June 12, 2014
EUGENE, Oregon - In front of a crowd of 9,165, Brycen Spratling took to the national stage with ease and confidence, and finished the 400 meter race in the exact same fashion. Winning heat two of three the Mid-Atlantic Region Men's Track Athlete of the Year secured himself a spot in the Friday finals with a semi-final time of 45.41 seconds.
Spratling, however, will not be focusing on the Friday finals quite yet with the 4x400 meter relay semi-finals set for Thursday. Micah Murray, Carvin Nkanata, Desmond Palmer and Spratling will take the track at 6:20 p.m. (PT) as they look to advance their way into the Saturday finals.
In Palmer's second appearance at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, the freshman earned second-team All-American with his 14th place finish in the men's 400 meter hurdles (51.12 seconds). Sophomore Evann Thompson also made her first run at nationals in the women's 400 meter hurdles with a semi-time of 58.89. Thompson just missed second-team All-American status by five-tenths of a second.
"Both Desmond and Evann had great seasons in the hurdles, but I think the nerves got to them a little today," head coach Alonzo Webb said. "They both didn't run like they're capable of running, but it was still a great experience for them to be here and compete. They both competed in their first individual events on the national level, and I know they will be back. I'm proud of both Desmond and Evann."
Nkanata will kick off the competition first on Thursday for the Panthers in the men's 200 meter semi-final at 4:00 p.m. (PT). For the latest updates on the NCAA action, follow @PittTFandXC on Twitter or 'like us' on Facebook under Pitt Track and Field. Fans can also watch live on ESPN3 starting at 6:55 p.m. (EDT).
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