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The Daily Tar Heel

Race to locate fastest UNC student

Top runners will face football team

At least 50 non-scholarship athletes will make their way to Hooker Fields for a chance to channel their inner Rudy, if only for a few hours tonight.

These Tar Heels might not be fighting for an opportunity to see live football action like in the climactic scene of the Hollywood classic, but the fastest ones will get a shot to beat some of Butch Davis’ fleetest athletes.

The initial challenge will be to complete one of the afternoon’s fastest 40-yard dashes. The top three male and female finishers advance to the final race at halftime of North Carolina’s spring football game on Saturday.


Time: 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. today
Location: Hooker Fields

At that time, the winners will test their skills against a trio of UNC football players on the football field at Kenan Stadium.

 Freshman running back Hunter Furr is the only confirmed sprinter from the gridiron at this time, but wide receivers Jheranie Boyd and Johnny White are also likely to race.

While Furr will be at practice for most of the preliminaries, he said he will try to sneak over to Hooker afterwards and watch some of his competition if time allows it.

“If there’s some freakish fast student out there, it’d be nice to have him to see what he can do,” Furr said.

The race had signups at the UNC Campus Recreation Web site until Tuesday, but organizer Meghann Martinez said any UNC student, even if not previously registered, could come between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to compete.

Martinez said she expected about 100 students total to participate.

Furr said he wasn’t nervous to defend the pride of the football team, perhaps because he has been in plenty of big races before.

The Lewisville native won state titles in the 100 and 200 meters in high school, and he also claimed the 100-meter championship at Nike Outdoor Nationals in 2008.

Whoever does advance might not have a chance to compete against Davis’ fastest athlete, however.

Linebacker Zach Brown, who reportedly ran a blazing 4.26 last summer during team workouts, was tentatively scheduled to compete when the race was announced several weeks ago.

But Kevin Best of UNC athletic communications said a minor leg injury he sustained competing with the track and field team might keep him out of the race for precautionary reasons.

Win or lose, Furr is just hoping the event will build excitement for UNC’s own spring game, which is scheduled to be televised on ESPN.

“It’s just a way to get the student body involved in glimpse of the football team and the excitement around next season.”

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