BLACKSBURG, Va. - Two Blue Devils earn ACC gold and the women's team leads the field with 39 total points to highlight the second day of the ACC track and field Championships Friday in Blacksburg, Va. Earning individual gold, sophomore Ian Rock finished first in the men's heptathlon while Juliet Bottorff led the pack in the women's 5,000m.
Junior Ian Rock earned ACC gold in the men's heptathlon with a personal-best 5,328 points. The Davis, Calif., native started the day in fifth place but was just over 100 points behind the leader. He performed well in each of the remaining three events to slowly advance his position in the standings and eventually earn him the crown.
"I was so relieved when it was over," commented Rock. "It felt so good. I gave Coach [Shawn] Wilbourn a hug and it felt great to know that all the work that I've put into it and all the stuff I've invested, even just over these two days, was worth it. It's an amazing feeling."
Rock knew that the title was still within his reach but that it wouldn't be easy. He proved he was up to the challenge by running a personal-best time of 8.71 in the men's 60m hurdles to start the day. Then, he matched a personal-best and led the field in the men's pole vault, clearing 16-0.75 (4.90) to move him up to second place. Then, Rock smashed his personal-best time in the 1,000m run crossing the line in 2:38.41 to give him the overall victory.
"We know that my second day is better than my first day," added Rock. "I made it hard on myself but I knew that I had to try. I was able to get a personal record in hurdles, I knew I had to have a good day in pole vault and I matched my personal best there. Going into the 1,000, I knew that I could win so I just had to run a good race."
Freshman Robert Rohner finished seventh in his first heptathlon ever with a point total of 4,814. The mark was good enough to place the rookie fifth on Duke's all-time list.
Later in the evening, Juliet Bottorff earned her first ACC Championship title in the women's 5,000m running a time of 16:15.83. The 2011 NCAA Outdoor 10,000m National Champion sat in fourth and fifth place for the majority of the race but with just under 1,000m remaining, she accelerated beyond the field and never looked back.
"Overall, we are really, really happy," commented associate head coach Kevin Jermyn. "She is trying to regain confidence in her kick because that is what helped her win a national title. She lost that confidence but is gaining back with performances like she had in Washington [finishing second at the Husky Classic] and today so that was the biggest success. She is learning how to execute smart races and doing it with a lot of pressure on her. This will definitely help her as she goes into nationals with her mental confidence and readiness for a meet of that level."
In the men's 5,000m senior Mike Moverman smashed the school record crossing the line in 14:02.63 to finish third and garner All-ACC honors. The Easton, Mass., native ran a gutsy race taking the lead with just under 400m remaining and held it until the final meters when he was passed by Virginia Tech's Thomas Curtin.
In the women's distance medley relay, the quartet of Anima Banks, Lauren Hansson, Abby Farley and Esther Vermeer finished second with a collective time of 11:24.61 behind a Florida State squad that broke the ACC record.
The men's distance medley relay team finished third with a total time of 9:46.77. Sophomore Nate McClafferty led off the race and was followed by junior Ben Raskin, freshman Tommy Meister and anchored by senior James Kostelnik.
In the men's high jump finals, junior Tanner Anderson cleared 7-1.5 (2.17) to finish fourth overall, narrowly missing All-ACC honors. Junior Michael Krone and freshman Carl Heinz both had season-best clearances of 6-10.25 (2.09) to finish in a tie for sixth, scoring 10 valuable points overall for the Blue Devils. The mark also put Heinz fourth on Dukes all-time list.
The qualifying events began with three Blue Devils advancing in the women's mile with sophomore Carolyn Baskir finishing third overall with a time of 4:50.98. Junior Gabby Levac also earned an automatic qualifying slot finishing third in her heat and sixth overall with a time of 4:53.58 while Rebecca Craigie earned the tenth and final qualifying slot, running a time of 4:59.82. Junior Jessie Rubin, freshman Madison Granger and junior Brianna Welch also competed in the event finishing in 11th, 12th and 13th place respectively.
Junior Dominick Robinson qualified for his first final in the men's division of the mile running a personal best time of 4:09.88 to finish tenth overall. Sophomore Brian Schoepfer finished 14th overall with a time of 4:13.04.
In the women's 400m, Elizabeth Kerpon broke her own school record running a time of 54.61 to finish fourth overall and advance to her first Saturday's final.
In the final qualifying event of the day, senior Cydney Ross and Banks advanced in the women's 800m run. Ross finished second overall running a personal best 2:06.57 to move up to second in the Duke record books, surpassing Duke great Shannon Rowbury in the rankings. Banks finished first in her heat and third overall to also secure a qualifying slot. Farley also competed in the event finishing in 13th place.
In the men's 800m run, Meister was the top finisher for the Blue Devils running a personal record time of 1:51.72 and crossing the line in ninth place overall. He was followed closely by sophomore Kyle Moran who finished in 1:51.74 putting him in tenth place. The duo narrowly missed advancing to the finals but their times placed them second and third on Duke's all-time list. Sophomore Henry Farley also set a personal record in the race finishing in 1:52.78 and 13th place overall while freshman Dylan Newman finished in 18th with a personal-best time of 1:53.85. Freshman Michal Filipczak also competed in the event finishing 23rd overall.
The Blue Devils finished the day with a total of seven qualifiers set to compete in finals Saturday, February 22.
As a team, four Blue Devils have earned 2013 All-ACC honors including Rock, Bottorff, Moverman and Miray Seward in the pentathlon. The women's team sits in first place with 39 points while the men are in third place with 34 points, trailing Virginia Tech and Florida State. For a complete list of Duke results, click here.
"Our second day at the ACC Indoor Championships was a successful day for the Duke track and field teams," commented Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie. "Having the women's team in first place and the men in third along with a couple of ACC Champions in Juliet Bottorff and Ian Rock and two Duke school records in the men's 5000 meters and women's 400 is certainly a great day. It puts us in a position to finish off with a bang on day three."
The final day of competition will continue Saturday, February 22. A full recap will be available at www.GoDuke.com.