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February 2, 2014 

Gilland has role in record 2-mile run

In the John Thomas Terrier Invitational last weekend at Boston University, Galen Rupp broke Bernard Lagat’s U.S. indoor 2-mile record of 8:09.49, running a blazing 8:07.41.

And former Chapel Hill High School All-American Taylor Gilland helped him do it.

As Isaac Wood of Flotrack.com said: Gilland “is the next big thing in pacing.”

“Gilland led Rupp through the first 1600 in 4:01.6, well faster than American record pace and near-world-record pace,” said Wood.

Wood added that the Chapel Hill High School and University of Virginia grad paced Rupp through “outstanding metronomic-like splits.”

Running for the Boston Sharks in the invitational Jan. 25, Gilland did not finish the 2-mile after setting the record pace.

Rupp formerly held the U.S. 2-mile record at 8:09.72, but was eclipsed by Lagat last year.

Gilland, who still holds the N.C. high school 2-mile record, works as a mergers and acquisitions analyst at The Blackstone Group in Boston.

Running in the 2012 indoor track season, his last before graduating from UVA, Gilland earned All-American honors while after competing on the distance medley relay team that finished 10th at the NCAA Championships and placed fourth in the mile at the ACC Championships. In the 2013 outdoor season, he finished fifth in the steeplechase at the ACC Championships.

Blackburn competes at next level for Middlebury

Representing the Middlebury College women’s indoor track team, 2013 Chapel Hill High School grad Hannah Blackburn was 13th last weekend in the triple jump (33 feet, 9.25 inches) during the two-day McGill Team Challenge in Montreal.

Chapel Hillians fencing for North Carolina

A pair of Chapel Hill natives helped Carolina’s fencing team compete last weekend in tournaments up north.

Fencing for the UNC women who took part last Sunday in the Philadelphia Invitational, Cary Academy grad Wynton Wong helped the Tar Heels go 3-2 in foil events.

UNC lost to Cornell and Penn, and despite a 7-2 performance by the foil fencers, lost 13-12 to Sacred Heart. The foil fencers then won their events as UNC downed Drew and Farleigh Dickinson.

Chapel Hill High School grad Maxwell Tice-Lewis fenced epee for the Tar Heel men who were in New York City on Saturday for the NYU Invitational. UNC came out of the day 2-5, with the losses to top-ranked Columbia, No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 6 Ohio State and Yale before the Tar Heels finished the day with wins over Wayne State (23-4) and host NYU (14-13). UNC’s epee fencers were 6-3 versus Wayne State and 8-1 versus NYU.

Jones to be honored as an ACC Legend

Marion Jones, a member of North Carolina’s 1994 National Championship squad, will represent the Tar Heels in the 10th annual class of ACC Women’s Basketball Legends, announced recently by the league.

The Legends will be honored at the 2014 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, held March 5-9 at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Jones was a six-time All-America in track and field who helped lead the University of North Carolina women’s basketball team to the 1994 national title and three Atlantic Coast Conference titles. Jones was a two-time All-ACC selection and the Most Valuable Player of the 1997 ACC Tournament.

Her career went off the rail after she won five medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. In 2007, Marion was stripped of those medals and all prizes dating back to September 2000 because of her admission to using performance-enhancing drugs. As a result of her confession, Jones was sentenced and served six months in federal prison for lying to federal investigators. It struck many observers as unduly harsh, given the treatment of male athletes implicated in the use of drugs.

Jones voluntarily returned her five Olympic medals and publicly apologized to her family, friends, and fans all over the world.

Regardless, Jones remains recognized as one of the finest athletes ever to compete at the University of North Carolina.

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