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Indians alum finishes among top 12 at NCAA championships

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Scott Galvin/Big East Conference
Micah Murray of Penn Hills takes the baton from his teammate at the Big East Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Spire Institute in Geneva, O.H. on Feb. 17, 2013. Murray's relay team placed 11th at the NCAA National Indoor Championships.
Scott Galvin/Big East Conference
Micah Murray, on the left, poses for a photo with University of Pittsburgh teammates Brycen Spratling, Olivier Philogene and Carvin Nkanata at the Big East championships on February 17, 2013.

Penn Hills alum Micah Murray didn't have the showing he wanted at the NCAA Indoor Championship Meet earlier this month.

The 2010 Indian graduate was part of a University of Pittsburgh 4x400-meter relay team along with teammates Brycen Spratling, Carvin Nkanata and Olivier Philogene, which finished 11th with a time of 3:08.42.

It was only about one second faster than the team's showing at the 2013 Big East Championships, where they ran a record-breaking 3:07.32, now the sixth-fastest time in the nation.

Alonzo Webb, head coach for the university's men's and women's track and field and cross-country teams, said the national-championship setting can be a little intimidating.

“For a couple guys, it was their first time there, and they were maybe nervous on that big of a stage,” Webb said. “We were a little disappointed in how we competed.”

The team entered the indoor championships seeded eighth.

“We left the meeting not feeling as good about ourselves as we wanted to,” Webb said. “But that's athletics for you.”

Webb said he expects to see a better showing from all four competitors during the outdoor season, which is now under way. Most of the track and field team spent last weekend kicking off the outdoor season at the Charlotte Invitational in North Carolina.

Murray and his relay teammates had last week off following the indoor championships, before they rejoin the team in the run-up to the NCAA outdoor championships, which are held in mid-June in Eugene, Ore.

Webb said he expects Murray and his teammates to bounce back.

“Micah has been steady for us all year; he's been a great athlete for us,” Webb said. “He would probably tell you that he didn't really do what he expected or what we expected.

“But for the last couple years, he's been our go-to guy.”

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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