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North Carolina track and field shows signs of maturity in two weekend meets

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 the Duke Invitational and Virginia Challenge this weekend. Redshirt sophomore Daniel McArthur had the second-best throw in the ACC in men’s shot put with a mark of 19.10 meters at the Virginia Challenge.

What happened?

In the Virginia Challenge, McArthur’s 19.10-meter throw set a new season best and set the second-best mark for the ACC en route to fifth place. Redshirt junior Nicole Green won her fifth straight women’s high jump with a mark of 1.78 meters. Sophomore Madeline Kraft won the women’s 800-meter dash with a lifetime-best 2:09.85. 

In the women’s hammer throw, sophomore Jill Shippee’s 63.25-meter throw and graduate student Alex Cooke’s 57.39-meter throw both qualified them for the ACC Championships. In the women’s 1500-meter dash redshirt sophomore Ashley Smith finished eighth and set a personal best. In the men’s 1500-meter dash junior Mitch Resor also set a personal best in route to a second-place finish. 

In the Duke Invitational, senior Drew Pedersen placed fifth in the men’s pole vault invite with a 5-meter vault, good for third in the ACC. Redshirt junior Jared Martin was another ACC qualifier as his 57.07-meter throw in the men’s javelin throw earned him ACC-qualifying honors and a seventh place finish. Another notable performer was first-year Emily Malone as she earned her first collegiate victory in the women’s javelin throw. Senior Anna Eaton finished fourth in women’s pole vault with a mark of 4.05 meters. Junior McKinley McNeill ran a 55.11 in the women’s 400- meter dash and finished 10th.

Why does it matter?

Head coach Harlis Meaders said he was pleased with the whole team’s performance, and spoke about the young talent and the maturity displayed by performing despite the inclement weather that plagued both meets. 

“I think our young kids continue to improve, we had adverse weather conditions both at Duke and here at UVA, so our kids really booked it and put those days aside, refocus and continue to compete," he said. "Just shows the signs of maturity.”

Meaders feels confident in getting more athletes to the NCAA Championship, and commends the other coaches on prepping the athletes.

“The competition is only going to get stiffer as we get close toward the ACC Championships and they can get getting more kids qualified for the NCAA ... regional Championships, but I think we’re on the right path. I think the coaches are doing a great job at getting them prepared.”

Who stood out?

McArthur missed his outdoor personal record by a centimeter and earned the second-best shot put throw in the ACC. Greene won her fifth straight women’s high jump on her 1.78-meter jump. Kraft, Fisher, Smith and Resor all set personal bests in their respective events. 

Where do they play next?

North Carolina competes in two events, the Virginia Grand Prix in Charlottesville, Va., and the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, Fla., Friday and Saturday.

@Areynolds_DTH

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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