Chapel Hill, N.C. -- The Duke women’s track and field team put together a number of stellar performances en route to taking home the Carolina Cup at the Dick Taylor UNC Challenge in Chapel Hill, N.C., Friday, Jan. 24. The Duke women scored 157 points over 15 events to earn the trophy. North Carolina placed second with 131.5 points, East Carolina placed third with 88 points, Western Carolina placed fourth with 50.5 points and North Carolina Wilmington rounded out the competition with a fifth-place finish after scoring 35 points. The Duke men’s track and field team narrowly missed earning its own Carolina Cup, placing second with 141 points. East Carolina earned 156 points over the two-day meet to win the event, while North Carolina placed third with 103 points, Western Carolina placed fourth with 46 points and North Carolina Wilmington placed fifth with 18 points.
“The women were very competitive,” Duke’s Director of Track & Field Norm Ogilvie said. “I’m very pleased with the whole team effort. We got points from every segments of the team. Throws, jumps, the distance runners came through. The long sprinters did great. Just a really great effort. To beat Carolina on their home floor in a meaningful scoring meet is very satisfying and goes to show the great job our whole coaching staff has done.”
Typically scored meets are reserved for the conference and national championship meets, however the dynamic of a scored meet earlier in the season adds to the competitiveness of the participating teams.
“Scored meets are always going to bring out the competitor in people, when they can get rewarded for what they’re doing,” Ogilvie said. “I think track and field needs to go back to that more and put more emphasis on scored meets and the team elements. I’m grateful to UNC’s coach Harlis Meaders for going forward with this format and buying a trophy to get everyone pumped up and we hope to see this continue for a number of years.”
Duke’s women’s track and field team started competition with a 21-6 advantage on Friday, following a spectacular showing by Duke’s multi-event contingent of redshirt sophomore Karli Johonnot, who set a school record in both the high jump and pentathlon Thursday night, fellow redshirt sophomore Teddi Maslowski, senior Miray Seward and junior Baily Murphy. Johonnot contributed an additional eight points during Friday’s competition, placing second in the high jump after clearing 5-8.75 (1.75). Maslowski also provided additional points for Duke during the second day of competition, earning two points in the long jump with a mark of 17-8.25 (5.39). Johonnot’s performance on Thursday proved trend-setting for her teammates, as the Blue Devils won six of the 15 events.
Junior Elizabeth Kerpon earned Duke half of its first-place finishes Friday, accruing 30 points for the Blue Devils after victories in the 200 (24.99), 400 (55.83) and contributing an exciting anchor leg of Duke’s 4x400, which finished in a time of 3:51.14. Kerpon qualified for the conference championship with her 400 time, finishing under the qualifying standard of 56.16.
“We had talked a lot about our race strategy throughout the week, because this was kind of a dual meet between us and UNC,” Kerpon said. “Just following strategies is how we were successful today. In the 400, Maddie and I executed it perfectly. In the 200, I got lucky, I got a really good lane. In the 4x400, we knew we were ahead in points, but we really just wanted the win. It was great today. What the whole team did today was really encouraging, especially against North Carolina, which is a team in our conference.”
In addition to Kerpon and Johonnot, graduate student Audrey Huth also earned a first-place finish after winning the 3,000 in a time of 9:35.73. Huth worked with teammate and fellow graduate student Juliet Bottorff (9:35.77) throughout the race, as the pair pulled away from the pack and crossed the line nearly hand-in-hand. Both dipped under the conference-qualifying standard of 9:41.14.
“It’s a whole different ballgame being able to run with someone like that,” Bottorff said. “Mentally, it’s unbelievably easier. There wasn’t a single point in the race where either of us was counting more than four laps. You run your four laps at your pacing and then you just shut off and the other person takes over. We trust each other.”
Sophomore Megan Clark closed out the first-place finishes for the women’s team, scoring 10 points in the pole vault with a clearance of 12-11.50 (3.95).
The scoring did not end with the first-place finishers however, as a total of 15 additional Duke women’s track and field team members scored points for the Blue Devils.
Freshman Madeline Kopp continued to see early success as a freshman in her second collegiate competition. In addition to contributing a 55.3 split on the third leg of the victorious 4x400 meter relay, the Rochester, N.Y., native also finished second in the 400 with a time of 55.87 and fifth in the 200 with a time of 25.35. Kopp’s 400-meter time qualified her for the ACC Indoor Championship.
The middle-distance events were particularly fruitful in scoring points for the Blue Devils. The trio of sophomores Anima Banks, and Madison Granger and senior Brianna Welch collected 18 points in the mile, placing second, third and fourth, respectively. Junior Abby Farley contributed eight points of her own in the 800, placing second in a time of 2:10.11. Farley’s finishing time earned her a qualifying mark for the conference championship, slipping under the standard of 2:10.24. Senior Ashley Berry secured four additional points in the 3,000, adding to the 18 earned by Huth and Bottorff. Between the 800, mile and 3,000, the Duke middle-distance group scored 48 points.
Senior Hannah Goranson, after qualifying for the finals of the 60m hurdles in a time of 8.75, collected six points in the final, placing third in a time of 8.64, which matches the ACC qualifying standard for the event.
