The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday January 30th

3 Tar Heels Qualify for NCAAs in 1st Indoor Meet

With merely an opener under their belts, three North Carolina track and field athletes have already qualified for the postseason NCAA tournament.

During Saturday's North Carolina College Big 12 meet, Laura Gerraughty, Adam Shunk and Daniel Harris posted provisional and automatic qualifying marks for the NCAAs.

In her first collegiate indoor meet, Gerraughty broke UNC records in the hammer and shot put.

Her throw of 55-8 1/2 in the shot put demolished by more than five feet the record set by current senior Ibiene Bilaye-Benibo, who finished second Saturday.

"Today, I was just looking to go against my own personal performance," Gerraughty said. "These kind of meets are for me to strengthen myself mentally and see what works for me."

Shunk, who was NCAA runner-up in the high jump last year, won the event at a height of 7-2. Shunk hadn't expected to compete well in the meet, however.

"I was surprised, extremely surprised," Shunk said. "I'm behind in my training, but I still came out and jumped better than I did last year. I'm looking forward to resting my legs and seeing what I can do then."

Harris, a junior who transferred from Purdue last year, qualified in the triple-jump with a mark of 52-2 1/2 in his first meet as a Tar Heel.

Harris' performance answered many questions for a team that is laden with many new faces.

"You always wonder what kind of shape your new guys are going to be in in the first meet," said UNC coach Dennis Craddock. "Many of the guys surprised me. I didn't think (Harris) was ready to jump that far."

Another junior transfer, Andrew Craycraft, won the 800-meter event with a time of 1 minute, 53.73 seconds.

"I was just as nervous as I was in my first meet as a freshman," Craycraft said. "I only felt like I knew what I was doing on a physical level, and I let that take over."

Also on the men's side, thrower Vikas Gowda won the men's shot put with a throw of 54-3 1/4, and Blair Woodward helped UNC sweep the jumps with a long jump of 23-10.

Brian McGovern supported the Tar Heels in the long distances with a winning 3,000 time of 8:31.55.

Although members of the women's cross-country team did not compete in the middle and long distances, the women dominated in the short distance and field.

Anissa Gainey won the 200 with a 24.74 and Tiffany Flomo won the 400 with a 56.33 mark.

Tatyana Kirichenko also wrapped up the high jump at a height of 5-7 3/4 while the 1,600 relay team won its event.

UNC dominated the meet throughout, winning 13 of the 28 competitions.

"I told everybody before the meet that for this meet it's about keeping aggressive and keeping intensity," Craddock said. "I told them to not change physically for this meet, just go into it mentally."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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