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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC track and field competes in the UCS and Kent Taylor Invitationals

The UNC men's basketball team lost to Duke in the Dean Dome on Wednesday evening.
The UNC men's basketball team lost to Duke in the Dean Dome on Wednesday evening.

North Carolina track and field athletes competed in two meets this weekend, serving as their final tune-up before the ACC Championships.

UNC took several distance runners to the UCS invitational in Winston-Salem on Saturday. Coach Mark VanAlstyne said most Tar Heel first-years had solid performances at the meet, but one in particular stood out from the rest. 

“Morgan Ilse had a really good day winning the mile,” VanAlstyne said. “She showed a lot of competitiveness, had to fight for it right down to the wire and won by 0.04 seconds.” 

Ilse — a first-year from Dunwoody Georgia — ran a time of 5:00.76, taking first overall in the women's mile. Junior Mattie Blue finished ninth overall in the event, running a 5:07.75. 

UNC also hosted the Kent Taylor Invitational on Sunday. Coach Harlis Meaders was pleased with the runners and throwers who competed. 

“I thought we had a good day,” Meaders said. “Paul Haley had a really good day in the pole vault and both Emily (Godwin) and Tory (Kemp) did well in the shot put.” 

Haley took first place in the men's pole vault after clearing 4.45 meters. Godwin finished first in the women's long jump with a jump of 5.79 meters, and Kemp finished eighth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.69 seconds. All of these Tar Heels also competed in other events. 

With the busy weekend now behind his team, Meaders is looking forward to how the Tar Heels will perform in Boston at the ACC Championships, which start Thursday.


“I’m looking forward to see how we do. Physically, they’re prepared, so I’m anxious to see how they do.” — Meaders on his team moving forward. 


Redshirt junior Sarah Howard had a season-best throw in the women's shot put. She ranks No. 13 in the ACC this year. 

Three numbers that matter

0.04: The margin of victory for Ilse in the women's mile at the UCS Invitational.  

16.8: The number of meters Howard's season-best shot put throw traveled.

3: The number of Tar Heels to finish in first place at the Kent Taylor Invitational. 

What's next?

UNC will compete at the ACC Track and Field Indoor Championships, which start on Thursday in Boston.

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