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UNC track and field 4x400 meter teams respectively notch second-fastest times in ACC

Noah Shore pic.jpg
Noah Shore (right) of UNC sprints out final stretch at the Fetzer Field track.

The North Carolina track and field teams had strong showings in the Bob Pollock Invitational in Clemson, S.C., on Friday and Saturday. On the women’s side, the Tar Heels saw top-three finishes in six events. The men had top-three finishes in two events. 

What happened?

The women dominated on day one of the two-day meet. In the women’s 400 meter dash, senior Cierra Dunston finished seventh with a time of 54.41 seconds. The time set the fastest 400 meter dash in the ACC this season. First-year Anna Keefer continued her great indoor season start, as she took third place in the women’s long jump with a distance of 6.12 meters — her personal best as a collegiate athlete. 

Redshirt-junior Emma Astrike-Davis finished third in the women’s 5,000 meter run, setting a new personal record in the process. Astrike-Davis clocked in at 17:38.31 to earn  — 11 seconds faster than her previous best time. 

A couple UNC men also stood out on day one of competition. First-year Isaiah Palmer finished seventh out of 32 in the men’s 400-meter dash. Palmer’s time of 47.24 is the third-fastest in the ACC this season and ranks in the top-25 nationally. Redshirt first-year Alex Milligan placed eight out of 34 in the men’s mile run, clocking in at 4:11.89. 

On the meet’s second day, the Tar Heels also had success across the board. In the women’s high jump, junior Nicole Greene took first place with a jump of 1.85 meters. Redshirt junior Alex Cooke finished second in the women’s weight throw. Cooke threw a distance of 19.52 meters on her sixth and final attempt.

Sophomore Erin Edmundon earned second place in the women’s 800-meter run with a time of 2:10.34 — good for seventh-best in the ACC this season. In the women’s 4x400 relay, the group of sophomore McKinley McNeill and seniors Jewel Christian, Natisha Dixon and Cierra Dunston finished third. The squad’s time of 3:37.76 is the second-fastest in the ACC and ranks top-15 in the nation. 

For the men, juniors Darryl Shaw and Zay Paschell both grabbed top-three finishes in the men’s triple jump. Shaw leaped a distance of 15.64 meters and took second place. The distance is the third-best in the ACC and is in the top-15 nationally. Paschell jumped a distance of 15.42 meters to place third. Both Tar Heels now hold spots in the top-five in the ACC and and top-25 in the country in the event. 

The men’s 4x400 team of first-years Ryan Saint-Germain, Jadon Johnson, Isaiah Palmer and senior Kenny Selmon placed fifth, running a season-best time of 3:09.32. The time is also the second-best in the ACC and ranks top-25 in the nation. 

Who stood out?

There were standout performances throughout the two days of competition. However, a few athletes especially stood out. Dunston setting the fastest women’s 400-meter dash time in the conference was certainly eye-catching.

Others that now have times and distances that are top-three in the ACC and top-25 nationally in their respective events are Palmer, Shaw, the women’s 400x400 team (McNeill, Christian, Dixon and Dunston) and the men’s 4x100 team (Saint-Germain, Johnson, Palmer and Selmon). 

When was it decided?

Although this wasn’t a scored meet, UNC impressed starting from the opening events on Friday.  

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels are starting to pick up momentum in just their fourth meet of the indoor season. With ACC championships being less than a month away, the team hitting its stride at the right time will be crucial. 

When do they play next?

The North Carolina track and field teams will be back in action next weekend at the Camel City Invite in Winston Salem.

@pupadhyaya_

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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