Penn State's Brittney Howell wins heptathlon

Posted: April 26, 2013

Penn State's Brittney Howell seemed to have all the comforts of home during the two-day Penn Relays heptathlon, competing on a track where she first started running in the seventh grade, and having family and friends in the stands at Franklin Field to encourage her.

Howell, a former star at Cheltenham High School, finished up an enjoyable competition Wednesday by posting the best mark in four of the seven events and going on to win with 5,084 points.

"Being three hours away from here and not coming home often, and then coming back here and having my family and some of my old teammates from my summer team watching, that means a lot to me," Howell said. "I can stay relaxed and be happy and have fun."

Howell, who competed in the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays and the long jump at the Penn Relays while in high school, captured the long jump Wednesday with a leap of 18 feet, 41/2 inches. She had the field's best marks Tuesday in the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, and shotput.

She concluded with a personal-best time of 2 minutes, 25.84 seconds in the 800. While she fell nine points short of her best heptathlon score, she thought she could have passed it if not for a nasty headwind in Tuesday's opening event, the hurdles, in which she ran 14.53 seconds.

"I ran 13.93 in the hurdles a couple of weeks ago," she said. "I'm ready to score big. I felt like the whole hep felt really easy. Nothing felt strained. So I know I've got some big things coming."

Lindsey Hufnagel of Western Michigan, who made up 167 points on Howell with the day's best javelin throw (116-2), finished second with 4,996 points. Teammate Kathryn Pickett won the 800 in 2:20.03 and moved into third with 4,693.

More TV

Penn Relays officials announced that a half-hour had been added to the NBC schedule for Saturday. The telecast, seen locally on NBC10, now will be seen from 1 to 3 p.m. With the earlier start, officials have switched the start times of the college men's 4-by-mile championship to 12:45 p.m. and the USA vs. The World women's 4x800 to 1:05.

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