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UNC track and field in action at Aggie Invitational and Hurricane Alumni Invitational

track and field Duke
The UNC track and field team competed against Duke on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Duke University.

The North Carolina track and field team competed in two meets this weekend, the Aggie Invitational at North Carolina A&T and the Hurricane Alumni Invitational at Miami. 

The majority of the team competed at Miami where UNC’s performance was littered with personal and season best performances. 

What happened?

The Hurricane Alumni Invitational began on Friday and UNC’s field events posted four season-best performances on the first day.

Junior Will Eskew and redshirt junior Jared Martin both impressed in the men’s javelin. Martin posted his season best throw at 63.63 meters to place second and Eskew set a new career-best at 54.69 meters, earning him an eighth place finish.

The record-breaking performances in the field events did not stop there. Junior Bailey Frederick placed third in the men’s pole vault while setting a season-best mark at 4.55 meters.

Graduate Alex Cooke and first-year Emily Malone also placed in field events on Friday. Cooke finished as the runner-up in the women’s hammer throw and Malone finished third in the women’s javelin.

On Saturday, the Tar Heels continued to post season bests. Junior Daniel McArthur earned a season-best mark in the men’s discus, placing second, and won the men’s shot put for the second straight meet.

On the running side of things, first-year Maiah Walker and junior McKinley McNeill both posted season-best times in the women’s 400-meter dash. The two finished second and third, respectively.

“I think that our entourage that went down to the University of Miami competed really well,” head coach Harlis Meaders said. “Most of those kids had their seasonal best performances and in some cases they had lifetime best performances. We’ve been getting a little better each week and they’ve been able to keep that tend going.”

Who stood out?

Sophomore Anna Keefer was the biggest stand out for the Tar Heels. She wrote her name in the UNC record books with an 11.43 100-meter dash. That was good for fourth in the meet and fourth all-time in UNC track and field history.

Keefer didn’t stop there. She also competed in the women’s long jump and placed first with a 6.03 meter jump. 

“Anna has had a very impressive outdoor season,” Meaders said. “She’s continued to run well both in the 100 and 200, and of course her specialty is the long jump, so she provides a lot of flexibility for us.”

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels are just two weekends away from the ACC Outdoor Championships. The team had another athlete qualify for the meet in first-year Saypadia DeSaussure II who ran a season-best 10.68 in the men’s 100-meter dash.

UNC will look to get more athletes qualified as they approach the postseason.

“I think the team chemistry is getting better, we are a closer knit unit,” Meaders said. “I think the performances are getting better and I think that we have to continue to follow that trend.”

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will split up again this weekend. Some of the team will travel to Charlottesville, Va., for the Virginia Challenge and the others will compete at the Duke Invitational in Durham.


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