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The Daily Tar Heel

Xenia Rahn breaks pentathlon record for UNC track

Redshirt junior Xenia Rahn competes in the long jump Friday. She set a school pentathlon record.

Redshirt junior Xenia Rahn competes in the long jump Friday. She set a school pentathlon record.

After talking earlier in the week, multis coach Josh Langley said the team went into Friday’s meet expecting Rahn to score at or around 4,100 points, exceeding the women’s school pentathlon record by a significant amount. She did just that.

The pentathlon is an accumulation of five events. It starts with the 60-meter hurdles followed by the high jump, shot put, long jump and 800-meter dash. Rahn demolished former Tar Heel Ariel Roberts’ 2011 record by 213 points, with a score of 4,129. She now holds the fourth top pentathlon score nationwide for the season.

“I haven’t heard her say anything about the school record, ever,” said teammate and fourth-place finisher, Lauren Lazor. “Xenia always wants to beat herself, and good stuff happens when you consistently outperform yourself.”

Rahn ran a personal best, and team best, of 8.49 in the 60-meter hurdles. After placing second in the high jump, Rahn remained in first place overall with 1,874 points and later won the long jump with a 6-meter performance.

“I was really happy with my long jump,” Rahn said. “And for high jump, there are still some things to work on, but it’s going in the right direction.”

Rahn said doing well at the beginning of the meet made a big difference. Langley said after the first two events, Rahn already had a higher score than predicted, even with the long jump and shot put, two of her strengths, remaining.

Heading into the 800-meter dash, the last event of the competition, Rahn had earned 3,378 points. She needed to run 2:43 in order to break the school record.

Crossing the finish line with a time of 2:25.44, Rahn surpassed the record and likely secured a NCAA Championship qualification as well — passing the 4,100 mark that would have qualified her for NCAAs in 2014.

Despite high expectations, Rahn said she wasn’t nervous before the meet; she was eager.

“My goal was to qualify for Nationals because it’s always nice to qualify early so you don’t have to worry about it at the end of the season,” she said.

Rahn was unable to compete in the 2013-14 indoor season due to a serious hamstring injury. She said this year, the coaches really began to understand what her body needed in order to be able to perform to the best of her ability.

“Now I know the coach and now he knows me, and he knows how my body responds to workouts,” Rahn said. “My body needs a lot of recovery in order to be ready to perform, and he incorporated that into the last couple of weeks, so we could take it a little easier.”

Redshirt sophomore Brooke Rowland — who finished in third place on Friday, her first event as a Tar Heel — said Rahn’s versatility is inspiring.

“Xenia is a great athlete and she has a lot of great events that I aspire to be just as great at,” Rowland said.

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