LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Duke women’s cross country team took second place at the NCAA Southeast regional on Saturday morning while the Blue Devil men grabbed 11th place at the same meet. The women’s race was a six-kilometer trek in the late morning and the men ran a 10k in the early afternoon.
Coming into the NCAA Southeast Regional, the women’s team had not been nationally ranked in over a month and had fallen to fifth in the Southeast regional rankings. The Blue Devils had placed sixth at the ACC’s and looked to be an underdog to make the NCAA Championships.
However, bolstered by strong efforts from their top five runners, Duke took second place at the Southeast regional with 114 points on and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA’s. The Blue Devils leapt over three teams that were ranked higher than them, including North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia Tech. The team as a whole finished just eight points behind Southeast regional champion N.C. State.
Running at Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, junior Maddie McKeever was Duke’s top runner, as she has been in every meet this season. McKeever ran the 6k course in 20:17.05 for a fourth place finish. Sophomore captain Kate Van Buskirk was next up for Duke with a 16th place showing in 21:06.45. Running her best race of the season was freshman Christy Adamyk, who took 26th place by clocking in at 21:22.95. Duke’s fourth and fifth runners, sophomore Emily Sherrard and freshman Emily Schwitzer, gave a great deal of support to the team’s great finish by placing 33rd and 35th individually.
By placing in the top 25, McKeever and Van Buskirk picked up All-Southeast Region team accolades. Adamyk missed that honor by one-half second.
With the second place team finish out of 31 competing teams, women’s head coach Kevin Jermyn’s improved to 67-11 this season and 582-77 in his five years at the helm.
On the men’s side, freshman Joshua Lund stepped up in a big way, turning in his best performance of the season by running the 10k in 31:31.50 for a 49th place showing. Coming in back-to-back for Duke were freshman Bo Waggoner and junior Kevin McDermott. Waggoner was 53rd in a time of 31:36.90 and McDermott was 54th in 31:37.35. Rounding out the Blue Devil point scorers were senior captain Chris Spooner (65th place, 31:48.70) and freshman Ryan McDermott (69th, 31:55.35).
Overall the Blue Devils finished with 290 points for 11th place out of 29 teams. Head coach Norm Ogilvie’s record is now 54-29 this season after the meet.
The top two teams in all nine regionals automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships on Monday, Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind. After those 18 teams are in, 13 additional teams are given at-large berths. The top four individual runners at each regional who are not already qualified for the NCAA’s with their team will also advance to Terre Haute, if they finish in the top-25 in their regional.
The men’s squad will wrap up their season at the IC4A Championships in the Bronx, N.Y., at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday, Nov. 17. The women will take a “B” team to the ECAC Championships, also on Nov. 17 in the Bronx, and then send their top seven runners to conclude the year on Nov. 19 at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.