“Well the record was not the goal, and it was not even on (Coach Josh) Langley's mind. He came out before the 800 and said, ‘If you run 2:24, you’ll break the record,'” Rahn said. “I’m really happy and proud of how Langley and me worked together this meet.”
Rahn and Godwin continued to accrue points for their team the next day, when they placed third in the long jump and high jump, respectively.
Senior Lizzy Whelan, who set UNC’s school record in the indoor 800-meter run with a 2:03.85 and turned in an All-ACC performance by finishing third, said the multis group success even after their main event inspired the women’s team.
“I can’t believe what some of the girls on the team did. It’s incredible. There are multis who were coming back and still coming in top 3 after finishing a multi, which is absurd. Every girl on our team just fought so hard, even freshmen,” she said. “It was just the most inspiring thing I’ve ever experienced.”
Whelan said she went into the race with a goal of winning, but knew breaking the record was possible due to the strength of the competition at the meet.
The record was last set in 2004 by Alice Schmidt, whom Whelan saw run in the 2012 London Olympics.
“Being able to say, 'Yeah, I got that woman’s record,’ is kind of a little bit surreal,” she said.
The women’s team presented a balanced effort en route to 62.5 points — 13.5 points more than their seventh place finish last year.
The men’s side was also paced early on by the multis group. Redshirt sophomore Paul Haley won the heptathlon with 5,500 points.
“Yeah. It was — I don’t know if you would say my goal, but my expectation. I knew that I had been putting in the right work and the practices had been going well, and all of my coaches and everyone had been instilling confidence in me,” he said. “I knew if everything went as planned I would come out on top.”
His teammate Ryan Ramsey set a huge personal record and nabbed third place in his last collegiate performance, as his eligibility expires after this season.
“That was my last time competing with (Ramsey), and I’m definitely going to miss him a lot on the competition field,” Haley said. “We were given a good plan by Coach Langley, and it was executed well.”
But the men’s team, unlike the women’s side, did not build on the early success quite as they wanted to. Meaders said several little things didn’t quite go their way, including a fumble in the exchange in the men’s distance medley, and Haley said it was in part because some athletes, due to injuries, didn't feel 100 percent.
“We are a little disappointed with the fourth place finish, but we know that we are a better team than that,” Meaders said. “I’m very happy with the effort we put worth. We had a couple kids step up in places and do phenomenal jobs.”
Those athletes included Mark Derrick, who set an 18-second PR in the 3,000-meter race after placing third in the 5,000-meter race the day before and sophomore Cory Nicholls, who placed second in the 800-meter race.
“I know my teammates did as well as they could and gave their best effort,” Haley said. “I just don’t think the cards necessarily fell where wanted them to. But I’m always proud of my team.”