Pitt track travels to Florida, California


Junior Quadaisha Newkirk finished second as part of the women’s 4×400 team at the 2017 Pepsi Florida Relays. Anna Bongardino | Staff Photographer

The Panthers scattered over the country this weekend, with the the track and field team splitting up across three different meets in two different states.

The majority of athletes made their way to Gainesville, Florida, for the 2017 Pepsi Florida Relays. The meet took place over three days this weekend, stretching from Thursday to Saturday.

Junior Andin Fosam continued her excellent year in Florida, taking first in the hammer throw with a 61.18 meter toss. She barely missed her own school record of 61.67, which she set at last Friday’s Carnegie Mellon University Invitational.

Juniors Quadaisha Newkirk, Morgan Harvey and Laila Ismail along with senior Desiree Garland, led the women’s 4×400 A team to a second-place finish with a time of 3:36.31. The team finished with a season best time, less than a second behind legendary track program Oregon.

In the 4×100, the Panthers women were unable to match the success of the longer relay, but still managed an excellent time of 1:37.37. The team, composed of Newkirk, Harvey, Garland and first-year Danielle Leaks, finished in 18th place.

Senior Desmond Palmer initially thought he set a personal record in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.75, but officials later ruled the race was not “wind legal,” meaning the tailwind exceeded 2.0m/s.

Despite the setback, Palmer followed up the disqualified performance with the best men’s individual result for the Panthers all weekend. In the 400m, he finished fourth with a time of 50.65.

The Panthers that did not make their way to Florida flew out to the Bay Area to take part in either the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, California, or the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, held in the city’s Cox Stadium.

At the Distance Carnival, juniors Nate Sloan and Billy Caldwell impressed in the 800m and the 1500m, respectively. Sloan, a junior from Hampton, Pennsylvania, finished fifth with a personal-best time of 1:50.03. Caldwell also finished fifth and set a record for himself as he finished with a time of 3:51.53.

The women’s best event at the Carnival was the 1500m, which saw three Panthers beating old records. Sophomore Makenzie Zeh, first-year Sam Shields and junior Anja Weiler all had best times of 4:36.05, 4:39.09 and 4:33.12, respectively.

Among those who headed to Silicon Valley for the Stanford Invitational, senior Joslin Sellers enjoyed the most success. Sellers set a new personal best in the women’s 1500m with a time of 4:29.63.

Joining her in a successful 1500m race for the Pitt women were junior Amy Kelly — with a time of 4:32.14 — and sophomore Miranda Salvo — with a time of 4:30.25.

Sophomore Gillian Schriever finished 20th in the grueling 10,000-meter race with a time of 34:05.13.

The Panthers will be splitting up again next week, for two different meets. Pitt will be attending both the George Mason Spring Invitational in Fairfax, Virginia, April 8, and the Hurricane Alumni Invitational April 7 and 8, in Coral Gables, Florida.

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