2 Tar Heels named 1st-team All-Americans in track; ECU tennis honored

News ReleasesJune 18, 2014 

— Two Tar Heels were named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's first-team All-America list on Monday. Two more were named to the second team.

RJ Alowonle earned first-team honors for placing fifth in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. Alowonle ran 51.06 seconds in the finals and earned four team points for the men’s team.

Xenia Rahn earned first-team honors for finishing eighth in the women’s heptathlon. Rahn totaled 5,558 points, 20 shy of the school record, en route to a new personal record and earning one point for the women’s team.

Javonte Lipsey (400-meter hurdles) and Isaac Presson (5,000 meters) were on the second team.

Devon Carter, Ceo Ways, Alowonle and Lipsey earned honorable mentions for their 18th-place finish in the men’s 4x400 relay. Lizzy Whelan and Sarah Howard were honorable mentions as well in the women’s 1,500 and shot put respectively. Whelan finished in 17th and Howard finished 18th.


The North Carolina men’s track & field and cross country programs combined to rank 13th in the U. S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Men’s Program of the Year.

The honor is awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs in each of the NCAA’s three divisions for each gender. In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships.

The men’s cross country team finished the year in 17th place at the NCAA Championships. The men’s indoor track and field team earned four points for a fifth-place finish in the men’s 4x400 relay, which included RJ Alowonle, Sean Sutton, Javonte Lipsey and Ceo Ways. With four points the men’s team finished tied for 45th.

The men’s outdoor track and field team finished the NCAA Championships with four points again, but this time with an individual effort from RJ Alowonle who finished fifth in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. With those four points the team finished tied for 55th.

The program earned 17 points from cross country, 48 from indoor track and 56.5 from outdoor track for a total of 121.5.


EAST CAROLINA: Senior Joran Vliegen was named one of 12 recipients of Conference USA’s Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship Award, C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky announced. Vliegen was the 2014 C-USA Player-of-the-Year .

Vliegen graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business in December and is currently pursuing his master’s in business administration. He had a 3.62 GPA as an undergraduate. He is a four-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was recognized as ECU’s Most Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete for 2013-14.

Vliegen posted a four-year career record of 109-30 in singles matches, including a 32-8 record as a senior. Vliegen reached the round of 32 at the NCAA men’s singles championships and received a final ITA ranking of 28.

This is the sixth year the postgraduate scholarship award has been named for Castañeda, who served Rice University for 46 years as an educator, coach and Faculty Athletics Representative before he passed away in November 2008. The conference annually presents the $4,000 Postgraduate Scholarship awards to graduates as selected by the C-USA Faculty Athletics Representatives and approved by the Board of Directors.

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