Feb. 2, 2014
University Park, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh men’s and women’s track and field team kicked off their championship season with multiple winning performances and new records at the Penn State National Invitational.
The men’s 4x400M relay team led off by Micah Murray then Carvin Nkanata, followed by Desmond Palmer running the third leg and anchor Brycen Spratling took first in the finals with a new meet record time of 3:06.98. Spratling crushed the last leg of the race and the relay team is now ranked sixth in the nation. The previous meet record was set by Pitt’s 2012 4x4 relay team with a time of 3:07.33.
Spratling success continued throughout the two day competition. He recorded an individual first place performance in the 400M dash, finishing in 46.32. Spratling’s winning performance is currently the seventh fastest time in the nation and good enough to qualify for the ACC Championships.
Nkanata is still ranked in the 400M dash but is now tied for the eighth spot in the nation with a time of 46.36 from this year’s Nittany Lion Challenge.
Nkanta claimed first in the 200M dash this past weekend with a posted time of 20.99. His performance ranks him at No. 10 on the nation’s top time list in the men’s 200M.
Nkanata's time of 20.99 breaks the previous school record of 21.01 by Spratling in 2013.
Palmer continues to impress in his rookie season by making it to the semis in the 60M hurdles with the second best time of the season, 8.11. The first place spot is also held by Palmer (8.08) at this season’s Nittany Lion Challenge.
On the women’s side, Ashley Corum highlighted the competition by launching herself to first in the triple jump with a distance of 12.88 meters (42-03.25). Corum’s jump is a new personal best; her previous distance of 12.56 meters was set at the 2012 Indoor Big East Championships. Corum’s performance in the triple jump this past weekend also qualifies her for the ACC Championships and a No. 10 ranking in the nation.
Taranisha Taylor advanced to the finals in the 60M dash and finished in sixth (7.63). Taylor’s best time of the weekend was in the 60M semis when she posted a time of 7.59, the fourth best time of the season.
Taylor's most impressive feat so far this season was in the 60M hurdles where she broke the school record with a time of 8.32. Taylor surpassed the 2008 record of 8.37 set by Mycaiah Clemons.
Jordan Hoyt next led the Panthers in the women’s 200M dash, finishing in second (24.68). Hoyt’s time is good enough for the second best time of the season.
Kalene Anderson made an impact in the weight throw event, finishing with a recorded distance of 14.87 meters (48-09.50), a career best. Her previous best throw was set at the 2013 Akron Invite with a distance of 14.54 meters.
In the distance events, Hillary Boxheimer claimed fifth in the 5,000M run, while Dee Dee Adams took seventh in the same event. Both Boxheimer and Adams set new career best in the event.
The Panthers will be back in action on Friday, February 7th as they head back to Blacksburg, Va. for the Virginia Tech Elite Meet, while other members of the track and field team will travel again to Youngstown, Ohio for the YSU National Invite.