PHILADELPHIA - The University of North Carolina track and field teams closed the second day of the Penn Relays on Friday with the men's 4x400 relay moving on to the finals and other individual top performances.
"The second day of competition has come to a close and coming off an emotionally-charged conference meet our kids are still finding success," said head coach Harlis Meaders.
The men's 4x400 of RJ Alowonle, Reynaldo Radlin, Sean Sutton, and Clayton Parros came off of their ACC Champion performance last week to race a new season-best 3:08.99 to move on to the College final. The Tar Heels placed ninth overall, just one spot away from making the Championship of America final in the event.
"I am really proud of our men's 4x4 team," said Coach Meaders, "Two weeks ago we started to see things coming together. At the Florida Relays the guys competed really well but it wasn't reflected in their time running 3:10. Last week the guys won the ACC Championship running 3:09 and today there were 67 teams running and our guys ran 3:08 to have the ninth-best time overall. We missed the championship round tomorrow by one spot, which is disappointing, but we will get a chance to compete again against some really good programs. Our goal is to be reaching our best form in a few weeks at the NCAA preliminary round and we are well on our way."
In the men's college shot put, Chris DiLorenzo threw 55-2 ¼ (16.82 meters) to place fourth overall. DiLorenzo is currently qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary in the event with his throw of 56-9 ½ (17.31 meters) from the ACC Championships.
"Chris competed well and had a good series of throws in the finals," said Coach Meaders, "While he didn't better his qualifying mark, he is still in great shape to compete consistently at the NCAA first round."
AJ Hicks finished sixth in the men's college discus throw with a hurl of 169-10 (51.77 meters) and Dontrevious Ousley took ninth with a throw of 166-10 (50.87 meters). Hicks and Ousley are each qualified for the NCAA preliminary currently, Hicks in 38th (172-4, 52.52 meters at Raleigh Relays) and Ousley tied at 35th (172-11, 52.71 meters at Florida Relays).
Briana Hudson placed sixth in the women's college triple jump as she leapt 40-0 ½ (12.20 meters). Hudson is currently tied for 30th in the preliminary rankings at 41-1 ½ (12.53 meters), a mark she earned at the Florida Relays.
"Our horizontal jumpers for the women continue to be consistent for us," said Coach Meaders, "With Briana and Tristine [Johnson] in the triple and Jacinda [Evans] and Chrishawn [Williams] in the long jump, we have great depth and can expect good things from them."
Ariel Roberts cleared 5-7 ¾ (1.72 meters) in the women's high jump championship division and had several good attempts at the 5-9 height but was unable to clear the bar.
"Ariel faced top competition in the high jump today and really tried to hold her own," said Coach Meaders.
A disappointment for the Tar Heels was in the men's 110-meter hurdles when Devon Carter slipped off the blocks at the start of the race forcing him to bow out.
"The race was very unfortunate for Devon and was not what he has trained for," said Coach Meaders, "He was ready to run well, and still is. He is still in good position to compete at the NCAA prelims."
"Overall we have been able to do the things that we need to do to prepare for the championship part of the season," added Coach Meaders, "We have seen many of the best athletes and programs in the country this weekend. We know that we have the ability to compete with them and that we belong in this group of elite programs."
The men's 4x400 relay will compete on Saturday at 5:40 p.m. in addition to Hicks in the men's hammer college division at 12:15 p.m. Live results are available.