DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s cross country team returns to action on Saturday, traveling to Madison, Wisc., to compete in Pre-Nationals. The 2018 Wisconsin Pre-Nationals are set for a 10 a.m. start, with the racers covering a six-kilometer course.
The Blue Devils will send 12 runners to Wisconsin, with seven competing in the women’s seeded Cardinal Race and five competing in the women’s unseeded Gray race.
In the seeded Cardinal Race, Duke will be led by sophomore Michaela Reinhart, who notched a first-place finish for the Blue Devils in her first meet of the season at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, posting a time of 17:21.12 in the 5K race as the Blue Devils earned a fifth-place finish in the highly competitive meet. Joining Reinhart will be fellow sophomore Amanda Beach, who looks to build upon her performance at Pre-Nationals a year ago, where she was the top runner for the Blue Devils.
After posting top-three finishes for Duke in their collegiate debuts, the freshmen duo of Sara Platek and Monica Hebner look to compete in the first 6K race of their Duke careers. Platek, a redshirt freshman, was the second Blue Devil to cross at the Joe Piane Invite, recording a time of 17:25.37, while Hebner earned a third-place finish for Duke as she clocked a time of 17:41.52 in her first collegiate competition.
Also set to compete in the seeded competition are junior Lindsay Billings and senior Kim Hallowes, who each earned top-five finishes for the Blue Devils at Notre Dame, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in their season-opening races.
Rounding out the seven-competitor lineup in the race will be senior co-captain Liz Lansing, who opened her fall campaign in impressive fashion at the Queens City Invitational. In her first race in two years, Lansing notched a third-place overall finish with a 5K time of 17:35 to lead the Blue Devils to a first-place team win.
The Blue Devils will be one of 35 teams in the seeded Cardinal Race, which includes 10 nationally ranked squads and three more that are currently receiving votes.
Duke’s five runners in the unseeded Gray race includes freshman Clara Savchik and junior Sarah Armstrong, along with the senior trio of co-captain Olivia Gwynn, Sheridan Wilbur and Gabrielle Richichi.
Savchik and Richichi each opened their season in the Joe Piane Invite, while Armstrong, Gwynn and Wilbur made their season debuts in the Queens City Invite. Armstrong, Gwynn and Wilbur each earned top-five finishes for Duke in the Queens City Invitational, finishing second, third and fourth, respectively, to help the Blue Devils to secure their first victory of the season.
The 2018 Wisconsin Pre-Nationals will be held on the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course, which opened in 2009. Duke enters the weekend as the third-ranked team in the Southeast Region, while also receiving votes in the national poll.