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Desmond Palmer and Evann Thompson qualify for NCAA Championship Track and Field Meet

Photo used with permission of the University of Pittsburgh athletics department - www.pittsburghpanthers.com

Over the weekend several members of Pitt's track and field teams tried to qualify for the NCAA National Championships meet on June 10-13 in Oregon. Two athletes achieved the goal with Desmond Palmer and Evann Thompson both heading for the 400m hurdles for the men's and women's side respectively.

Several others tried on the final day of the East prelims, but failed to reach the championships.

Head coach Alonzo Webb talked about both Palmer and Thompson afterwards:

"Evann ran a conservative race and in doing so was able to run her fastest time of the season. Desmond on the other hand, didn't perform as expected but is so talented that he managed to survive and advance. Having the nation's third fastest time coming into this meet was an extra burden for him to bear."

Palmer, in particular, had a huge year this season. He broke the school record in the event earlier this year and also was the ACC's 400m champion. He was a second team All-American in that event and will get a chance to be the NCAA champion there. His 51.05 time was subpar, as Webb said, but it was enough to help him get to the finals, taking the 11th out of 12 possible spots.

One noteworthy miss on the individual side was Imani Brown in the triple jump. He qualified last year for nationals and earlier this season, set a school record at Pitt. His best jump was a 14.89m - well below the 15.94 he had earlier this year to break the Panthers' record.

It would have been nice to see others qualify, but it'll be good to see both perform at the national championships after this coming week.

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