 1920

  •  Tammie Hart set a Lion women’s record in the 400 intermediate hurdles with a time of 58.45 in 1982
  •  Long Jump and triple jump

         o   Athletes sprint down a runway before take-off. In triple jump athletes take and extra hop with their take-off foot and a step

              with the opposite foot before leaping into the sand pit

  •  Ricardo Hall ranks their all-time behind Antonio Davis among PSU triple jumpers with a jump of 52-8 ¼ in 1990 at the

         Jim Thorpe Invitational

  •  Carmen Mann set a PSU school record for Lion women in 1990 with a jump of 43-1. She finished 5th at the NCAA

         Outdoors in 1989 to earn All-American honors

  •  Antonio Davis won the Penn Relays in 1993 with a jump of 53-11 ¼ Davis also won four Big Ten Titles in the long jump

         and triple jump

  •  Decathlon and Heptathlon

          o   Rick Kleban was a 1985 NCCA Decathlon All-American. Finished 5th at the 1985 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a PSU 

               record 7,685 points.

          o   Dave Masgay won IC4A titles in 1986 and 1987 and in 1987 became the first Lion decathlon titleholder at the Penn Relays

               -  James cook added two more in 1996 and 1997

          o   Barry Walsh competed in the 1992 Olympic Decathlon. As a Nittany Lion decathlete, the All-American won three straight IC4A

               titles from 1988-90

          o   All-American Pam Connell piled up a PSU record 5,706 points at the NCAA Outdoors in 1991 to place fourth in the heptathlon

          o   Carmen Mann ran the 100-meter hurdles in 14.23 in 1990. During that same year, she set a PSU record with 5,420 points in 

               the heptathlon

          o   Shelly Mitchell earned All-American in heptathlon

  •  High Jump

          o   Dave Coney set a Lion outdoor record in 1985 with a jump of 7-3 ½ at the Penn State Open

  •  Discus

          o   Lee Talbot won Penn Relay in 1911 and 1913 with throws of 129 ft 2 inches and 142 ft, respectively

          o   Brian Milne in 1992 won an NCAA championship and set the PSU record with a throw of 207-5

               - Won the 1992 World Junior and TAC junior discus titles and the 1993 NCAA discus championship

          o   Elaine Sobansky and Deshaya Williams paced Lion women in discus

              -  Sobansky’s toss of 167-7 was 15 feet better than the previous school record set by Marilyn Senz

  •  Claimed 3 straight EAIAW Outdoor Titles from 1981-83

          -  Williams extended that record nearly 20 feet in 2001

  •  Williams was a three time All-American and won the NCAA title in 2003
  •  First Penn State women to win a NCAA field event championship

         o   Rosey Grier won Penn Relays and IC4A titles in discus and shot put

              -  He was a two-time track All-American and started as a football defensive tackle for four years

  • Shot Put

         o   C.J. Hunter in 1989 won the first of two Penn Relay shot put titles with a throw of 63 feet 3 inches. Went on to capture

              Outdoor and Indoor titles in 1995 and placed 7th at the 1996 Olympics

              -  Gathered 8 straight IC4A crowns, 1990 NCAA Indoor title

         o   Elaine Sobansky never finished lower than 6th in four years of NCAA Indoor and Outdoor championship competition

         o   Knut Hjeltnes won shot put at the 1975 Penn Relays

  •  Hammer Throw

         o   Lee Talbot set the standard finished fifth in the Hammer throw at the 1908 Olympic games   

              -  He won two Penn Relay championships in 1910 and 1913

              -  One of Penn States first Olympians

         o   Al Jackson in 1976 set Penn State record at the Olympic trials with a toss of 218-6

              -  He was an alternate on the 1976 U.S. Olympic team

         o   Dorian Love established the school record in the 35-lb. weight in 2002 with a mark of 66-5 ¾

         o   Michelle Thompson qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials in 1992, the same year she set a record for Lion women with a throw of


  •  Javelin

          o   All-American Jen Pastore set the school record with a throw of 198 ft. 11 inches in 1998

          o   Jim Stevenson won a National Championship in 1966

          o   Nick Vukmanic brought home Penn State’s first NCAA Outdoor Championship in javelin in 1938

