DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s and women’s track and field teams’ impressive 2014 performances continued during Friday’s competition at both the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York, N.Y., and the Virginia Tech Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Va. A school record fell while numerous individual competitors qualified for the conference championship set for later this month.
Redshirt senior Curtis Beach, a school record holder in three individual events and a relay, added the 500-meter school record to his résumé after finishing first in a time of 1:01.50 at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York, N.Y., Friday afternoon. Beach’s finishing time bested the previous school record by nearly two seconds. Beach returned to action as the 400m leg of the men’s distance medley relay that placed fifth in a time of 9:48.52. Freshman Alec Kunzweiler, sophomore Michal Filipczak and junior Nate McClafferty partnered with Beach in the event.
Also in New York, the trio of junior Shaun Thompson, graduate student Mike Moverman and senior Brian Atkinson entered the 5,000 for the first time in 2014. Moverman, the current school record holder in the event, carried over a two-meet win streak at 3,000m heading into Friday’s 5,000m competition. Thompson challenged Moverman’s school record Friday afternoon, winning the 5,000m Championship in a time of 14:03.15, while Moverman finished third overall in a time of 14:07.38. Atkinson rounded out the trio of Duke competitors, placing fourth in a time of 14:11.27. All three Blue Devil harriers easily secured a spot in the conference championship, finishing under the 14:59.24 qualifying standard.
Junior Elizabeth Kerpon remained consistent in the 400m Friday afternoon, finishing the event in a time of 54.96 in New York. The sub-55 second performance earned Kerpon a 10th-place finish. Freshman Madeline Kopp placed 20th with a time of 55.46, while junior Lauren Hansson placed 26th in a time of 56.07. Hansson’s time ranks fifth on Duke’s all-time list.
In the field events, senior Tanner Anderson and sophomore Carl Heinz both posted clearances of 6-9.00 (2.06) to tie for third. For Anderson, Friday’s competition marked the first of the year for the Valdese, N.C., native, who missed previous competitions with a knee injury. Anderson looks to return to his form from a year ago, when he cleared a personal best mark of 7-3.25 (2.22), the current school record. The mark of 6-9.00 (2.06) is a season best for Heinz. Both Heinz and Anderson qualified for the conference championship after clearing the qualifying standard of 6-8.75 (2.05).
In Blacksburg, Va., freshman Haley Meier kick started action on the track with a first-place finish in the mile after running a time of 4:49.00. The victory marked the first of the freshman’s collegiate career, after she placed eighth one week earlier in the same event. Sophomore Madison Granger narrowly missed qualifying for the conference championship in the mile, running a time of4:52.62 and placing fifth overall.
Sophomore Dylan Newman paced the Blue Devils in the men’s 800, finishing second in his heat and seventh overall in a season-best time of 1:53.74. Newman’s time also bested his previous personal record of 1:53.85.
Competition resumes tomorrow morning at the Armory with the high jump kicking off at 8:30 a.m. In Virginia, the Blue Devils return to competition with the high jump and pole vault scheduled to start at 11 a.m.