The North Carolina track and field team traveled to Virginia Beach for the UNC-UVA Invitational on Monday. Several Tar Heels recorded personal bests, including graduate student Brandon Tubby, who became the fifth-fastest mile runner in the team's history with a time of 4:01.11
Five UNC athletes set new personal bests as the Tar Heels won eight out of 29 events. The team performed especially well in both the men’s and women’s mile event, with Tubby leading the way for the men’s, while first-year Taryn Parks, fifth-year Mady Clahane and senior Emmeline Fisher finished third, fourth and fifth in the women’s race, respectively. The women lost only to two professional runners, Josette Norris and Amy-Eloise Markovc.
Norris previously ran at UNC and earned All-ACC honors for cross country during her sophomore year before transferring to Georgetown University. Both professional runners are sponsored by Reebok.
The team also performed admirably in the weight throws. Junior Troy Yearwood, junior James Joycey and fifth-year senior Daniel McArthur took first, second and third place for the men, respectively. Joycey recorded his season-high with a 20.16-meter throw, and McArthur recorded his personal best with a 19.85-meter throw. For the women, senior Jillian Shippee placed first with a distance of 19.89 meters, improving on her personal best by just under three inches and further solidifying her spot as the third-farthest weight thrower of all time for the Tar Heel women.
The women did not have a strong showing in nearly any running event other than the mile. Only two runners placed in the top four of any of the other running events, with junior Maiah Walker and first-year Brianna White placing second and fourth in the 400-meter dash with times of 58.20 and 1:01.54, respectively.
The men, on the other hand, won four out of the nine running events. They performed especially well in the 400-meter dash, with seniors Isaiah Palmer and Ryan Saint-Germain coming in first and second place with times of 47.03 seconds and 48.30 seconds, respectively. Senior John Tatter won the 5000-meter run for the Tar Heels, and UNC won the 4x400-meter relay after their only opponent, Virginia, was disqualified.
In addition to UNC and the University of Virginia, Norfolk State University and North Carolina State University competed in the event. This was the third invitational that the Tar Heels have competed in this season, with the first two coming at Virginia Tech over the past two weekends. Interestingly, two more invitationals during this unusual season will also be at Virginia Tech.
Who stood out?
Of the five Tar Heels who set new career bests, Shippee and Tubby had especially strong days, as both of their new records place them among the top-five at their event in UNC history.
Why does it matter?
In a shortened indoor season, there are fewer opportunities than ever for the Tar Heels to improve and prepare for the ACC Indoor Championships, which come at the end of February.
When do they compete next?
The Tar Heels will compete this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5-6, in Blacksburg, Va. at the VT Elite Meet.
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