First Team All-Americans Spratling and Nkanata with Coach Webb
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of Pittsburgh men's track and field team finished in the top-15 at the NCAA Indoor Championship Meet on Saturday evening at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The Pitt men tied Cornell for the 14th spot at the NCAA Meet out of a total of 69 teams.
The 4x400 meter relay team of Micah Murray, Carvin Nkanata, Desmond Palmer and Brycen Spratling took the podium in fourth place, contributing five points to the final score of 14. All four men earned First Team All-American titles with a top-eight finish in the relay.
"It was probably the best feeling I've had as a coach since I started here as far as competing on the national level," Head Coach Alonzo Webb said. "As a team competing with just four of our men and to finish in the top-15 is amazing for us.
"It's something we always talk about as a team, to make it in the top-20 at a national meet on a regular basis and establish ourselves as a national power," Webb added. "It's been our goal since I started coaching here, especially these last few years it's been our main focus. We placed 14th overall as a team on a national stage. Hopefully this is just the start of it all and it continues for years to come."
Nkanata and Spratling were again honored on the podium for their individual performances Saturday night. Nkanata placed third in the 200 meter dash with a lifetime best of 20.52, confirming his status as the fourth fastest in the world and as a First Team All-American in the 200.
Spratling was crowned with sixth overall in the 400 meter dash with a time of 46.08, which also earned him another First Team All-American title. All four Panthers will return home as First Team All-Americans along with their NCAA Indoor trophies in hand.
"A top-15 finish overall on a national stage is a huge a deal," Webb said. "All the top teams were in attendance including the track powerhouses, but this Pitt team came in and made a huge presence in the meet. We finished in front of teams that many didn't expect us to be in contention with coming here, especially with only four athletes.
"This weekend was something truly special for us. I'm not sure if our athletes understand the gravity of their accomplishments, but hopefully when looking back they will start to understand how special of a time it was for them and Pitt."
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