DURHAM, N.C. – Four members of Duke Track & Field are set to take part in the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships beginning tomorrow and continuing through Saturday at the University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark. The four are each making their NCAA Championship debuts in 2009.
Results for each of the four days will be available on Flash Results. Selected portions of Friday and Saturday's action will be televised on the CBS Sports Networks.
Two Blue Devils – seniors Patricia Loughlin in the steeplechase and Jade Ellis in the long jump – earned automatic bids with their top-five finishes at the NCAA East Regional two weeks ago, while senior Tyler Clarke advances to nationals as he maintained the 19th-best decathlon total in the nation heading into this week. Duke’s final entrant comes in senior 1500m runner Molly Lehman, who earned at-large bid on June 2 when the top times were pooled to determine the remaining spots.
Loughlin will hit the semifinals of the women’s steeple tomorrow, June 10, at 7:50 p.m., while the final round is scheduled for Friday, June 12, at 6:25 p.m. The senior out of Portland, Ore., owns the 12th-fastest time in the nation this season in the 3000m steeple, with the 10:09.77 she clocked to take second at the ECAC Championships May 15. That mark was No. 2 all-time at Duke and qualified her for the East Regional, where Loughlin then ran 10:10.61 to take second in the region.
Ellis will compete in the qualifying round of the long jump tomorrow at 4 p.m., with the finals slated for Thursday, June 11, at 4:45 p.m. Ellis has the 13th-best long jump mark of the 2009 season after leaping a Duke-record 25-6 April 17 to win the ACC championship. Ellis leapt 25-feet on two other occasions, first to win the Duke Invitational and most recently to take second at the IC4A Championships in Princeton, N.J.
Clarke’s first day of action in the decathlon will be tomorrow at 11:30 a.m., and will wrap up Thursday starting at 2:30 p.m. He sits 19th in the nation to date with his lifetime-best point total of 7,326 – the Duke school record – notched at the ACC Championships, where he was third overall.
Lehman will race in the women’s 1500m semifinals on Thursday, June 11, at 7:55 p.m. The finals of that event are set for Saturday, June 13, at 1:09 p.m. Lehman has the 10th best time in the country in her event this outdoor season, a 4:17.84 coming May 8 to win the UNC Elite meet. Lehman won the 2009 ECAC title and was second at the ACC Championships in the 1500, currently owning the second-best all-time mark in the event at Duke behind only Olympian Shannon Rowbury.
Additionally, Duke sophomore Cory Nanni will continue his season by competing this Saturday in the 1500m in the American High Performance Series in Indianapolis, Ind.