WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., - The University of North Carolina track and field teams had six participants in the Hilton Garden Invitational and Camel City Elite Races Saturday. Four of five Tar Heels who competed in the Camel City Elite Races finished as the top collegiate runner in their respective events.
"I think today went about as well as we could have hoped for," North Carolina assistant coach Mark VanAlstyne said. "It's always been my contention that if you get a great field full of competitive athletes, then it doesn't matter if you put them on a flat track or a bank track; they're going to compete hard, and they're going to end up running fast. I think our athletes proved that today.
"Across the board I was proud of every one of them. They were all exceptional today and it shows us that we are on the right track."
Annie LeHardy started the Camel City Elite Races off in the women's 3,000 meter run where she obliterated her personal record by more than 30 seconds en route to a fourth place finish ahead of two professional runners. LeHardy's converted time of 9:11.83 is currently the third-fastest time in the 3,000 for the NCAA this year. LeHardy competed against former Tar Heel Addie Bracy who placed third.
Isaac Presson had an impressive outing in the men's mile where he took fourth place after crossing the finish line at 4:02.28, which converts to a sub-four minute mile at 3:59.23. Presson's time ranks as the third-best in the nation this year.
Elizabeth Whelan competed in the women's 800 and also finished in fourth. Her converted time of 2:05.59 is the third-best in the NCAA this year and 0.46 seconds off her lifetime best.
Iman Wilkerson competed in the women's seeded 200-meter dash where she took ninth place. Her time was second best among the 71 non-seeded competitors.
The converted times are per NCAA regulation to maintain a level playing field amongst the different types of tracks collegiate athletes compete on. The NCAA measures all times on a track that is banked or oversized and has a conversion formula to measure times from flat tracks to banked.
The North Carolina track and field teams will compete next at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8.