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The Eddie Smith Field House was buzzing this weekend as 31 schools from across the Southeast gathered to participate in the Texas Roadhouse Carolina Classic.

The North Carolina Track and Field team fared successfully amid the competition. The Tar Heels concluded the weekend with 11 first-place finishes in individual events and also scored a first place finish in the women's 4-by-400 relay.

A host of UNC athletes put forth strong individual performances. On the men's side native Frenchman Mateo Sossah finished first place in the heptathlon.

He also placed first in the 60-meter hurdles second in the pole vault and first in the 1000 meter dash. The finish was strong enough to reach the NCAA provisional mark.

Daniel Keller also achieved the provisional mark for the heptathlon.

On the women's side freshman Patience Coleman finished first in the women's high jump with a leap of 5 feet 10 inches. Kimberly Warren won the women's shot put with a toss of 45 feet 4.25 inches. Gabby Gioia won the women's long jump reaching a mark of 5.20 meters" and also the women's 800 meter run with a time of 2:31.97.

The Tar Heels notably finished strongly in the weekend's fielding events.

""We want a strong fielding program" UNC head coach Dennis Craddock said. There has got to be a nucleus of something and so I've always said" 'Let's be really strong in our field events and see where else we can be strong to compliment that.'

""It was a large meet and we responded well to the good competition here.""

The Tar Heels' strong showing is largely attributed to its underclassmen.

All but one of North Carolina's first-place finishers this weekend were either freshmen or sophomores"" and the men's roster only has three seniors.

""The youth that we've brought in are seasoned athletes" Craddock said. They've been to nationals" and some have been to internationals. They're used to the arena they are stepping into.""

Next weekend the Tar Heels travel to New York to participate in the New Balance Invitational. The meet will be the first time this season that UNC will be scored as a team.

""We'll go to New York next weekend and there will be all the best schools on the east coast"" Craddock said. That will be our real test because of the team score.""

But if the Tar Heels want to continue to improve and be competitive in the ACC and beyond"" the team must see more success in the track events.

""We are strong in field events" but we're getting stronger in other events as we go along" Craddock said.

And while the young talent has been carrying the Tar Heel squad thus far, Craddock knows that they can't be expected to shoulder all of the weight.

We're not asking them to carry the whole team"" he said. We just want them to do the very best they can and be competitive.""

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