CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The 17th-ranked Duke women’s cross country team competed in the Royal XC Challenge Friday, placing second in the Division I competition with a score of 44 points. In similar fashion to last year’s Royal XC Challenge, the Blue Devils placed all five of their scorers in the top 20. The top-five Duke competitors also finished within 48 seconds of one another.
A total of four Division I teams toed the line on the 5,000-meter cross country course, located in McAlpine Creek Park. South Carolina (20) placed first in the Division I competition, while Charleston Southern (74) placed third and Presbyterian (113) rounded out the four teams competing in the Division I race. The Blue Devils’ averaged a time of 18:16.12 for the competition.
Competing in her second meet of the season, junior Colleen Schmidt lead the Blue Devils with a third-place overall finish. Hailing from Point Lookout, N.Y., Schmidt clocked a personal-best time of 17:46.2. Schmidt’s time bested her previous personal record by over ten seconds.
Senior Dana Morin, also appearing in her second meet of the season for Duke, recorded a personal-best time of 18:03.2 and finished fifth overall. Morin improved on her 11th-place performance at last year’s Royal XC Challenge. Morin also bettered her previous personal-record time of 18:06.0.
The trio of senior Colette Whitney, freshman Grace Chang and sophomore Allison Sturges placed 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively, and rounded out the scoring five for the Blue Devils. Whitney, making her 2013 debut, finished in a time of 18:24.9. The Royal XC Challenge marks the first time the High Bridge, N.J., native competed in a 5,000m race for the Blue Devils. Chang, making her third appearance for Duke, recorded a time of 18:32.2, with Sturges just two seconds behind, in a time of 18:34.1. Chang improved on season best time of 18:40.2.
Senior Rebecca Craigie, making her 2013 season debut, placed 23rd overall, clocking a time of 19:22.2. The Royal XC Challenge marked just the fifth time Craigie competed in a cross country meet for the Blue Devils.
Freshman Gina Daniel rounded out the top-seven runners for the Blue Devils. Daniel, racing in her third collegiate meet of her career, covered 5,000m in a time of 19:52.1.
The Blue Devils will travel to Madison, Wisc., Friday, Oct. 19, to compete in the Wisconsin Invitational.