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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina track and field teams compete at ACC Indoor Championships

The North Carolina men's and women's track and field teams competed at the ACC Indoor Championships in South Bend, Ind. this past weekend. 

The Tar Heels peaked at the right time, posted a myriad of season bests and finished the ACC Championships with 11 individual All-ACC honorees and one team All-ACC distinction for the men's 4x400 relay. Both the men and women also finished in the top ten of the ACC leaderboard in team scores.

What happened?

UNC was leaping past the competition as it picked up five of its All-ACC finishes in the jump events. This included sophomore Nicole Green and senior Emily Godwin’s two-three finish in the women’s high jump, which earned them 1st team All-ACC honors.

The Tar Heels’ only first team All-ACC honoree on the men’s side was redshirt senior Paul Haley. Haley came just shy of the top spot in the heptathlon, compiling 5508 points in his runner up finish, helped by top finishes in the Long Jump and the 55 meter hurdles.

The relay squads also fared well for the Tar Heels. The men’s 4x400 team of redshirt senior RJ Alowonle, redshirt junior Kwame Donyinah, first-year Brandon Cachon and senior Cory Nicholls clocked a 3:09.44 en route to a second place, second team All-ACC finish. The women’s 4x400 of juniors Natisha Dixon, Jewel Christian, Cierra Dunston and first-year McKinley McNeill finished in fifth place.

Redshirt senior thrower Sarah Howard was a 1st team All-ACC honoree in the shot put, while Godwin added a second team All-ACC honor in the pentathlon to go along with her 1st-team honors in the high jump. Sophomores Anna Eaton and Morgan Ilse joined junior Alexis Gannon on the second-team All-ACC. Sophomores Zay Paschall and Darryl Shaw along with first year Daniel McArthur took home second-team honors for the men’s team.

In the final team standings, the women finished seventh place while the men placed ninth.

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels never established themselves as a team that was in the running for a conference title at this year’s championship. The top-ten performances relied on a well spread effort from events on and off the track.

Who stood out?

Riding off of impressive performances from last weekend, North Carolina’s throwers excelled again at the ACC Championships. Howard has established herself as an elite thrower for the Tar Heels throughout her career, and her second place finish in the shot put marked her fourth All-ACC honor in her career. McArthur has impressed early on and threw a personal best 60’ 1 ¼” to finish fourth.

An eye-catching performance for the team was the women’s 4x400 relay, which posted a massive improvement of nearly seven seconds over their previous season best time.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels proved that they had the potential to post their best performances when the pressure was on. However, the team will need to build depth and develop more point-scorers on the track in order to pose a threat in the team scores as they head into the outdoor season.

Where do they compete next?

The team finished competition at the ACC Championships for the Indoor season and won’t be competing as a team again until the Outdoor season.


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