• Pitt cross-country teams have a unique location for their home course


    PITTSBURGH - "It's something like you've never seen before." 

    That's how Pitt cross-country, track and field Coach Alonzo Webb described a new home course for the Panthers that takes runners beside the Monongahela River and all the way around a long abandoned building with a rich history.

    The new course surrounds the Carrie Furnace, where iron used to be produced for the Homestead works.

    Head Coach Webb credits one of his assistants with locating the course that would fit the image of the program.

    "He started looking around places, and he talked about wanting to find a cross-country venue that would fit the blue-collar mentality and ideals that we hold," Webb said. "We walked around the facility, and we went even farther out. Then I said, 'This is perfect for us, man,' and I had the biggest smile on my face."

    The spot is a major piece of Pittsburgh history. The iron produced at the Carrie Blast Furnace literally and figuratively built 20th century America. In the sweltering heat and deafening noise, 1,200 tons of iron was produced every day. Who would have ever believed 118 years after Andrew Carnegie sold his company to what would become U.S. Steel, it would be the backdrop for a University of Pittsburgh cross-country meet.

    "I think it epitomizes what we're all about. I tell athletes all the time we're a blue-collar program, and being from Pittsburgh, we don't make excuses, we don't accept excuses, we just go out there and outwork people," Webb said.



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