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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC track and field posts strong performances despite strong competition in Virginia Challenge

With 10 conference championship teams from the 2015 outdoor season and 11 conference championship teams from the 2016 indoor season, the Virginia Challenge featured elite competition all around.

But despite this stiff challenge, the North Carolina track and field team recorded multiple first-place finishes and personal bests this weekend.

In the men’s 400-meter hurdles, sophomore Kenny Selmon ran a season-best time of 50.49 to take first place. He currently ranks ninth in the nation in the event.

The Tar Heels took the top two spots in the men’s long jump with redshirt junior Paul Haley coming in at the top spot and first-year Joey Souza finishing second. Haley earned a personal record with a leap of 7.40 meters, which was also the best performance by any UNC athlete in the event this year. Souza finished with a jump of 7.35 meters.

Redshirt senior A.J. Hicks had a first-place finish in the men’s shot put with a throw of 17.05 meters.

Senior Houston Summers continued his success this year with a fourth-place finish in the men’s javelin with a throw of 68.07 meters. His throw was the second-best by all of the collegians in the field.

On the women’s side, redshirt senior Lizzy Whelan took fourth overall in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:06.98. Her time was close to reaching her season best in the event.

In the women’s 1,500-meter run, sophomore Josette Norris stood out with a career-best time of 4:23.95.

First-year Tainasha Vines competed in the women’s long jump and posted a best jump of 5.91 meters to finish in fifth place. She also earned an eighth-place finish in the women's triple jump at 11.98 meters, which is a season best for her.

Quotable

“It was an excellent meet, and our kids competed really good. There’s still some holes to be filled in, but the team made progress to prepare for the ACC Championships.” — Coach Harlis Meaders on the team’s performance at the meet

Notable

Hicks' throw of 17.05 meters in the men's shot put marked the farthest he's thrown in two years.

Three numbers that matter

.05: Haley and Souza were separated by .05 seconds in the men's long jump.

1: First-year Nicole Greene finished second in the women's high jump, but she finished first among the collegians in the field.

3: Three Tar Heels earned first-place finishes in the Virginia Challenge.

What’s next?

The Tar Heels will compete next weekend at the Wolfpack Last Chance before heading to the ACC Championships — which start on May 13 in Tallahassee, Fla. 

@jordymae012

sports@dailytarheel.com

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