Palmer, Sellers achieve new heights at SPIRE Invitational


Senior Desmond Palmer won the 300m for the first time in his Pitt career Friday. Courtesy of Barry Schenk | Pitt Athletics

By Dominic Campbell | For The Pitt News

Pitt Track and Field outperformed much of the competition Friday and Saturday at the SPIRE Invitational in Geneva, Ohio, led by victories from seniors Desmond Palmer and Joslin Sellers.

Palmer won the 300-meter Friday for the first time in his Pitt career in a personal-best time of 33.61 seconds. Sellers was the winningest Panther Saturday, shattering her own record in the mile event with a time of 4:45.29. It marked her third win of the season and her second in the mile.

First-year Danielle Leaks and junior Andin Fosam enjoyed top-five finishes Friday in their respective events. Leaks finished fifth in the women’s 200-meter with a personal best time of 24.40 and Fosam finished second in the women’s weight throw for the second straight weekend with a distance of 19.74 meters.

In the 200m, senior Desiree Garland finished 10th with a time of 24.40 and junior Quadaisha Newkirk placed seventh in the 300m.

Senior Ariel Pastore-Sebring set a new personal best for the second meet in a row in the 5,000-meter, good enough for an eighth place finish.

The Panthers maintained positive momentum on the second day of the meet, with the team recording more high finishes and personal records.

The men’s side had quality finishes throughout, especially in the mile and the 3,000-meter with three runners in each event finishing in the top 10.

In the mile, juniors Nate Sloan and Billy Caldwell and first-year Drew Glick all recorded personal best times, finishing third, sixth and 10th with times of 4:08.55, 4:11.85 and 4:13.27, respectively.

First-year Nick Wolk led the Panthers in the 3,000m with a sixth place finish in 8:16.23, followed by sophomore Sebastian Curtin in seventh with 8:17.21 and junior Aaron Lauer in 10th with 8:20.29.

The women’s 4×400 team — first-year Jordan Bourgeois, Newkirk, Garland and junior Morgan Harvey — finished third at the meet with a time of 3:41.33.

In the long jump, first-year Taylor Middleton achieved a personal best with a 5.59m jump and a sixth place finish.

The sprinters from the women’s team featured three placed finishes. In the 60-meter dash, junior Whitney Martin and first-year Genaya Johnson finished eighth and ninth with times of 7.69 and 7.72, respectively. Garland, picking up from her performance in the 4×400, finished with a seventh place finish in the 400-meter at 55.73.

As a whole, the team had 16 top-10 finishes Saturday, with both the men and women splitting it at eight apiece.

The next meet for the Panthers will be the highly competitive ACC Indoor Track Championships at Loftus Sports Center in South Bend, Indiana, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

The Panthers visited South Bend earlier this season, competing at the Meyo Invitational, which was Feb. 3 and 4. The ACC Championships will take place Feb. 23 to 25.

Leave a comment.