GREENSBORO, N.C. - On the final day of competition at the Eastern Preliminary Round, freshman Austin Gamble broke his own school record in the discus for a second time this season as the rookie led a group of five Duke track and field student-athletes to qualify for the 2010 NCAA Track & Field Championships.
Gamble finished in fourth overall with a throw of 180-feet, 10-inches to eclipse his previous mark of 179-feet, 5-inches that led him to all-conference honors at the ACC Championships. The Weston, Fla., native was the highest finishing rookie at the event, and one of only two freshman to place in the top-20.
Inclement weather postponed both the 3,000m steeplechase events to Saturday morning, but the schedule change did not affect ACC Champion Ryan McDermott, who will also move on to the NCAA Championships. McDermott posted a personal-best 8:44.36, the No. 2 all-time performance at Duke, to finish sixth overall.
For the women, All-ACC performer Emily Schwitzer narrowly missed a top-12 finish, placing 14th with a 10:32.94 showing in the steeplechase. Mary Carleton Johnston came in just behind in 15th place, clocking a personal-best 10:35.85, the fifth fastest all-time mark at Duke. Kristina Krasich rounded out the Duke contingent, coming in 43rd in 11:16.39.
In the 1,500m, Cory Nanni for the men and Kate Van Buskirk for the women for the women have both qualified for the national championship meet. Nanni placed fourth with a 3:43.52 performance, while Van Buskirk posted a personal-best 4:19.23 run to claim 11th-place and the No. 3 all-time Duke performance.
Joining Gamble as the only two Duke freshman to advance will be Juliet Bottorff, whose 16:29.87 time in the 5,000m was good for 11th and a spot at the NCAA's.
Bottorff was one of four Blue Devils to compete in the women's 5,000m at the Eastern Preliminary Round. Amanda Truelove came in 34th overall in 17:19.75, Suejin Ahn placed 37th in 17:22.50 and Katelyn Bastert finished 39th in 17:28.49.
Gamble, McDermott, Nanni, Van Buskirk and Bottorff will join Carly Seymour, who qualified in the 10,000m on Friday, at the 2010 NCAA Championships, hosted by the University of Oregon from June 9-12.