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The Daily Tar Heel

Five from UNC track and field compete in NCAA Championship

Carolina Alcorta 1
Senior Caroline Alcorta competes at the Raleigh Relays on March 30. Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Department.

Five members of the North Carolina Track and Field team competed at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championship, in Eugene, Oregon. Four of them walked away with All-America honors and a fifth finished with one of the best times of her career.

The five Tar Heels who competed in the last meet of the year were Jill Shippee, Kenny Selmon, Anna Keefer, Morgan Ilse and Caroline Alcorta. 

Selmon, a senior, was the first team member to compete in the NCAA Championship. He competed in the 400-meter hurdles, on June 7th and finished first in his heat with the fastest semifinal time of 49.27, which earned him the top seed for the finals. For the third year in a row, he appeared in the event's final, his final race as a college athlete.  

He made the most of the final opportunity. Selmon ran a personal best time of 48.12 — breaking his own school record and finishing as the national runner-up. This was his highest place finish ever in the NCAA Championship, blazing the eighth-fastest time in the world this year. 

Throughout his collegiate career, Selmon has accomplished a lot. He is a five time All-American, five time ACC Champion, and 14 time All-ACC honoree and he was named the 2018 USTFCCCA southeast region men’s track athlete of the year. 

Selmon has had plenty of experience in NCAA's, but the other Tar Heels were making their first trip to the event. 

Shippee, a first-year, made her NCAA Championship debut in the women’s hammer throw competition, throwing a 200-5 (61.10m) — good enough for a finish in 14th place and recognition as a second team All-America honoree. 

In addition, Keefer, another first-year, competed in the women’s long jump, setting a new personal best in her first jump of the day. She jumped 20-3 (6.17), securing 15th place and earning second team All-America honors.  

In only her third time racing the 10,000 meters race, Alcorta, a senior, finished her collegiate career with an NCAA Outdoor Championship debut. In the 10,000 meter finals she ran 33:49.81, which was a new personal best. With that time Alcorta finished 14th on the leaderboard and earned second-team All-America honors.

Ilse, a junior, closed out the competition for the Tar Heels, competing in the 5,000 meter race on June 9th. She ran a time of 16:08.83 and finished in 22nd place, the second-best time she’s run in her career. The time placed her 22nd in the race. 

Ilse’s career-best 5,000 meter race time happened on April 21, 2018, at the Virginia Challenge, where she ran 16:05.83. She also holds the school record for the indoor women’s 5,000 meter race.

The strong showing of five athletes who represented UNC in NCAA's was exactly the kind of end to the season that the Tar Heels hoped for. Selmon's finish at the top and the other finishes in the middle set up a good jumping off point for the program next season. 

@TorreNetkovick 

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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