May 31, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Florida - Brycen Spratling once again wins the 400 meter dash and earns a coveted spot in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Nationals held in Eugene, Oregon. Spratling outshined the East regional competition with an overall first place time of 45.09 seconds.
While many continued to be impressed with Spratling's efforts on the track, the senior sprinter is far from satisfied. Spratling's plan is to win nationals, and that goal may finally be reached as he heads to Eugene in two weeks.
Spratling will be joined in Eugene by teammate Desmond Palmer who also advances his way into the semifinals of the men's 400 meter hurdles. Palmer was adamant after Thursday's preliminaries on setting a new personal record and moving forward to nationals. The freshman managed to achieve both tasks in Friday night's 400 meter hurdles with a personal best time of 50.73 seconds and a spot in the semifinal race at this year's outdoor championships.
Evann Thompson also delivered big for the Panthers and will make the trip to Eugene for the NCAA Outdoor Meet after an impressive finish in the women's 400 meter hurdles. Thompson set a new personal record and reset her Friday school record with a new time of 56.87 seconds.
Carvin Nkanata advanced in the men's 200 meter dash preliminaries with a time of 20.61 seconds. Spratling also made his way past the 200 meter prelims after crossing the finish line at 20.81 seconds.
Representing in the throwing events for the Panthers was Haley Springman in the women's discus, Andrew Wells in the hammer and Taylor Slaney in the javelin. Springman caps off an impressive outdoor season with a final throw of 51.26 meters, marking .03 meters short of her personal record of 51.29 meters. Springman just missed the final cut of the top-16 as she finished 18th overall.
"Haley, Andrew and Taylor did great all season long including breaking a total of five school records," head coach Alonzo Webb said. "Those three did a tremendous job all year, and although they didn't come through like we wanted them to in this meet it doesn't erase all their great accomplishments from this past season. We are looking forward to what those three can do for our program in the future."
The Panthers will wrap up competition tomorrow with the men's 200 meter dash quarterfinals, the men's 4x400 meter relay quarterfinals, the discus preliminaries and both the triple and high jump prelims. The field events will begin with Wells at 1 p.m. followed by Ashely Corum and Luke Gallaher at 5 p.m., while the track events for the 200 meter and 4x4 meter relay will start at 7:35 p.m. and 9:25 p.m., respectively.
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