May 28, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Florida --Twelve Panthers traveled to Jacksonville on early Tuesday morning to prepare for the NCAATF East Regional Championships this upcoming weekend. The Panthers who qualify in this weekend's preliminaries will compete in the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships held June 11-14 in Eugene, Oregon.
Representing the track and field team on the women's side are Ashley Corum, Haley Springman, Taylor Slaney and Evann Thompson, while Dustin Fuller, Luke Gallaher, Micah Murray, Carvin Nkanata, Desmond Palmer, Ethan Shalaway, Brycen Spratling and Andrew Wells will perform for the men's team.
Although most Panthers have had almost a two week break from competition since the ECAC/IC4A Championships, senior sprinter Carvin Nkanata is returning fresh off the track from the World Relays this past weekend.
Nkanata was selected to run for Team Kenya in the IAAF World Championship held in the Bahamas. The sprinting sensation earned a spot on the men's 4x200 meter relay team. Nkanata and his team advanced their way into the finals and then finished fifth overall, with a Kenyan national record time of 1:22.35.
Ranked No. 4 in the NCAA 200 meter dash, Nkanata will run in both the 200 meter and 4x400 meter relay alongside teammates Murray, Palmer and Spratling. The men's team is eager to see what else they can accomplish after their IC4A Championship win - the first for the Panthers since 1940.
Palmer and Spratling are ready to return to the track following their individual recognitions as ACC Performer of the Week and their championship wins in the 400 meter hurdles and 200 meter dash at the IC4A, respectively. Palmer will compete in the 400 meter hurdles, in addition to the 4x4 relay, while Spratling is set to compete in the 200 meter, 400 meter and the 4x4 relay. Spratling enters this weekend ranked No. 3 in the NCAA 400 meter dash, but aims to leave this competition in the number one spot.
Representing for the throwers, Springman, Slaney, Shalaway and Wells head in to this weekend's championship meet with impressive outdoor campaigns. Springman recently placed second overall in the discus throw at the ECAC Championship meet, with a school record of 51.29 meters and ranks at No. 22 in the NCAA standings. Slaney is also high in the rankings, currently sitting at No. 13 in the NCAA women's javelin throw heading into this weekend's meet. Wells reset the school record for the hammer throw at the IC4A Championships, and joins Springman and Slaney in hopes of qualifying for nationals.
Corum is riding off an impressive ECAC performance, but will look to top her third place finish in the triple jump and improve upon her personal best outdoor distance of 12.86 meters posted in the ECAC finals. Thompson also expects similar improvement in the 400 meter hurdles, after also taking home third and set a personal best time (57.88) in the ECAC Championships. She is currently sitting at No. 13 in the NCAA women's 400 meter hurdles, and aims to move up in the rankings at the East Regionals.
Competition is set to begin this Thursday, May 29, with the field events kicking off first at noon, and track events will start at 4:30 p.m. The competition continues on Friday morning at 10 a.m. (field events) and 5 p.m. (track events) and wraps up on Saturday, with events beginning at noon and 6 p.m.
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