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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC men finish fifth, women finish ninth, in ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Freshman Colton Sands competes in the 5000M ACC Championship race at Morris Williams Track on Saturday, May 14, 2022. The UNC men's team finished fourth in the meet overall.

This past Thursday through Saturday, the North Carolina outdoor track and field team attended the ACC Outdoor Championships. The UNC men finished fifth and the women finished ninth.

What happened?

After the first day of competition at the ACC Outdoor Championships, both UNC’s women and men were situated in second place. 

Graduates Jill Shippee and Madison Wiltrout both earned gold in their respective events on Thursday. In the women’s hammer, Shippee earned gold for the third time as a UNC student, 222-9 (67.91m). This makes Shippee the first woman to win ACC gold in this event three times in a row. In the women’s javelin, with a throw of 196-11, Wiltrout broke multiple records to earn gold as well. Not only did her throw set the UNC program record and ACC record, but it was the 10th-furthest throw in this event in NCAA history.

In the women’s 200-meter prelims, redshirt senior Anna Keefer finished in fourth place on Thursday. She ran an all-conditions personal record of 23.18 to advance to the 200-meter final. That same day she also took second in the women’s long jump final, with a distance of 6.40 meters.

Senior James Joycey and graduate Alex Ostberg also earned silver in their respective events on Thursday. Joycey improved upon last year’s third-place finish with his silver in the men’s hammer finals, with a heave of 221-2 (67.41m). In the men’s 10k, Ostberg set a personal best and school-record time of 28:49:36 to place second. 

On Friday, the North Carolina men remained in second place while the UNC women dropped to fifth place.

To headline the second day of action, sophomore Isaac Young and junior Sam Corley both placed within the top five of the men’s decathlon. Young’s personal-best 7173 points earned him silver, while Corley’s 7014 points gave him a fifth-place finish.

Along with Young, senior Roman Mitchell also medaled on Friday. His personal-best score of 71.54m (234-8) earned him a silver medal in the men’s javelin event.

On the third and final day of competition, sophomore Craig Saddler II was the only Tar Heel to see the podium. He earned silver in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. He ran a personal-best 50.42 to earn a second-place finish as well as All-ACC honors.

Who stood out? 

While the ACC Outdoor Championships saw a great team effort for North Carolina, as eight different Tar Heels earned first-team All-ACC honors, the performances of Shippee and Wiltrout stand out from the rest. These two athletes were the only Tar Heels to earn gold in their respective events, and both broke significant records in doing so.

When was it decided?

After a solid first two days of competition for the UNC men and women, the third day saw both teams drop off in the standings. The Tar Heels had only one athlete medal on the final day of competition, and North Carolina failed to reach the podium in any of the track finals on Saturday, all of which significantly dropped the Tar Heels’ team point total. 

Why does it matter?

The ACC Outdoor Championships not only provided a stage for a multitude of UNC athletes to set personal bests, but also compete for the chance to be selected for the preliminary rounds of the NCAA DI Outdoor Track and Field Championships. 

With several UNC podium finishes, a multitude of Tar Heels will soon head to the NCAA East Preliminary Round to compete in their respective events.

When do they play next?

Members of the North Carolina outdoor track and field team are now awaiting selections by the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Committee. If selected, Tar Heel participants will travel to Bloomington, Ind., to compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Round from May 25 to May 28.


@dthsports |

Shelby Swanson

Shelby Swanson is the 2023-24 sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as an assistant sports editor and senior writer. Shelby is a junior pursuing a double major in media and journalism and Hispanic literatures and cultures.