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Friday February 26th

Five UNC track and field stars set personal bests at Hokie Invitational

Isaiah Palmer, a sophomore sprinter for UNC, prepares to run during the Men 4x400 Relay in the Dick Taylor Carolina Cup at Eddie Smith Field House on Sat., January 13, 2019. The Tar Heels won the relay with a time of 3:16.88.
Buy Photos Isaiah Palmer, a sophomore sprinter for UNC, prepares to run during the Men 4x400 Relay in the Dick Taylor Carolina Cup at Eddie Smith Field House on Sat., January 13, 2019. The Tar Heels won the relay with a time of 3:16.88.

The North Carolina track and field team competed in its second meet of the year this past weekend at Virginia Tech's Hokie Invitational. UNC returned to Blacksburg after winning three events there the week prior. The best performances came from the men’s one-mile event, which saw the Tar Heels take first, second and fifth.

What happened?

On the first day of the meet, the shining moment happened at the end of the men’s one-mile. Senior Brandon Tubby finished first with a personal best 4:04.52, and fellow senior Conor Lundy followed just behind with a second-place time of 4:04.56, also his personal best. Graduate Allen Siegler also placed highly for UNC, taking fifth place with a 4:10.49 time.

The next best performance of Friday’s men’s running events came from the 300-meter, where all four UNC entrants placed in the top-ten, two setting personal bests. Senior Ryan Saint-Germain took second place with a 33.90-second time, while first-year Craig Saddler II, junior Onyedikachi Ohia-Enyia and fifth-year senior Cameron Douglas finished sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. In the 60-meter, senior Isaiah Palmer finished in fourth-place with a 6.79-second sprint.

For the women, the highest Friday finishers were seniors Paige Hofstad and Mady Clahane during the 3000-meter. Hofstad finished third at 9:32.21, and Clahane logged a 9:35.20 time for fifth place.

For the field events, the Tar Heel men had a strong showing in the weight throw, as juniors Troy Yearwood and James Joycey finished second and third with throws of 19.68-meters and 19.24-meters, respectively. In the same event on the women’s side, senior Jill Shippee took fifth place with a 19.18-meter throw.

On Saturday, UNC did not compete as well during the running events, as only two runners took to the track for the 400-meter. Sophomore Matthew Harris represented the men’s side, finishing 12th with a 49.94-second effort, while for the women, first-year Brianna White finished in the same position, logging a 59.45-second time.

For the most part, Saturday’s field events went in a similar manner. Yearwood managed a seventh place finish in the men’s shot put, the team’s highest, while the sole competitor for the women, JoEllen Driscoll, fouled in her first three throws, keeping her out of the final rounds.

UNC's Saturday highlight came during the women’s long jump, when senior Anna Keefer took first with a 6.38-meter jump, which was .22-meters ahead of second-place, and her own personal best.

Who stood out? 

Five Tar Heels set personal bests over the weekend, two of those coming in winning efforts. Tubby and Keefer both broke their own records by coming out on top in the one-mile and long jump, respectively, while Lundy also set a personal best as he finished second in the one-mile race. In the 300-meter, White finished with her best mark at 40.85-seconds, and Saddler II did the same with a time of 34.70-seconds.

For head coach Chris Miltenberg, his seniors showing how they’ve prepared in their time off means more than just winning their events.

“When you have the challenge that we’ve all had in the last nine months,” Miltenberg said. “And then you have upperclassmen who are crystal clear on what they want to do, and what they want to accomplish, and what they want out of their last year, that sets the tone for everybody.”

Why does it matter?

In a shortened indoor season, UNC has just a few chances to test itself against other schools. With the ACC Indoor Championships just over a month away, every chance to compete becomes that much more important.

When do they play next?

The team will be traveling back to the Lovers' State, this time to Virginia Beach, for the UVA-UNC Invitational on Monday, Feb 1.

@cd_avy

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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