Jan. 23, 2014
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Specific members of the Pitt men's and women's track and field teams are headed to the Virginia Tech Hokie Invitational this Friday and Saturday, while others will be at the YSU Invite on Friday.
Representing the Panthers at the Hokie Invitational will be Josh Mindlin, Micah Murray, Carvin Nkanata, Desmond Palmer, Brylan Slay, Chris Spadaro, Brycen Spratling and Reggie Steele for the men, along with Ashley Corum, Khadeja Kearney, Julia Koloski, Jordan Lee, Paige Lumley, Taranisha Taylor, Evann Thompson and Zoey Whittington for the women.
Pitt will travel to its third meet of the New Year at Rector Field House where 18 men’s and 18 women’s teams will gather to compete from January 24-25. Out of those 36 schools, Pitt will face four of their conference rivals, which includes Maryland, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.
On the men’s side, Pitt is one of two ranked teams participating at the meet. The No. 30 Panthers will look to move their way up the list as they visit the No. 19 Hokies.
The men’s 4x400 meter relay team will be the event to keep an eye on as Murray, Palmer, Nkanata and Spratling look to improve upon last weekend’s performance. A week ago, the men’s 4x4 team of Slay, Murray, Spratling and Palmer took second place at Penn State in the Nittany Lion Challenge with a time of 3:09.80. Nkanata, owner of the country’s top time in the 400 meter dash, will join the relay team hoping to give his teammates the extra advantage in the race.
Murray and Spratling will join Slay in the 400 meter dash, while Nkanata attempts to claim a top time in the 300 meter. For the women, Thompson is entered in the 800 meter run and the 4x4 events, while Whittington will race in the 200 and 400 dash as well as a member of the 4x4 relay team. Thompson sprinted her way into the record books this past weekend by crossing the finish line at 1:30.98 in the 600 at the Nittany Lion Challenge.
The remaining Pitt student-athletes are heading to Youngstown, Ohio for the YSU Invitational. The men’s team will be sending 16 competitors while the women’s side will have a total of 34 participants.
Coming off another solid weekend where two school records were broken, a nation’s top time set and many athletes achieved career bests, Pitt will look to continue the momentum at the Virginia Tech and Youngstown State Invites – just a month before ACC Championships begin.
Long distance runners Rich Addison, Alex Archer, Chris Montgomery, Wes Roberts and Mike Runco will battle it out for the best time in the men’s 3K event. For the women, Mariame Conde, Caitlin Rolle and Jeannuel Williams are all entered in three events, whereas Chelsea Scott is taking on four separate competitions.
For the Hokie Invite, the Panthers will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, January 24, and the following day events will continue at 11 a.m. Meanwhile the YSU Invitational is just a one-day competition. Fans can get live updates by following @PittTFandXC on Twitter or “Like us” on Facebook under Pitt Track and Field.
Following this weekend, the Panthers head back for a third trip to University Park for the Penn State National Invitational for a two day competition, January 31-February 1.
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