Baseball’s elimination last weekend ended the team sport’s year at UNC, but there was still one last athletic event on the calendar. Over the last week, the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships took place in Eugene, OR.
North Carolina Tar Heels didn’t put enough athletes in to compete for the overall team championship, but seven Tar Heels competed in various individual events over the past couple days.
The standout performance belonged to Jill Shippee who took third place in the country in the women’s hammer throw. The ACC champion and school record holder broke her own personal best mark and UNC record with a throw of 69.42 meters in the highest finish by any Tar Heel athlete in the competition. The distance was also good enough to set the ACC record, which Shippee herself has also set earlier this season. It was quite the year for the senior.
The other Tar Heel to set a school record at the NCAAs was Thomas Ratcliffe in the men’s 5000 meters. He finished 11th overall, but his time of 13:20.88 broke a school record that had stood since 1977. His teammate Conor Lundy also competed in the 5000, finishing 18th but also setting his own personal best time.
Former ACC champion and UNC record holder Madison Wiltrout finished 16th in the women’s javelin in her second career appearance at NCAAs. Yet another Carolina record holder and former ACC champion, Daniel McArthur, finished 18th in the country in the men’s shot put.
Two other Tar Heels, Jesse Hunt and Brandon Tubby, competed in the 1500 meters. They finished 18th and 21st respectively in the semifinals, which was not enough to qualify for the finals of the event.
Shippee, Wiltrout, McArthur have also all qualified for the US Olympic Trials, which will begin this Friday back in Eugene where they competed this week. Good luck to them!
And with that, the 2020-21 UNC athletic year has come to an end. For many reasons, it’s been a weird one, but like every year, we got some fun UNC wins and some heart-breaking losses.