Orignally published on 2022-05-14 03:24:43 by gopsusports.com
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Highlighted by Sophia Toti’s silver finish, the Penn State track and field team saw three top-three podium finishers and eight total student-athletes score points on the first day of competition at the Big Ten Championships.
After one day of competition, the women’s team stands in third place with 22.5 points, while the men’s team stands tied for fourth with 10 points.
Running in the second-to-last event of day one, sophomore Sophia Toti had one of the top performances by a Nittany Lion when she finished second in the women’s 10,000-meters run with a time of 34:33.45. The performance came in her first-ever attempt in the event, which saw her chase down multiple runners throughout the latter-half of the race. The silver placement scored the final eight points of the day for the Nittany Lions.
The first Nittany Lions points of the day were scored by senior Gianna Rao, who finished seventh in the women’s hammer throw with a mark of 58.67m (192-6), scoring two points.
In the men’s hammer throw, Tyler Merkley placed as the runner-up with a throw of 70.08m (229-11) to score the first eight points for the men’s team. Freshman Collin Burkhart finished in seventh place with a throw of 62.27m (204-3) to tack on the remaining two points on the day.
Madison Smith saw a third-place finish in javelin after launching a throw of 51.30m (168-4) to score six points for the women’s team.
The women’s pole vault group combined to score 6.5 of their own. Junior Hailey Zurich led the way by finishing fourth after clearing a height of 4.18m (13-8.5) to score five points. Senior Katie Jones tied for seventh place with a mark of 4.08m (13-4.5) to score 1.5 points.
On the first day of the heptathlon, Chloe Royce finished with a seventh-place standing after scoring 3,120 points. The Big Ten indoor pentathlon champion scored 901 points in the 100-meter hurdles, 759 points in the high jump, 610 points in the shot put, and closed out the day with 850 points in the 200 meter dash.
Action on the track saw mostly preliminary races throughout the day.
In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, Yasmin Brooks clocked a new personal-best time of 57.57 to secure her qualifying spot in the Sunday finals. Her time currently ranks as the seventh-fastest time in program history.
Sophomore Madaline Ullom and junior Kileigh Kane both qualified for the finals in the women’s 1500 meters after running times of 4:22.65 and 4:23.08, respectively, to place in the top three of their heat. Kane’s time marked a new personal-best in the event.
The men’s race saw senior Brandon Hontz finish with a 3:46.19 to secure his qualifying spot for Sunday.
Competition at the Big Ten Outdoor Championship resumes Saturday at 11 a.m. EST with the decathlon 110-meter hurdles. Nittany Lions action resumes at noon when Chloe Royce competes in the heptathlon long jump.