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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels display top talent and potential depth at Raleigh Relays

The North Carolina track and field team scored top marks and showcased future potential in the Raleigh Relays this weekend.

Junior sprinter Ceo Ways earned a runner-up finish in Friday's 400-meter dash with a mark of 46.43 seconds — the top time in the NCAA this season.

Mark Derrick had a career performance in the 5,000-meter race, finishing fifth among all runners and first in the collegiate field. The redshiurt junior's time of 13:54.71 — a lifetime best — vaulted him to fifth on UNC's all-time list.

Redshirt senior Lizzy Whelan clocked a 4:21.32 in the 1,500-meter race to place fourth, finishing as the second-fastest collegiate athlete in the event.

The Tar Heels displayed their depth in the long jump finals, with three athletes placing in the top six. The champion, first-year Joey Souza, launched 7.23 meters to take the event for North Carolina.

Saturday saw more of the same, as sophomore Kenny Selmon put down a time of 51.06 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles to win the event.

Quotable

“The atmosphere and competition are obviously very good. In the race, the competition was very high, and it definitely felt like a national level race. It felt good racing people who have been running professionally for years.” — Ways on his top performance on Friday.

Notable

After starting off the season with a local homestand, the Tar Heels prepare to hit the road. UNC hosted the Dennis Craddock Carolina Relays before traveling to Raleigh this weekend. North Carolina will participate in the Duke Invitational next weekend, but the Tar Heels are not scheduled to compete again in the state after the meet in Durham.

Three numbers that matter

17: The Tar Heels defended their preseason No. 17 rankings on the men’s side with victories against some of the top talent in the region. More than 100 schools were represented, giving UNC the opportunity to prove its ranking against the opposition.

4: North Carolina got to see four of its early signees — Jeremy Brown, Connor Peeples, Blair Ramsey and Mitch Resor — compete in the high school races. The event is a fusion of a high school, collegiate and professional race, which allows coaches to look at both confirmed and potentially committed athletes.

8.27: Whelan’s time in the 1500-meter might have been the second-fastest collegiate time in the event this weekend, but it was 8.27 seconds slower than the fastest 1,500-meter race ever run on the NC State track. That time belongs to UNC alumna Shalane Flanagan, an Olympic medalist, whose 4:13.05 still stands as the record.

What’s next?

The Tar Heels will compete in the Duke Invitational in Durham starting on Friday.

@James_Tatter

sports@dailytarheel.com

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