Howell Accepts Track Scholarship to Penn State

Brittney Howell has accepted a scholarship to compete in track and field at Penn State University. The Cheltenham senior was honored at a special signing ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 3. To view photos of the event, check out the Team Events & Signings directory in the Photo Gallery.

Brittney Howell – Penn State University (Track & Field)
Major:  Biology (pre-med)
Final list of colleges: Penn State, Michigan State, James Madison University, University of Maryland
Reasons for selecting Penn State: “It was a hard decision because I knew I wanted to go to a school where I could see myself not only running there but also fitting in academically. When I went on the visits, I made sure I could see myself in the school without track.
“When I went to Penn State, the feeling I got from the closeness of the team – it was different than any other school. The team was close, the coaches were close, and I just knew that was the environment I should be in.”
When did the idea of competing in track at the collegiate level become a reality? “I never actually thought this experience would come to me until my junior year last year when I realized, ‘Wow, I’m actually pretty good, and I can go far.’
“It’s very exciting. It’s nice to see my hard work is paying off. I really work hard, and I try to be an example to my teammates. It’s also nice for them to see that hard work pays off.”
Are there people along the way that contributed significantly to your development? “All my coaches - I’ve also run for the Mount Airy Track Club. Coach Jenson and my mother have been a big support system. Even when I have doubted myself sometimes, they’ve always been there to support me and get me through some hard meets.”
How does it feel now that you’ve signed the letter of intent?  “It’s nice to have the pressure off my back. I can just have fun now. I know I can accomplish good things, so it’s nice that I can put this behind me, have fun and get some PRs out there.”
Coach Kelly Jenson says:  “It’s been a privilege working with Brittney. I would say she’s one of the best athletes in the state. I think she will do very well in whatever (events) they put her in at Penn State and even more from a leadership standpoint, showing girls what can be done and what hard work really looks like, keeping things balanced with her academic and social life.
“Girls like Brittney attract other girls like Brittney, and then you can have a nice nucleus, and that’s what we have right now. They like to hang out together, they like to work together, and she’s the nucleus of that. 
“The thing that really separates athletes at this level is - How well can you focus? How well can you step up when the competition is there? A lot of people have the athletic ability, but it’s the mental aspect. A lot of people shy away from it. Brittney relishes it. When she gets in competition, she just does better.
“One of the things I enjoy about Brittney is she hangs out with every kind of kid in the school. She doesn’t just hang out with one kind of kid. She hangs out with kids who need some help and other kids that are gifted and at the top of the pile. She relates well to all of them, and that’s why I think she’ll do well at Penn State. They recruit nationally. They’re one of the top five programs in the country, and she’ll be able to survive just fine in that environment. It’s a tribute to her mom. She’s just done a terrific job in the whole process, looking at different schools, narrowing it down, asking a lot of questions, and I think she’s landed at the place where she belongs. I’ve seen other athletes make it fit. I think this is just a natural place for Brittney because of the coaching staff and the environment.
“I just expect to see her being a cornerstone of their team up there. She has that much potential.”
Accomplishments: 
  • 2009 State Champion - Long Jump (Indoor)
  • 2009 60 Meter Hurdles - 4th place (Indoor - first year running hurdles)
  • 2009 PIAA State Meet: Long Jump - 2nd place (by 1/4 inch)
  • 2009 PIAA State Meet: 100 Meter Hurdles - 4th place
  • 2009 Suburban One American Conference MVP (Won three individual events at conference meet)
  • 2009 Penn Relays: Long Jump - 4th place
  • PR in Long Jump - 18' 10 1/2"
  • Team Captain the last two years
  • Honor Roll student