Seven Panthers qualify for NCAA Championships


For the first time in his college career, senior sprinter Desmond Palmer qualified in two individual events, the 400m and 110m hurdles. Courtesy of Barry Schenk | Pitt Athletics

The Pitt Track and Field team had a successful weekend at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Lexington, Kentucky and qualified seven runners for the NCAA Outdoor Championships held in Eugene, Oregon.

On Thursday, sophomore distance runner Gillian Schriever and junior thrower Andin Fosam became the first Panthers to qualify. Schriever — who also made the NCAA Championships in Cross Country — ran a personal best of 33:55.42 in the women’s 10000m. She finished in 10th place, two spots clear of the cutoff for nationals.

Fosam — one of the best female throwers in recent program history — competed in the hammer throw with a 58.84m heave. It was good enough for a 12th place finish, making her the final athlete to advance to nationals in the event. The performance was a huge improvement for her, as she failed to advance one year ago with a 30th place finish.

Senior Desmond Palmer followed up Schriever and Fosam Friday by continuing his dominance in the 400m hurdles. His run of 50.00 was third in his heat, allowing him to earn a spot at the NCAAs for the fourth time at Pitt.

Palmer performed well again on Saturday, advancing in the 110m hurdles for the first time in his college career. The Ohio native placed seventh overall in the event, becoming an automatic qualifier by finishing third in his heat with a time of 13.72. The trip to Eugene will mark another first for Palmer, as he has never qualified in two individual events with the Panthers.

The last Panthers to advance were the women’s 4x400m relay team. First year Danielle Leaks, senior Desiree Garland and juniors Quadaisha Newkirk and Morgan Harvey qualified with a time of 3:35.75 and a third place finish in their heat.

In total, seven Panthers will head to the NCAA Championships, held at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. The meet starts Wednesday, June 7 and will run through Saturday, June 10.

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