March 1, 2014
CLEMSON, S.C. - Andrew Wells was the highlight performer in day two of the ACC Championships for the University of Pittsburgh. Wells performance in the men's weight throw final is a new school record and lifetime best. He threw for a distance of 20.20m (66-3¼), surpassing well beyond his previous record by 0.71m. Wells lifetime best throw of 20.20m earned him a second place finish out of a total of 20 participants.
"Andrew continues to impress me," Head Coach Alonzo Webb expressed. "He is a mentally tough competitor, he's a leader and a person a coach can really count on. When Andrew says he is going to go out and accomplish a throw then he will go out there and do it. Andrew stepped up today and threw a huge PR. He just missed winning the entire event, but it was big points for the men's team."
Also, in the throws, both Brittany Lightfoot and Haley Springman set new personal records. Lightfoot threw for a distance of 19.34m (63-5½), while Springman also set a lifetime best with a distance of 18.58m (60-11½). Lightfoot claimed sixth overall in the finals, while Springman took eighth.
The Panthers continued to have strong showings throughout Friday with seven student-athletes advancing to the Saturday finals.
"We had an opportunity to make some finals and we accomplished that today," Webb said. "We don't have a ton of people back in the finals, but for the people who are competing on Saturday we expect them to place high and score big for us."
Taranisha Taylor impressed by advancing to the women's 60m finals as the first non-auto qualifier coming out of the prelim events, crossing the finish line in 7.51. Taylor also advanced to the finals in the 60m hurdles, finishing in 8.39.
"I was really happy with Taranisha making it into the finals in both of the events she competed in," Webb said. "As a sophomore competing in her first ACC Championships against 14 other schools is a big deal and she impressed once again. She has the opportunity to do some big things in her two races on Saturday and I'm excited to watch."
In the jumps, Chris Spadaro placed eighth overall in the men's long jump finals with a distance of 7.12m (23'4.5"), improving on his preliminary distance of 7.02m (23'0.5"). For the women, Julia Koloski also placed eighth in the long jump finals with a distance of 5.90m (19'4.25"), surpassing her prelim distance by 0.12m. In addition to the long jump final, Koloski will also look to impress when competing in the women's triple jump event on Saturday.
Pitt sprinters continue to shine with Carvin Nkanata (21.24), Brycen Spratling (21.53) and Micah Murray (21.60) all advancing to the men's 200m finals with top-eight auto qualifier times coming out of prelims. Spratling and Murray then went on to compete in the 400m dash where they qualified for the finals by finishing second and third, respectively.
Representing alone in her preliminary heat, Zoey Whittington advanced to the women's 200m finals. Whittington stayed focused on the track, turning in a top-eight auto qualifier time of 24.50.
Another notable performance by the Panthers, the women's distance medley relay team who ran a season best time of 12:10.40.
"I'm looking forward to tomorrow and I'm excited for us to compete in our first ACC finals," Webb added. "I'm ready to get those 4x4 relays going and see what they can do, but I expect both sides to score high. We are going to do the best we can with the people we have here. It will be good to see where we stand in the ACC. This is all new to us but we're excited to get the chance to compete again tomorrow."
The finals begin on Saturday at noon with the ACC action streamed live on ESPN3, and fans can also find the latest updates on the Panthers by following @PittTFandXC on Twitter.
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