DURHAM, N.C. -- The 28th-ranked Duke women’s cross country team sends a contingent of runners to Cary, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 9, to compete in the Three Stripe Invitational hosted by NC State. The Blue Devils placed first out of three teams at last season’s Three Stripe Invitational, positioning all seven runners in the top-12 finishers. Former Blue Devil Cydney Ross captured the individual title, covering the 5,000-meter distance at the WakeMed Soccer Complex in a personal-record time of 18:03.
“Each kid is trying to go out there and run a great race and show progress from the beginning of the year and past years against our all-time best performances,” head women’s cross country coach Kevin Jermyn said. “It’s almost like a track race in that regard. We’re trying to see individual improvement. Maybe if someone shows a strong run, they could help us later in the season. That would certainly be a bonus.”
Senior Ashley Berry returns as the lone Blue Devil to compete at the 2012 Three Stripe Invitational, where Berry placed 11th overall, running a time of 19:22. Berry toes the line following a personal-record performance at last weekend’s ACC Championship meet, finishing the 6,000m race in a time of 22:23.3 and placing 82nd overall. Berry earned her 5,000m personal-record time at the WakeMed Soccer Park cross country course earlier in the season, finishing in a time of 17:52.3. The finish marked the first sub-18 minute 5,000m for Berry.
Similar to Berry, sophomore Madison Granger also competed in last weekend’s ACC Championship, where the Belchertown, Mass., native placed 93rd overall in a time of 22:35.6. In her most recent race at the WakeMed Soccer Park, Granger broke the 18-minute barrier for 5,000m, running a time of 17:57.0.
Freshmen Grace Chang and Gina Daniel enter Saturday’s competition following a combined eight appearances this season. Chang placed 72nd in her most recent performance at the Blue Ridge Open in Boone, N.C. The Media, Pa., native’s strongest race of the season came at the Royal Cross Country Challenge Oct. 11, where Chang finished in a personal-best time of 18:32.2 to place 13th overall. Daniel saw success early in the season on the WakeMed Soccer Park cross country course. The Charlotte, N.C., native surpassed her previous personal-best time of 19:22 by a second, and placed 37th overall.
Senior Dana Morin is slated to compete in her fourth competition of the year after finishing first on the Blue Devil squad at the Blue Ridge Open Oct. 18. Most recently, Morin finished 13th overall in Boone, N.C., running a time of 18:37.57. Morin improved her personal-best earlier in the season at the Royal Cross Country Challenge, running a time of 18:03.2.
Senior Rebecca Craigie and graduate student Sophia Ziemian round out the Duke competitors entering Saturday’s competition. Craigie competed in one meet this season, finishing 24th in a time of 19:22.2 at the Royal Cross Country Challenge, while Ziemian appears in her third meet of the season. Ziemian ran a time of 18:33.7 Sept. 20 at the Adidas XC Challenge, placing 25th in the process.
The women’s race follows the men’s competition and is set for 11:30 a.m.