One of the last championships for the 2022-23 college sports year is set to get underway today in Austin, Texas. Today marks the beginning of the NCAA Track and Field Championships for this year.
While neither of the North Carolina mens’ and womens’ track teams have a shot at the overall team titles, there are many Tar Heels who are in the start lists for various events. Before things get underway today, let’s highlight those Heels who are set to take part over the next couple days.
On the women’s side of things, the Tar Heels will have just one athlete compete this week, but it’s something that should have a shot at a very nice finish. Madison Wiltrout will take part in the Javelin Throw, where she will go in as one of the higher seeds in the event.
Wiltrout finished first in the field in regionals and also won the conference title at the ACC meet. She made a good run in the event last season too, and ended up coming third in the country. If any Tar Heel is going to come home with a national title, Wiltrout seems like the best bet of any Carolina athlete headed to Austin.
Meanwhile, six UNC men qualified for the meet, four of which come from the various distance running events.
In the men’s 1500 meters, UNC will have two competitors with Jesse Hunt and Ethan Strand. Of the two, Strand is the higher seed, having finished better in the finals at the Easern regional meet, and is also the ACC champion in the event.
The other Carolina distance runners in the event are Parker Wolfe — competing in the 5000m — and Marshal Williams — taking part in the 3000m steeplechase.
In the more middle distance events, the Heels will have CJ Saddler II going in the 400m hurdles. Saddler came third in the event Eastern regional meet and won the ACC Championship a couple weeks ago with a personal best time of 49.84. He didn’t quite match that time in the NCAA Eastern, but should he manage to get close to that again, he could be in the running for the podium.
Lastly in the field events, UNC will have James Joycey go in the hammer throw. He did come second at ACCs, but faces a tough field in his event.
Best of luck to all the Tar Heels competing this week!