  •  Pole Vault

          o   Bill Gifford won two Central Collegiate titles in pole vault in 1975

               -  Won the PSU Nate Cartmell Award

          o   Mason Ternay vaulted to a men’s Outdoor record in 1991 and an Indoor mark in 1992

          o   In 2004 Big Ten champion Sara Dougherty set the Lion women’s indoor record and outdoor record

              -  Won individual title in pole vault at the Big Ten Women’s Indoor Track Championships. She also competed in the NCAA 

                 Championships her senior year/

          o   Kevin Dare was a young and bright future when he died after a pole vaulting accident at the 2002 Big Ten Indoor Track and   

               Field Championships. In his memory the Dare family established and organization to improve pole vault safety, Vault for Life.

               As a result, both the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference have adopted new safety rules for pole vault competition.

           o   Sara Dougherty won the individual title in pole vault at the Big Ten Women’s Indoor Track Championships


  •  Coach C.W. Bill Martin’s teams dominated Western Intercollegiate competition, losing only one duel meet from 1913-17

         and 1920-21

  •  From 1922-33, Nate Cartmell coached the Lions to a record of 19-2 in cross country and 19-9 in track and field dual

         meet competition

  •  Coach Chick Werner produced 60 NCAA All-Americans, 12 Olympians, and nine individual national championships

         from 1934-42 and 1946-61 Cross Country

  •  Since 1912, the Nittany Lion men have earned 7 IC4A championships and 3 Central Collegiate crowns.
  •  Lion women have won 12 regional titles in their first 25 years
  •  1912- Athletic Director Pop Golden organizes men’s cross country. A year later the Lion runners take three of the top

         five spots to edge Penn at Philadelphia’s historic Fairmount Park

  •  1974- Coach Chris Brooks has women’s cross country off and running. In their second season the Lady Lions place second

         at the AIAW national championships

  •  Brian Fuller was the individual champion at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational and was also a Big Ten Runner

         of the Week honoree

  •  Bridget Franek placed sixth at the Big Ten Championships, earning All-Conference honors, and captured her second-career

         all-region certificate with a fourth-place effort at the NCAA mid-Atlantic Regional.

  •  Leah Rosenfeld managed an all-region finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships
  •  Bill Ashenfelter placed 8th and Bob Freebairn finished 11th to pace Coach Werner’s 1950 national championship team
  •  Bill Cox was the first Nittany Lion athlete to win consecutive IC4A Championships (1926-27)
  •  John Lucas coached men’s cross country team for six seasons (1962-67) and men’s track for five (1963-68).

          o   After leaving coaching Lucas became one of the foremost authorities in the world on the Olympic Games and has published

               extensively on their history and impact

          o   In 1992 he was named “Official Lecturer” by the International Olympic Committee and four years later was awarded the

               organization’s “Olympic Order”

               - The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement. The Olympic Order is awarded to individuals for 

                  particularly distinguished contribution to the Olympic Movement. Traditionally, the chief organizer(s) of a particular Olympic

                  Games is awarded the Olympic Order in Gold at the Games' closing ceremony.

  •  Eric Carter won the IC4A championship in 1987
  •  Five-time All-American Alan Scharsu finished in the top ten at the NCAA Championships in 1980 (5th) and in 1981 (6th)

         and was the top American-born finisher both times

  •  Kathy Mills won the AIAW national championship in 1977. She also received the Broderick Award in 1977 and 1978

         at the nation’s outstanding runner

         o   Mills won the national championship in 1977 and placed third despite injuries in 1978

         o   All-American 4 times

  •  Kim McGreevy won the Big Ten championship in 1996, leading the Lions to a second place finish

         o   McGreevy was voted Big Ten Athlete of the Year in 1996

         o   Won Penn State Female Athlete of the year in 1997

  •  Kris Bankes was a two-time All-American and finished third in the nation in 1975
  •  Kelly Hunt was a two-time All-American and Academic All-American
  •  Gary Schwartz coached the Lion women from 1979-84, guiding teams to two Eastern AIAW championships and four

         regional NCAA titles

  •  Teri Jordan was voted Eastern Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1984 and 1985 after her teams raced to consecutive

          regional championships

  • Beth Alford-Sullivan took over as head coach of women’s track and field and cross country teams in 1999. Her 200 indoor

        track team placed fifth out of 50 school at the ECAC Championships

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