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One-On-One with Senior Track and Field Thrower, Taylor Slaney

Taylor Slaney Transformation Tuesday.jpgPhotographs Courtesy of Pitt Athletics and Taylor Slaney.

Q: What has been the most surprising transformation over the past four years?
Slaney:
"Being on this team for four years with the same people you learn to develop your skill set, but more importantly you become a family."

Q: How has your mentality changed towards throwing from freshman year until now?
Slaney: "I have and will always want to win. I came in a bit naive as a freshman so I quickly learned that you don't always win and that was the hardest part for me."

Q: As a senior, what is the main goal heading into your final season?
Slaney: "Now that it's getting towards the end of the road, I need to get to nationals. The pressure heading into my senior year compared to previous years is much different.  Now as a senior, every meet counts more and more. It's stressful, but I work well under pressure. Last year, I broke a school record. This year, my only goal is to make it to nationals and to become an All-American."

Q: What has been the biggest surprise in your Pitt athletic career? 
Slaney: "If someone would have told me freshman year, I would break a school record and throw for 50-meters, I would have told them they were crazy. When I came in I expected to improve and throw far, but I would have never expected 50-meters. Breaking the school record was an awesome feeling. It had nothing to do with getting my name on some piece of paper. Personally, it was a huge deal for me."

Q: Personally, how did you acclimate to life as a student-athlete?
Slaney: "It was really, really hard for me coming in as a freshman and it still is hard for me. I have learned better ways to manage my time toward school work and being an athlete. I can never use being an athlete as an excuse, because we have the assistance at Pitt to be successful. During the season, we travel almost every weekend, but the time is available to get our work done. We bring our work with us almost any where - even our track meets, because sometimes that's what you have to do." 

Watch the Men's 4x200 - World Relays

Sprinting sensation Carvin Nkanata was both honored and humbled to run for his home country, Team Kenya in the IAAF World Championship held in the Bahamas this past weekend. The Panthers senior sprinter was selected to run the second leg of the men's 4x200 meter relay. Although it was a surprise to the track nation, Nkanata and his team advanced their way into the finals and then finished fifth overall with a Kenyan national record time of 1:22.35. Nkanata's dream to compete against in the best in the world and working toward his goal of the 2016 Olympics is finally starting to unfold.

"It was awesome experience to just get out there and be out on a national stage representing my country and my family, but it was also a very humbling moment for me" Nkanata said. "I met my new teammates who I will be competing with in the long run. Overall, it an amazing experience and a major accomplishment for myself."

"I was a little nervous at first, because when the gun went off I realized this was really happening for me," Carvin added. "However, I was able to do what I normally do and executed the race to the best of my ability. A lot of people did not expect us to make it back to the finals because Kenya is not known for their sprints, but when we made it back we were able to show that Kenya has potential to be a big threat in the future."

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