RALEIGH, N.C. - The University of North Carolina track and field teams opened the 2013 ACC Outdoor Championships on Thursday with an All-ACC honoree for the women and six Tar Heels moving on to the finals. The multis also sit in good standing with Tar Heels atop both leaderboards heading into the final events for the heptathlon and decathlon.
"It was a great first day for both the men and the women's programs," said head coach Harlis Meaders. "I am very happy with the way we competed today and the number of kids that we advanced to finals to held over the weekend."
Cameron Overstreet won the first All-ACC honors for the Tar Heels at the championships with her second-place finish in the pole vault. Overstreet cleared 13-5 ¼ (4.10 meters), a season-best and top outdoor mark for her.
"This is Cameron's highest finish ever in outdoors for the ACC," said Coach Meaders, "She has really put in the effort in her training and it has paid off."
Sarah Howard scored a point for Carolina in the women's discus with her new personal best throw of 148-1 (45.14 meters) good for eighth place.
"That's a lifetime best for Sarah in the discus," said Coach Meaders, "I'm so impressed with everything she gives to her performances and what she is doing for Carolina throws so early in her collegiate career."
Dontrevious Ousley and AJ Hicks owned back-to-back finishes in the men's discus with Ousley taking fourth with his toss of 170-11 (52.11 meters) and Hicks taking fifth in 170-0 (51.81 meters) to add to the men's team score.
"It was a great competition for both guys have their best throws in the finals," said Coach Meaders, "I'm really proud of Dontrevious and AJ for their finishes in a tough field today."
"It was a very tough race in the 10K but John stayed focused and finished very strong," said Coach Meaders, "Then to have Scott finish in scoring position as well, his first time scoring in the event, is just incredible."
The Tar Heel women went one-two in the preliminary for the 1,500 with Lianne Farber winning her heat and ranking first overall with her 4:22.28 race. Annie LeHardy is second overall heading into Saturday's final as she won the second heat in 4:26.86.
RJ Alowonle and Reynaldo Radlin each qualified for the final in the men's 400-meter hurdles. Alowonle won his heat and is atop the qualifiers with his new personal best 51.56 while Radlin is the sixth fastest among the qualifiers with his 52.87.
Cori Floyd qualified for the final in the women's 400-meter hurdles with her fifth-place time of 1:01.51, a mark 0.2 seconds off her personal best. The 400 hurdles final is Saturday at 6 p.m.
The Carolina multis sit atop of both the women's heptathlon and the men's decathlon after the first day of competition.
"In the multis our athletes had a fantastic first day with each of our kids finding ways to challenge each other and in the process they are setting new personal records," said Coach Meaders, "Coach [Josh] Langley has done a great job getting those student-athletes ready for the meet and their first outdoor multi event this season."
Tory Kemp leads the heptathlon with 3,282 points after having finished in the top three in all of the events of the first day. Kemp started the day strong as she won the 100-meter hurdles section of the heptathlon with her 14.24. She went on to rank second in the high jump (5-8, 1.73 meters), second in the shot put (36-4 ¾, 11.09 meters), and third in the 200 (25.46). Lauren Lazor closed her first day in the multis event with 2,519 points. The long jump, javelin and 800 will take place on Friday at 12 p.m.
For the decathlon, two Tar Heels hold first and second place after the first five events: Joe Hutchinson leads the decathlon with 3,845 points followed by Paul Haley in second with 3,771 points. Hutchinson's marks in the first five events are 11.10 in the 100 meters, 22-2 ½ (6.77 meters) in the long jump, 45-4 ¼ (13.82 meters) in the shot put, 6-4 (1.93 meters) in the high jump, and 50.53 in the 400 meters. Haley's marks are 11.28 in the 100, 23-5 ¼ (7.14 meters) in the long jump, 38-1 ½ (11.62 meters) in the shot put, 6-2 ¾ (1.90 meters) in the high jump, and 49.72 in the 400.
Ryan Ramsey sits in fourth place after the first day in the decathlon competition with 3.762 points and Chadd Pierce is in sixth with 3,261 points. Hutchinson, Ramsey, and Pierce were the top-three and All-ACC honorees in the indoor championships for the multis event in February.
"I am confident that if we keep the course we will have multiple individual ACC Champions," said Coach Meaders, "We have to stay focused as there are still two full days of competition remaining. Right now about 85-percent of our kids have either scored points or advanced to the finals to be held later this weekend which is a great accomplishment for our team."
The Carolina men are in third place with 15 points behind Florida State (20 points) in first and Duke (19 points) in second, while the women sit in eighth place with nine points. The ACC Outdoor Championships will continue through Saturday.
Friday's schedule has changed due to the threat of inclement weather in the Triangle area. Events will begin with the men's javelin throw at 10:30 a.m. as planned, but the starting times for several field events have been moved up to earlier times. In addition, the starting time for the running events has been moved up to 3:15 p.m., two hours earlier than originally planned. The men's pole vault, originally set for late Friday afternoon, has been rescheduled for Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
CAROLINA's ALL-ACC HONOREES:
Cameron Overstreet - 2nd, Pole Vault