Feb. 17, 2013
GENEVA, Ohio – Junior Brycen Spratling set a NCAA record in the 500 meter dash and ran the third fastest time in the world, while junior Carvin Nkanata and senior Jonnique Lawrence won the men’s and women’s 200 meter dash on the final day of the Big East Championship Meet at the SPIRE Institute.
Spratling was named the Male Track Most Outstanding Performer of the meet for his NCAA record-breaking performance. His time of 1:00.37 is the fastest in collegiate history and world’s third fastest in the history of the event. He also helped the men’s 4x400 meter relay team establish a new meet record as Spratling, Nkanata, freshman Olivier Philogene and junior Micah Murray won the event in a time of 3:07.32. They now have the sixth fastest time in the country.
“We had a really good weekend. As coaches we always want more, but we had some really solid performances,” Pitt head coach Alonzo Webb said. “We did some special things this weekend and I am really proud of the kids. The kids will now have the ability to focus on their specialty event moving forward toward the NCAA Championshipt.”
Spratling had to hold off Notre Dame’s Christopher Giesting who ran a 1:00.58 in the 500. Freshman Charles Ross contributed four points with a fifth place finish in a time of 1:04.26.
Nkanata established a new Big East Championship meet record in the 200 meter dash for the second-consecutive day as he won the event in a career-best time of 21.04. Nkanata posted a 21.13 in prelims, which was a new meet record until today’s championship performance. Spratling placed fourth in the finals with a 21.31.
Lawrence took home the women’s 200 meter dash title with a winning time of 23.64. Lawrence, the favorite to win the event going in, set a new career-best in the finals. She and Nkanata are just outside of the top-16 to qualify for NCAA’s in the 200 and will have chances to do so in two meets prior to the NCAA Championship Meet.
After running a season best time of 46.99 in the prelims of the 400 meter dash, Micah Murray earned a second place finish in the finals with a 47.02. Olivier Philogene was fourth overall in 47.76 and Notre Dame’s Patrick Feeney won the even in a time of 46.12.
Lawrence and junior Funmi Alabi each earned points in the 60 meter dash as Lawrence, a native of Cincinnati, finished third overall in 7.47 and Alabi took seventh with a 7.61. Senior Arielle Fonrose notched a fourth place finish in the 400 meter dash in with a season-best time of 54.94.
Other notable performances that scored points for the men were Luke Gallaher in the high jump who finished sixth with a height of 6-08.25, and the 4x800 meter relay team of Wesley Washington, Ben Hatch, Sam Negley and Jared Mason who placed fifth in a time of 7:34.92.
For the women, also earning points were Elizabeth Kline in the 60 meter hurdles finals as she placed sixth overall (8.72), Natalie Ryan with an eighth place finish in the pentathlon, Ashley Corum in the triple jump with a fourth place finish (40-07.00), and the women's 4x400 meter relay team of Fonrose, Lawrence, Jordan Lee and Evann Thompson who finished fourth in 3:40.18.
The men’s team finished sixth overall with 60 points, while the women’s squad garnered 50 points to take seventh place. The Panthers won five Big East titles overall, commenced by senior Elizabeth Kline who captured the pentathlon on Friday evening. She was the first student-athlete to win the pentathlon since 2005, and Pitt has now won that event 10 times in championship history.
Select Panthers will now compete in the USATF National Championships, the ECAC/IC4A Championships and the Last Chance Meets before the NCAA Championship Meet which is set to be held at the University of Arkansas on March 8-9.