BLACKSBURG, Va. - The University of North Carolina track and field programs concluded their final meets of the season before the NCAA Indoor National Championships on Saturday with many Tar Heels seeing personal bests and battling to make the top-16 cut-off for championship berths.
"The last chance meet at Virginia Tech was an exciting day for us personally but of course we always want more for our student-athletes," said head coach Harlis Meaders after the Tar Heels had finished their events on Saturday. "We should know by Monday morning who the final qualifiers for NCAAs will be but regardless we are looking forward to the outdoor season."
Devon Carter raced a personal best in the final of the 60-meter hurdles becoming the first Tar Heel to run sub-eight seconds in the event since 1999. Carter raced in 7.96 and ranks fifth all-time in the UNC record books with the mark.
Daisaun White set a collegiate best in the triple jump as he reached 47-6 ½ (14.49 meters). Chrishawn Williams did not exceed her season best of 20-8 ½ (6.31 meters), which has her ranked 15th as of 5:00 p.m. on Saturday before many competitions from the weekend had reported.
"Chrishawn did not jump farther than what she did at the Armory Collegiate in New York in the middle of the season that had her ranked as high as sixth nationally," said Coach Meaders, "Right now we have to keep our fingers crossed that her earlier mark will keep her in the top 16."
Cameron Overstreet came close on three great looks at an all-time PR of 13-11 (4.24 meters) in the pole vault but was unable to clear the height.
"Cameron had a great meet today with those looks at what would have been an NCAA qualifying mark," said Coach Meaders, "The bar just wouldn't stay up today but that will mean we can expect great things for the outdoor season."
In South Bend, Ind., at the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational, Lianne Farber battled back from illness to compete in the mile.
"I guess the story her time [of 4:52.39] doesn't tells is how really proud we are of Lianne and her effort today. Two days ago she was on an IV with whatever illness that has been circulating around campus," said assistant coach Mark VanAlstyne on their way back to Chapel Hill. "We brought her out and hoped she could recuperate in time but it was too much to ask after having been that sick for two days then compete against the best milers in the country.
"It was really a no-win situation for us," Coach VanAlstyne added, "If you don't run, you wonder for the next year if you could have done it or you get out there and do your best and see what happens. The end result is she's worked terribly hard for this moment and to not even give an attempt would have been more heartbreaking. We did the best we could to get her strength back over the last two days and to her credit she wanted to go to the line to give the race her all. Right now we'll hope for the best in the rest of Lianne's recovery but regardless we know there are good things to come."
The NCAA Indoor National Championships will take place next Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, at Arkansas.
"I think it's been a good indoor season for both our men and women's teams," said Coach Meaders, "We've learned a lot of a group and have grown closer together, which will make us a stronger team as we go into the outdoor season."