May 18, 2010

Penn State Women Win Track's "Triple Crown"

As somebody who ran for his high school's cross country and track teams and ran for Penn State's club cross-country team, I'd be doing myself and the PSU blogosphere a great disservice if I didn't give the women's track team their due recognition for winning their third consecutive Big Ten outdoor title this past weekend, capturing the Big Ten's "Triple Crown" for the 2009-10 season in the process.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the fringe world of competitive running (i.e. 98% of you): A Triple Crown consists of winning championships in cross-country (Fall), indoor track (Winter), and outdoor track (Spring) all during the same school year. It is an extremely rare feat, perhaps the best analogy would be a football team going undefeated and winning national titles in back-to-back seasons (Nebraska last did it in 1994 and 1995). In fact, prior to this year, such a feat had only been achieved five times in Big Ten history, with Michigan in 2002-03 being the last team to do so. So yeah, Mr. Vice President, this IS a big f*cking deal.

Bridget Franek tells the feeble competition behind her to "drink up, be merry!" as she splashes into the water pit during the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

While there's plenty of praise to go around amongst the team members, a special shout-out goes to Bridget Franek* (pictured, right >>>) who helped carry the team with a victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (a race featuring giant hurdles plus a "water pit." That's right, a freakin' water pit.. admit it, you're already a tad more intrigued) along with third and fourth-place finishes in the 5,000 and 1,500-meter races, respectively.

Even though it's no secret that few people follow the cross-country/track teams, as Penn State sports fans, we should take pride in seeing our school be the best at whatever the sport they participate in...We now return to your regularly scheduled link-dumps of fluff articles about Big Ten expansion

* I have a personal bias towards long-distance runners, being that I was mainly a 1600-meter (mile), 3200-meter (2 mile), and occasional 4x800 guy back in high school.

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