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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina track and field takes part in Tiger Paw, Darius Dixon meets on Saturday


Junior Anna Keefer prepares to race in her heat in the 60-meter sprint. Keefer went on to win the heat and finish second overall in the event in the Eddie Smith Field House on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. 

This weekend, North Carolina’s track and field team sent its athletes to both Clemson, SC for the Tiger Paw Invite and Lynchburg, VA for the Darius Dixon Invitational. After a successful first day at both events, UNC returned for Day 2 of the action to keep their momentum going.

What happened?

At the Darius Dixon Invitational hosted by Liberty University, the Tar Heels put up some impressive performances on Day 2. 

Starting with the women’s mile run, first-year Brynn Brown came up just short at second place with a time of 4:37.78. 

After very impressive Day 1 performances in the 800-meter run, Makayla Paige, Taryn Parks and Carlee Hansen had a less dominant finish in the women’s 4x400 medley alongside Ella Auderset. The four first-years ended with a time of 3:54.25 putting them at 11th place. 

Turning to the Tiger Paw Invite, Anna Keefer put up an outstanding time of 23.24 in the women’s 200 meter dash which was enough to give her a fifth-place finish overall in an event with 90 other runners.

Out of the eight Tar Heels that competed in the men’s shot put, senior Daniel McArthur came in second-place with a 20.75 meter throw. 

Who stood out? 

Although UNC didn’t have as many participants on Day 2 than it did on Day 1, there certainly are still some athletes to highlight. 

Though it is only her first year on the team, Brynn Brown had a stellar run in the women’s one mile and was followed by three of her teammates in the top-14, so a great day all around from the women in the mile run. 

Graduate student Anna Keefer also had a superb Saturday as she bested her personal record at the women’s 200-meter dash by three tenths of a second to give her a top-five finish.

When was it decided?

While UNC might not have been the big winners of the meet overall, it certainly saw success this weekend from all of its athletes. There is no true, defined winner from either the Darius Dixon Invitational or Tiger Paw Invite, but the Tar Heels can be very proud of what they accomplished in these two events

Why does it matter?

The two events from this weekend definitely showed just how up-and-coming this team is. Throughout the season thus far, many of the performances from the first-year Tar Heels have been dominant even in events with many upperclassmen competing at high levels. While there’s no doubt that some aspects of this team need improvement, North Carolina is certainly moving in a solid direction at this point in the year.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will have another double-header weekend coming up. This time, they will be traveling to Winston-Salem, NC for the JDL DMR Invitational hosted by Wake Forest as well as Blacksburg, VA for the third time this season for the VT Challenge hosted by Virginia Tech. Both events will run from Friday, Feb. 18 to Saturday, Feb. 19.

@dthsports |

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