The Blue Devils earned a total of 13 points in the jumps, with sophomore Maddie Morrow, who returned to the high jump following an injury suffered last season, earning two points with a clearance of 5-5.00 (1.65). Maslowski placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 17-8.25 (5.39), while freshman Karly Gregory collected the final point after placing sixth with a jump of 17-6.50 (5.35).
In the throws, senior Michelle Anumba, redshirt freshman Urina Harrell and senior Erica Brand collected 12 points in the shot put, posting throws of 48-8.75 (14.85), 46-7.50 (14.21) and 44-9.75 (13.66), respectively. All three improved on throws from the previous meet. Anumba also secured a point in the weight throw, posting an ACC-qualifying distance of 54-1.00 (16.48).
Similar to the women, the men set the tone early with the combined events on Thursday night. Redshirt senior Curtis Beach entered Friday leading the event with 2991 points after one day of competition. Beach closed Friday with 5403 points, securing the first 10 points of the day for the Blue Devils. Junior Ian Rock proved up to the task, earning a second-place finish and eight points for Duke after collecting 5129 over the two-day heptathlon. Sophomore Robert Rohner completed the sweep for Duke, earning a third-place finish with 5043 points and an additional six team points. In total, the combined-event athletes collected 24 points for Duke’s men’s track and field team to kick start Friday’s competition.
“The men competed fiercely,” Ogilvie said. “We fought them tooth-and-nail the whole way. Everybody just stepped up their game, so we’re certainly equally as proud of the men.”
Duke’s winning ways continued for the men, as junior Nate McClafferty won his second consecutive mile, clocking a time of 4:09.73 and earning 10 points in the process.
“We took it out pretty slow compared to last week,” McClafferty said. “Last week we took it out in about 2:03. This week we went out in 2:07 and then we closed hard, so it’s a good mix to get you more season ready. I can go out hard and still do okay or I can go out so I can close hard. It was definitely a lot different than last week, but similar results. It definitely feels good, whenever you get a win.”
McClafferty praised the efforts of his teammates following the event, attributing his early-season success to their contributions in practice and throughout the race. Freshman Alec Kunzweiler, in just his second collegiate mile, placed second, running a time of 4:13.01 and adding eight points to Duke’s point total. Junior Henry Farley closed out the scoring for Duke in the event, scoring two-points on a fifth-place finish.
Graduate student Mike Moverman also continued his win streak on Friday, winning his second consecutive 3,000 after finishing in a time of 8:20.16.
“[Winning consecutive races] is definitely a big confidence booster, especially coming off of cross country, where I didn’t really finish as well as I would have liked at ACCs and regionals,” Moverman said. “So I think after cross country I needed something to lift me back up and I think these races definitely did it.”
Junior Shaun Thompson placed second, also for the second week in a row, running a time of 8:22.06. Junior Brian Schoepfer and freshman Stephen Shine both entered the 3,000 for the first time this season, adding an additional three points to Duke’s team total after placing fifth and sixth, respectively. The strength of the Blue Devils at 3,000 is bolstered by training together at practice.
“In practice we train every single day together, so we know how we run,” Moverman said. “Those guys are training right with me in practice, or even beating me in practice, so I know that on any given day, they could beat me or I could beat them. Having them pushes me. I don’t want to lose to them. They’re teammates, but at the same time, you want to run the best race that you can, and having them pushes me to do that.”
Sophomore Michal Filipczak won the first 800 of his 2014 season Friday, posting a time of 1:52.09, which qualifies the Niles, Ill., native for the conference championship.
“This was my first 800,” Filipczak said. “I felt good. I knew it was going to be very tactical because of the track being flat. I knew I had to get a good position, so I went out as hard as I could, got the lead, and I held it.”
Junior Kyle Moran and freshman Dylan Murphy narrowly missed qualifying for the conference championship, covering the distance in times of 1:53.56 and 1:54.30 and securing a total of three additional points for Duke.
In all, the Blue Devil competitors at 800m, the mile and 3,000m scored 54 points for Duke.
Duke also saw considerable contributions from the field events on Friday, with a total of 56 points coming from a combination of the jumps and throws disciplines. Sophomore Carl Heinz and redshirt junior Michael Krone earned a total of 14 points for Duke after both cleared 6-8.75 (2.05). The clearance is a season-best for Heinz and a conference-qualifying mark.
Senior Justin Amezquita followed up his record-setting pole vault performance from a week ago with a 15-11.00 (4.85) effort, placing him second in the event. Rock tied for fourth with a vault of 15-5.00 (4.75), qualifying the Davis, Calif., native for the conference championship.
In the throws, redshirt sophomore Stephen Boals moved himself into second place on Duke’s all-time list in the shot put after launching a mark of 58-1.25 (17.71). Boals won the event, earning 10 points for the Blue Devils. Redshirt junior Kyler Shumway saw similar success, throwing the weight 51-5.75 (15.69). Shumway joined Boals in qualifying for the conference championship.
Sophomore Michael Foley scored eight additional points in the throws after posting a mark of 50-10.00 (15.50) in the weight throw.
The Duke track and field team returns to competition Friday, Jan. 31, traveling to State College, Pa., for the Penn State Invitational.