April 15, 2014
DURHAM, N.C. – The Pitt men’s and women’s track and field team will head south to compete in the 2014 ACC Track and Field Outdoor Championships for the first time in school history. The championships, hosted by the University of North Carolina, will take place April 17-19 at the Belk Track, Fetzer Field and Finley Field. The men’s team enters the championships in excellent standing, ranked 26th in the nation.
Senior Carvin Nkanata is a defending ACC Indoor champion and will go for the sweep in the 200M this weekend. The senior is the only track athlete in school history to win a conference title in two separate conferences (Big East and ACC) and will try to go for his third on Saturday. At the Tennessee Relays on April 12, Nkanata won the 200M with a time of 20.17 which is not only a personal record, but also stands as the second fastest time in the NCAA this season.
The men’s 4x400M relay team, consisting of Nkanata, Brycen Spratling, Micah Murray and either Desmond Palmer or Dustin Fuller, will also attempt to defend their indoor 4x4 championship which they set earlier this February with a time of 3:10.12.
At the Relays, Brycen Spratling and Micah Murray also set personal bests. Spratling finished third in the 200M and tenth in the 100M with career-best times. In his primary event, the senior won the 400M with a time of 45.46. That time marked a school record, personal record and ranks third in the NCAA for the fastest time in the 400M.
Junior thrower Andrew Wells comes into the championships on a high-note as he broke the school record in the men’s discus last weekend at the Tennessee Relays. Wells went on to break his own record on his very next attempt with a throw of 55.16 meters which was good enough for third place. He will compete in both the discus and hammer throw this weekend.
Freshman Mike Runco will represent the Panthers in distance running this weekend. Runco is coming off a career-best 5,000 meter time of 14:52.97 at the Bison Classic where he placed second in a field of 106 competitors.
For the women, senior Ashley Corum hopes to carry over her winning ways from the Bison Classic. Corum, who will compete in the long jump and triple jump, took first in the triple jump at the Classic and set a career-best mark of 5.82 meters in the long jump.
Sprinters Taranisha Taylor and Evann Thompson find themselves to be busy at the championships as they are competing in five and four events, respectively. Taylor is also coming off of a successful weekend at the Tennessee Relays where she set personal records in the 100M (11.81) and the 100M hurdles (13.75).
Haley Springman and Taylor Slaney are two field athletes to watch for the Panthers this weekend. At the Tennessee Relays, Springman, who will compete in the discus and hammer throw, broke a ten year old school record in the discus throw with a mark of 50.09 meters (164.33 ft.). Slaney set a personal record in the javelin throw after posting a distance of 48.69 meters. That distance was good enough for second overall and first among her collegiate competition. Both will try to continue their record-setting ways at the ACC championships.
Representing the women distance runners, Hillary Boxheimer will run the 5K for the Panthers at the championships. The sophomore is coming off a first place finish in the 3,000 meter run at the Bison Classic where she ran a personal best time of 10:19.46.
Fans can live stream all the action on ESPN3, starting on Thursday, April 17 at 5 p.m. and continue watching through Friday (4:30 p.m.) and Saturday (4 p.m.). Stay posted on the latest updates by following @PittTFandXC on Twitter or ‘like us’ on Facebook under Pitt Track and Field.
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