CHAPEL HILL, N.C., - The University of North Carolina track and field teams will open up the outdoor season this weekend in Chapel Hill at the Carolina Relays. The team concluded their indoor season just a week ago, but is ready to make the transition to outdoors.
"As we get ready to make the transition to outdoor track and field you'll see some of the kids who redshirted indoors and some of the kids who have just outdoor events will come into play," North Carolina head coach Harlis Meaders said. "Last year you were able to see Houston Summers in the javelin. The javelin, of course, is an outdoor event. The other long throws, the discuss and the hammer, are also outdoor track and field events, so you'll get to see Dontrevious Ousley and you'll see Chris [DiLorenzo] come back out. Chris will throw the shot for us. In the distance events you go to the longer races as the 10k and 5k are outdoors, and you'll also get the steeplechase, which will be a good event for us. We're looking forward to it."
"One of our strongpoints last year was the 400-meter hurdlers, which is again another outdoor event. That hopefully should be a strength for our men's team and hopefully Cori Floyd in the women's 400-meter hurdles. For the multis the women move to the heptathlon and the men move to decathlon. A couple more events for each side, but I think that will be a strength for our program. Last year we went one-two-three in the men's decathlon at the ACC Championship. It will be difficult to repeat that but we still have a strong entourage there. With the women you'll get to see Emily Godwin and Xenia Rahn come out in the multi as well as Tory Kemp. Those will be our strongest representatives in the outdoor multi.
"I think we are a better outdoor team than we are an indoor team so that's a good sign for us."
North Carolina will be host to Duke, NC State, ECU, Pittsburgh and Temple as well as a few clubs and several unattached individuals.
Rahn, Kemp and Summers highlight the list of athletes who will be competing at this meet that did not compete in the indoor season. Jon Beyle and Zach Gray will also compete in the shot put while Austin Vegas will be the first male pole vaulter to compete for the Tar Heels this year. Rayna Yvars will join freshmen Caroline Brailsford and Amanda Benninghoff in the pole vault.
"We're fortunate that we're going to have some good competition," Meaders said of this week's meet. "University of Pittsburgh is coming down, Duke is coming back over and I think East Carolina is going to bring their squad so it should be pretty good representation and pretty good depth across the board. But we're really looking forward to getting the chance to go outside and see our kids make their debuts - kids that haven't had the chance to compete indoors. A lot of our kids who competed hard at the indoor national championships either won't race or they'll race in small events. We need to get out and get going. The ACC Championships are only five weeks away."
The meet will begin Friday at 5 p.m. and the last event is expected to start at 6:35 p.m. on Friday. The meet will continue on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and is expected to finish close to 5 p.m.
"Come out and watch us; we'd love to have the support," Meaders said.
A recap of performances and full results will be available on Goheels.com at the conclusion of each day. Live stats for the Carolina Relays can be found here. The event is free to attend and information about parking on campus can be found here.