CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The Duke men’s cross country team raced to an eighth-place finish at the Southeast Regional Championship in Charlottesville, Va., Friday. No. 17 Eastern Kentucky captured the team title, scoring 58 points. Virginia placed second with 96 points, followed by NC State (101), No. 18 North Carolina (137) and Virginia Tech (167).
“Hats off to NC State and UNC,” Duke head men’s cross country coach Norm Ogilvie said. “For UNC getting to nationals after all these years, and for NC State, who absolutely ran their best race of the year on the right day.”
Ogilvie thought the Blue Devils started out well, with junior Shaun Thompson and senior Brian Atkinson positioning themselves in the top 20 early in the race. The duo covered the first 5,000 meters in 14:47.1 and 14:48.4, respectively. As the race unfolded, Atkinson worked to maintain his position in the top 20, passing the 8,000m mark in 20th place. The Melbourne Beach, Fla., native covered the final 2,000m and finished 26th overall, in a time of 29:51.6, missing All-Southeast Region honors by a single place. Thompson, Duke’s second finisher, placed 33rd overall, finishing in a time of 30:04.2.
Duke’s third-place finisher, senior Christian Britto, ran perhaps the best race of his collegiate career Friday, placing 38th overall in a personal-best time of 30:16.4 over the 10,000-meter Panorama Farms cross country course.
“He ran a very good race,” Ogilvie said. “That was probably a career-type race for him. I want to praise Christian Britto, finishing third man for us and running really well.”
A product of Orinda, Calif., Britto opened the race with a 15:01.0 5,000m split, before passing the 8,000m mark in 25:09.0. In the final 2,000m, Britto overtook one competitor to finish 38th. Britto’s race exemplified the consistency he has shown in recent competition as he placed less than 15 seconds behind Duke’s second finisher, Thompson.
Senior Lucas Talavan-Becker finished strong in the last race of his collegiate career, passing seven competitors in the final 2,000m to finish 66th overall in a time of 30:50.6.
Sophomore William Rooney, senior Clint McKelvey and senior Mike Moverman placed 95th, 118th and 134th, respectively. Rooney clocked a time of 31:15.4, while McKelvey finished in 31:39.7 and Moverman crossed the line in 32:02.5.
“We did the best we can,” Ogilvie said. “Overall, I thought it was a pretty positive season. We certainly beat more people than we lost to. We need to reflect on that.”
The men conclude their season with a 97-31 overall record and a 19-11 ACC record.