Feb. 19, 2013
NEW ORLEANS – After record setting performances at the Big East Championship Meet, the University of Pittsburgh men’s track and field team has jumped three spots in the national ranking and is No. 18 this week, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCA) latest computer rankings.
At last week’s conference championship meet, Spratling set an NCAA record in the 500 meter dash with a time of 1:00.37. According to USTFCCCA, that time is the world’s third fastest in history. Although the 500m is not an event at NCAA’s, Spratling posted the nation’s fourth fastest 400m time (46.25) earlier this season and will compete for his first NCAA title in that event.
Nkanata also had a standout meet as he set a new Big East Championship meet record in the 200m. Nkanata won the prelims in a time of 21.13, and then came back the next day to win the finals in a career-best time of 21.04. He currently ranks 17th nationally in the 200m (top 16 make NCAA’s), but his time of 46.31 in the 400m is the fifth fastest and he will join Spratling in that event.
Spratling and Nkanata, along with Micah Murray and Olivier Philogene teamed up to set a Big East record in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:07.32. Pitt led the race wire-to-wire as Murray opened with a 47.9, which was followed by Spratling who posted a 46.4. Philogene ran the third leg in a split of 46.3, and Nkanata brought home the title with a time of 46.1. The Panthers recorded the country’s sixth fastest time.
The Arkansas Razorbacks are currently the nation’s top team, followed by Florida, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Nebraska. Arkansas will host the NCAA Championships on March 8-9.