CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The University of North Carolina track and field program is proud to announce their recruiting class for the upcoming 2013-14 academic and competitive years. The Tar Heels will welcome 10 student-athletes in multiple disciplines as part of head coach Harlis Meaders' first recruiting class in his tenure at Carolina.
"Our objective was to recruit a well-balanced team to add to our overall concept of being a balanced program," said Coach Meaders, "We are very fortunate with this recruiting class."
The Tar Heels' recruiting class includes state champions, junior Olympic champions, national qualifiers, and scholar athletes. Biographies of the signees are below:
Joe Sansone • Distance
Southlake, Texas • Carroll Senior
Joe Sansone has lettered in cross country and track all four years of high school and has been a member of two state championship teams, including a team that finished second at the 2011 Nike Team Nationals. In cross country, Sansone finished fourth individually in the state in 2012 and eighth in 2011. He is a team captain and an active member of his youth group. His PRs include: 15:04 in the cross country 5K, 9:09.24 in the two-mile, and 4:15.61 in the mile.
Ethan Smith • Pole Vault
Hillsborough, N.C. • Cedar Ridge
Ethan Smith owns the 2012 state record for the pole vault at 15-6 (4.72 meters). He is the 2012 Indoor NCHSAA state champion and the 2012 Outdoor 2A NCHSAA state champion. Smith is a national qualifier in the pole vault and has been competing in the event all four years of high school. He was named a scholar athlete all four years of high school.
Amanda Benninghoff • Pole Vault
Ivyland, Pa. • Council Rock South
Amanda Benninghoff comes to UNC with a personal best of 12-10 ¾ (3.93 meters) in the pole vault, a mark she set as a junior. She is a member of the National English Honor Society and has been named to the distinguished honor roll. Benninghoff has also trained as a competitive cheerleader, a team she captained and helped qualify for Worlds competition.
Brittany Hull • Pole Vault
Bloomington, Ill. • Normal Community
Brittany Hull is the 2012 state runner-up in the pole vault and owns a PR of 13-0 ¼ (3.97 meters) that was the No. 1 ranking in the nation last season. She is a Junior Nationals qualifier and placed eighth in the pole vault in 2012. She has captained her team as a junior and a senior. Hull is a member of the National Honor Society, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and volunteers at the Humane Society.
Jon Beyle • Throws
Chapel Hill, N.C. • East Chapel Hill
Jon Beyle is a four-time state champion: 2012 indoor shot put, 2012 outdoor shot put, 2012 outdoor discus, and 2013 indoor shot put. He holds the all-time high school indoor state record for the shot put with his personal best 61-10 (18.85 meters). The News & Observer named him the Track Athlete of the Year and the PAC-6 named him the Conference Field Athlete of the Year in 2012. Beyle is also a gifted singer as a member of the men's choral ensemble and his school's a cappella group.
Kwame Donyinah • Sprints
Charlotte, N.C. • Myers Park
Kwame Donyinah is the 2012 NC 4A state outdoor champion in the 400 and the 4A West Regional outdoor champion in the 400. He earned All-American status with his fourth-place finish at the 2012 New Balance Outdoor Nationals meet. Donyinah owns a personal best of 47.27 in the 400. He has also competed in the 200 meters.
Ceo Ways • Sprints
Ponte Vedra, Fla. • Allen D. Nease
Ceolamar Ways has competed on the track for four years and owns PRs of 47.27 in the 400, 21.42 in the 200, and 10.68 in the 100. He also competed in the long jump, triple jump, and high jump. Ways has finished fifth and third in the 400 and 200, respectively at the 2011 and 2012 state championships. Ways also played two years of football and one season of basketball.
Brien Berry • Sprints
Durham, N.C. • Riverside/Hampton University/Barton Community
Brien Berry joins Carolina as a transfer from Hampton University, a Division I (FCS) Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference program, and Barton Community College. Berry specializes in the 100 and 200 sprints, with career personal records of 10.36 in the 100 and 20.81 in the 200. He is a USATF Junior Olympic All-American in the 200 and won silver in the same event at the Youth Outdoor USA Championships. In high school, Berry won all-conference honors in the 4x100, the 4x200, the high jump and the 200. He was the conference champion in the 4x100, 4x200 and high jump. He also won the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America outdoor 200 championship in 2012 and is a NCAA qualifier. Berry also played basketball in high school.
Javianne Oliver • Sprints
Monroe, Ga. • Monroe Area
Javianne Oliver comes to UNC as an All-American in the 100 and 200 meters and as a state champion in the 100 and 200. Her PRs include: 11.63 in the 100 and 24.00 in the 200. Oliver is an honor roll student, has been named to the academic principal's list multiple times, and is a team captain. She is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, the National Honor Society, the Beta Club, the Anchor Club, and is a member of her high school's student council. Oliver also volunteers with the Boys & Girls Club of America. Ranked in the top-10 percent of her class, she also works a math tutor and is a member of a dance ministry. Oliver also played varsity basketball and was a cheerleader for four years.
Emily Godwin • High Jump
Buckhannon, W.V. • Buckhannon-Upshur
Emily Godwin is the 2012 USATF National Junior Olympics champion in the high jump and is the fourth-place finisher in the heptathlon at the same championship. She owns nine state titles from her freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons in five events, including the high jump, long jump, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and shuttle hurdle relay. Godwin placed sixth in the heptathlon at the 2012 Junior National Championships and reached the competition on a qualifying mark of 4,874 points. She has been named the Conference Runner of the Year twice as a junior and sophomore. Godwin owns state records in the high jump at 5-10 (1.78 meters), 300 hurdles at 43.96, and the shuttle hurdle relay at 1:04.07. She is the 2011 and 2012 Gatorade West Virginia Girl Track and Field Athlete of the Year and the 2011 WVRunners.com Girl Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Godwin currently serves as senior class vice president, was voted Homecoming Queen in 2012, is a member of the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and contributes much of her time to her church and other charitable causes. She also played four years of varsity soccer winning multiple all-state and all-conference honors.
Maurice Dix, Jr. • Hurdles
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. • St. Thomas Aquinas
Maurice Dix joins Carolina with personal records of 14.19 and 37.03 in the 110 and 300 hurdles, respectively. He was named a national first-team All-American for the 300 hurdles in 2012 and 2013 by Track & Field News. Dix was honored by ESPN Rise as a Fab 50 national champion in 2011 and a runner-up in 2012. His team has won the state championship for three consecutive years and he is captaining the team as a senior. Dix was named to the National Scholastic Sports Foundation USA Team for the 2012 Caribbean Invitational. He has been named to the principal's honor roll all four years of high school. His uncle, Walter Dix, competed at Florida State from 2005-08 as an 18-time All-American and went on to become a U.S. Olympic Trials champion and qualifier.