Spratling was named the Most Outstanding Athlete at last year's Championship Meet
Feb. 15, 2013
GENEVA, Ohio – The University of Pittsburgh men’s and women’s track and field teams will compete in the Big East Championship Meet this weekend at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The meet is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, February 16-17.
The Pitt men’s team brings its No. 21 national ranking into the meet, led by Brycen Spratling and Carvin Nkanata who own the fourth and fifth fastest 400 meter dash times in the nation. Pitt is the only Big East team that is nationally-ranked.
Spratling and Nkanata look to be safe for the NCAA Championship Meet as the top-16 times across the country will compete; therefore, neither of them are running the 400. Spratling will look to defend his 500 meter dash title that he earned last year when he set an NCAA record with a time of 1:00.63. He is also the defending 200 meter dash champion, and he carries a school record time of 21.01 into the championship. Spratling is the top seed in the 200 and aims to be named the meet’s Most Outstanding Performer for a second-consecutive season.
Nkanata is entered in the 60 and the 200 meter dash. He has the conference’s third fastest time in the 200 with a 21.58 which he ran last weekend at the SPIRE Invitational, the same site as this weekend’s meet.
The Panthers also hold the top 200 meter dash time on the women’s side as Jonnique Lawrence’s 23.89 at the SPIRE Invitational last weekend was the conference’s best time of the season. Lawrence is also entered in the 60 meter dash where she is seeded fourth overall. Jordan Hoyt will look to score in the 200 meter dash as well. She brings the Big East’s fourth fastest time into the event with a 24.35.
In the 60 meter hurdles, Tashaun Hill will aim for a first place finish for the men, and freshman Taranisha Taylor looks to score in her first ever championship meet for the women’s team. Hill posted his best time of 7.89 at the Penn State National and is seeded third this weekend. Taylor has improved every meet and ran her personal record of 8.53 last week at the SPIRE Invitational. She has the sixth fastest time in conference.
Freshman Rachel Brown will be Pitt’s first runner in the 5,000 meter race since 2008, and will also compete in the 3,000 meter race. Matt Dallago will headline the men’s distance runners in the 1,000 meter run.
In the field events, Andrew Wells will represent the men’s team in the shot put and the weight throw. He ranks seventh in conference in the weight throw. For the women, Brittany Lightfoot will throw in the shot put, while both she and Haley Springman go in the weight throw. Springman has the ninth best weight throw distance and Lightfoot has the 10th best this season.
In the men’s 4x4, Pitt will be the team to beat as Spratling, Nkanata, Micah Murray and Olivier Philogene ran the Big East’s fastest time last week with a 3:08.54. The women’s 4x4 will also look for a first place finish. Lawrence, Funmi Alabi, Arielle Fonrose and Taylor Ellis-Watson ran a 3:40.10 at the Nittany Lion Challenge and only trail Notre Dame’s squad that ran a 3:38.50.
Fans can follow live results and watch highlights by visiting Championship Central. Live updates are also available on Twitter by following @BigEastChamps.