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The Daily Tar Heel

Track and field: Three Tar Heels move up in record books at Power 5 Invitational

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

Three Tar Heels made their way into the history books as the North Carolina track and field team competed at the two-day Power 5 Invitational in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Friday and Saturday.

What happened?

The Tar Heels competed strictly in running events on Friday, with their most impressive performances coming from junior Anna Keefer and sophomore Qhiyal Towns. 

In the women’s 60-meter prelims, Keefer ran a personal best time of 7.40 to win the event. Towns ran a 6.81 in the men’s 60-meter prelims to win the event, and he matched his personal best for the fourth time this season. 

Another personal record was set when senior Ashley Smith finished with a time of 17:34.68, good for third in the women’s 5,000-meter run. Also, sophomore Camryn Petit finished second with a time of 17:29.98 in the women’s 5,000.

On Saturday, the Tar Heels had two record-setting performances from Towns and junior Emerson Porter. 

In the men’s 60-meter dash finals, Towns won with a time of 6.74 seconds. This time put Towns second in the UNC record book. Junior Dontavian Smith finished third and sophomore Saypadia DeSaussure II eighth with times of 6.85 and 7.32, respectively, in the same event. 

Porter won the women’s pole vault with a 4.09-meter performance, which put her in fourth place in the UNC record book. 

Keefer won the women’s long jump with 6.19 meters, which broke the previous Power 5 meet and facility records. 

Two Tar Heels had strong performances in the women’s mile run, as senior Erin Edmundson placed third in heat two with a time of 4:51.02, a new personal record. Junior Emmeline Fisher won the third heat with a time of 4:58.80. 

In the men’s mile, there was also a personal record set by sophomore Jesse Hunt as he finished with a time of 4:08.85 and placed third. 

Who stood out?

Keefer, Towns and Porter all etched their names into the North Carolina history book this weekend. 

Keefer’s 60-meter dash time of 7.40 moved her into second in UNC history. Towns’ time of 6.74 seconds propelled him from a tie for sixth in the record books to second. Porter's performance moved her into fourth place in the women’s pole vault.  

When was it decided?

Some of the closest races were the women and men’s 60-meter dash. Keefer placed third in the women’s 60-meter dash finals but missed out on first place by just 0.06 seconds. Smith was 0.02 away from second place in the men’s 60-meter finals.

Why does it matter?

UNC finished the two-day competition with nine personal bests. The team's season has gotten off to a hot start, and with a meet like this, where multiple people set personal bests and six Tar Heels grab first-place finishes, that trend continued.

When do they play next?

The North Carolina track and field team will compete in the Valentine Invitational in Boston, MA and the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, SC on Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb.15.


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