DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s cross country team travels to Charlottesville, Va., Friday, Aug. 29, for the 2014 season opener at the Virginia Duals. In addition to Duke and host Virginia, Florida State is also scheduled to represent the conference during Friday’s contest.
The Blue Devils send 15 competitors to the early season event, which is set to take place on a 4-kilometer course at Panorama Farms. Two of Duke’s newest members, freshmen Paige Rice and Callie Wynn, don the Duke singlet for the first time in their respective careers. In addition to the two freshmen, sophomores Haley Meier, Hannah Meier, Wesley Frazier, Gina Daniel and Grace Chang, juniors Anima Banks, Olivia Anderson and Allison Sturges, seniors Chloe Maleski, Julianna Miller and Colleen Schmidt and graduate students Jessie Rubin and Sophia Ziemian also take the line for the Blue Devils on Friday.
Haley and Hannah Meier return to competition following strong freshmen campaigns. At the conference meet, Haley posted a top-30 performance, placing 27th overall, while Hannah crossed the line at the Southeast Regional Championships in 28th. Both Haley and Hannah were stalwart members of the squad’s top five, with both scoring for the Blue Devils in all but one appearance.
Duke’s depth is further bolstered by Frazier and Rubin, both of whom appeared just once in 2013 due to illness and injury. In Frazier’s only competition last season, she placed third overall and second on the team, helping guide Duke to a first-place team finish at the adidas XC Challenge. In Rubin’s only appearance of 2013, she posted a top-50 performance at the Southeast Regional Championship.
Banks and Schmidt also infuse experience into the Duke lineup. Banks appeared regularly in Duke’s top five, with a 25th-place finish at the competitive Notre Dame Invitational and 40th at the Southeast Regional Championships. Schmidt saw a third-place finish at the Royal Cross Country Challenge last season and placed fifth among her teammates at the conference championship.
In 2013, the Blue Devils opened the season with a first-place showing at the Bull City Classic, taking five of the top six positions.
The women’s contest is set to begin at 4:30 p.m.