March 11, 2014
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Five members of the University of Pittsburgh men's track and field team will participate in the NCAA Indoor National Championship Meet this weekend at the Albuquerque Convention Center on the campus of the University of New Mexico.
Brycen Spratling and Micah Murray will run in the 400 meter dash, and they will then be joined by Carvin Nkanata, Desmond Palmer or Dustin Fuller in the 4x400 meter relay. Nkanata will also compete in the men’s 200 meter dash at the NCAA Championship Meet.
Coming off a record setting season, Nkanata heads to the NCAA as the school record holder in the 200 meter dash. Nkanata posted the top time at the Penn State National Invite this season (20.99), placing his name in the Pitt record books for a fifth time. The senior sprinter currently owns individual titles in the 200 and 300 meter dash for indoor, and is a member of the fastest relay team in Pitt history (4x2 indoor, 4x2 and 4x4 meter relay outdoor).
Nkanata enters the race with the top time in the Mid-Atlantic region and 11th fastest time in the nation for the 200 meter. Teammate Spratling will also enter the Championship Meet ranked in his event, the 400M dash, with the fourth fastest time in the nation at 45.57 seconds.
Spratling, Murray (46.14) and Nkanata (46.36) currently hold the top three spots in the Mid-Atlantic in the 400 meter. As the top-16 times from across the nation compete in the championships event for the 400 meter, Murray currently ranks thirteenth in the field with 46.14 – a qualifying time that was recently set at the ACC Indoor Championships on February 27th.
Spratling the No. 4 sprinter in the 400 meter enters the NCAA Meet holding four school indoor records in the 400, 500 and 600 meter dashes, as well as the University record in the 4x2 relay. The senior sprinter also owns three Pitt outdoor records in the 400 meter dash, and 4x2 and 4x4 meter relays.
The Pitt 4x400 meter relay team of Murray, Nkanata, Palmer and Spratling owns the ninth fastest relay time in the nation this season at 3:06.98. The Panthers 4x4 NCAA qualifying time set a new meet record at the Penn State National Invite earlier this winter. Texas A&M has the top time in the country at 3:03.20, while Florida, LSU, Arkansas and Florida State round out the top five.
The men’s 4x4 relay team competing this weekend recently captured an ACC Championship title on March 1st, beating conference rival North Carolina, running a time of 3:10.12. The Tar Heels, however, are currently ranked one spot above the Panthers in the relay event, having recorded a qualifying time of 3:06.93 earlier in the season. The Panthers also returned home with an individual title, as Nkanata took first in the 200 meter dash at the ACC Championships.
ESPN3 will stream the NCAA Championship Meet live beginning at 7:55 p.m. ET on Friday, March 14th, and 7:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 15th. Panthers fans can also get live updates by following on Twitter @PittTFandXC or ‘like us’ on Facebook under Pitt Track and Field.
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