At last week’s GaREAT Invitational, freshman Sandi Morris set the UNC school record in the pole vault with a jump of 13-5 3/4.
One would think the freshman would be thrilled with her performance, but Morris wasn’t done. Morris then tried to beat her own record with a height of 13-11.
“We all started celebrating,” UNC pole vault coach Josh Langley said. “We thought she had it.”
And then the bar fell.
“I knew I had it last week, I just barely hit the bar,” Morris said. “I wasn’t upset, it just gave me more incentive this week to jump higher.”
At Saturday’s Dick Taylor-UNC Invitational, Morris did just that. With jumps of 13-8 and 13-10, Morris broke her own school record not once, but twice. In doing so, Morris took first place in the pole vault competition.
“We knew she could jump that high, it just had to count,” Langley said. “Sandi is the best freshmen in the country, and in two weeks at the ACC tournament we are going to try to jump for 14-1.”
Morris’ first-place finish was one of 11 victories on the day for the Tar Heels, in both men’s and women’s events.
In the field events, sophomore Chrishawn Williams won the long jump, sophomore Briana Hudson won the triple jump and senior Patience Coleman won the high jump. Junior Scott Houston scored the lone field victory for the UNC men, as he took home first in the pole vault with a jump of 16-6 3/4.
On the track, senior Charles Cox paced a dominating Tar Heel effort. Cox led the men’s 600 meters from end to end, winning the race by three seconds.
“Our goal for this week was really just to do some fine tuning and stay healthy for the ACCs,” Langley said. “Really we just wanted to stay healthy, so I am happy.”
The women added five more victories on the track, with junior Malai Walker winning the women’s 60-meter race, sophomore Lea Anna Godwin winning the 400 meter, senior Christine Johnson winning the 600 meter and sophomore Marisa Dobbins winning the 800 meter.
N.C. State was the only other ACC competitor in the Dick Taylor-UNC Invitational, with the field consisting mostly of North Carolina schools. The 11 UNC victories capped an impressive competition for the Tar Heels, but the day belonged to Morris.
“All I was trying to do today was to match my jumps from last week,” she said. “I am just happy. I am really happy with today.”
The UNC track and field team finishes up the regular season next weekend at Virginia Tech. The team then travels to the ACC Indoor Championships on Feb. 24-26, where Morris will again try to break her record.
“She can do it,” Langley said. “We know she can. She has so much raw potential, we are only beginning to see what she can do.”
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