CHAPEL HILL - The University of North Carolina track and field teams set eight personal records today while concluding the first outdoor meet of the season at the Carolina Relays. Austin Vegas set a PR in the pole vault and won the event after clearing a height of 16-6 ¾ (5.05 meters), which ties as the fourth-highest height cleared in the outdoor season so far.
"It was a good first meet for us," North Carolina head coach Harlis Meaders said. "The first meet of the season is behind us. We had a lot of PRs today - I think eight. We had a lot of kids who ended up ranking top 10, top 25 in the nation so that's really exciting.
"Austin Vegas may have been the highlight of the meet. He, of course, redshirted indoors and came out this weekend and PRed in the pole vault. It was a really good vault for him and I think he'll make a really good contribution to the team when the ACC Championships come to Chapel Hill."
Avana Story also took first place in the hammer throw at 176-2 (53.69 meters) just a few feet short of her personal record.
The men's 4x400 meter relay team took first place and recorded the seventh fastest time in the nation so far. Cory Nicholls, Daniel Belk, Kwame Donyinah and Nate Fisher made up the four-man relay team that ran 3:14.32. Donyinah ran the fastest leg at 46.80.
Carolina went one-two-three in the 800 with Richard Miller, Chris Reeder and Fisher respectively. Miller took first place with a time of 1:53.24. Reeder and Fisher both set PRs at 1:53.83 and 1:54.74 respectively.
Roy Smith competed in the 400-meter hurdles where he took second place while running 53.22.
Amanda Benninghoff, Caroline Brailsford and Rayna Yvars competed in the women's pole vault. Benninghoff cleared 12-5 ½ (3.80 meters) for second place while Brailsford cleared 12-1 ½ (3.70 meters) for third. Yvars, in her first collegiate meet, finished sixth clearing 11-5 ¾ (3.50 meters)
Javianne Oliver raced in the 100 where she took second overall at 12.03.
Rahn also placed third in the women's javelin throw after throwing 133-1 (40.56 meters) and Kemp placed seventh at 115-1 (35.09 meters). Rahn and Kemp used the Carolina Relays in preparation for the Texas Relays next week where they will both be competing in the heptathlon.
Mattie Blue finished the women's mile in third place in the women's mile at 5:03.46. She was in fourth place for the majority of the race but moved up one spot in the last lap.
In the men's mile three Tar Heels set new PRs. Steve Mulherin finished fourth at 4:16.24, Mitchell McLeod placed 10th timing in 4:22.79, and Chris Reeder took 11th at 4:22.81.
Houston Summers and Zach Gray both saw their first action of the year today at the Carolina Relays. Summers and Gray threw the javelin where Summers finished fourth at 199 (60.66 meters) and Gray finished 10th at 163-6 (49.83 meters).
Dontrevious Ousley threw the hammer today where he placed seventh but threw 168-8 (51.42 meters), which is nearly 30 feet past his previous PR.
Other student-athletes who competed today were Grace Morken who placed fifth in the 800 at 2:19.63, Kendra Douglas who placed seventh in the 400 at 58.40, and Daniel Belk who competed in the 400 and placed eighth at 51.19, a new PR.
"We're carrying over the momentum we had from indoors," Meaders said. "The kids are still focused, they're still hungry and although we didn't have a lot of individual kids compete, the kids who competed today did exceptionally well.
"I want to congratulate Broughton and Southeast Guilford who won the high school titles. It was fun to see the young kids run."
North Carolina will compete next week in two separate meets. The Texas Relays will begin on Wednesday, March 26 and conclude on Saturday, March 29. The Raleigh Relays will begin on Friday, March 28 and conclude on Saturday March 29. A recap of performances and results will be on Goheels.com at the conclusion of each day of the meets.