CLEMSON, S.C. – Two school records fell in the final day of competition at the 2014 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Clemson, S.C., as redshirt sophomore Stephen Boals recorded a mark of 59-4.25 (18.09) in the shot put and sophomore Megan Clark cleared 14-5.25 (4.40) in the pole vault. As a team, both the women’s and men’s contingents saw one of the best finishes in Duke history, as the women placed second with 83 points and the men placed 4th with 67 points.
The Florida State women took home the team title in the competition with 96.50 points. In its first ever ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, Notre Dame placed third with 65 points. Miami placed fourth with 62 points, followed by Virginia Tech (52) in fifth, Maryland (50) in sixth, North Carolina (49) in seventh, Clemson (45) in eighth, NC State (39) in ninth, Syracuse (32) and Virginia (32) tied for 10th, Pittsburgh (26) in 12th, Georgia Tech (12.50) in 13th, Wake Forest (11) in 14th and Boston College (7) in 15th.
Florida State won the men’s competition with 96 points, followed by North Carolina (89) in second. Notre Dame (84), Virginia Tech (65) and Duke rounded out the top five, while Virginia (54), Georgia Tech (44), Pittsburgh (44), Miami (39), NC State (32), Clemson (23), Syracuse (17) and Wake Forest (9) comprised the remaining teams that competed.
“That’s clearly the best ACC meet we’ve had in my 24 years,” Duke Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie said. “It was the highest finish ever for any Duke women’s team . Everybody fed off each other. [The Duke competitors] just kept stepping up. That’s what we challenged them to do. They seemed to buy into that. So many people stepped up. I can’t credit the coaches we have enough. They do such a good job. I really think I have the best staff in the ACC.”
Boals earned a second-place finish for his record-setting performance after opening the shot put competition with a mark of 54-8.25 (16.67). Following a distance of 56-11.50 (17.36) on his second attempt, Boals unleashed the best throw of his career, posting the school record of 59-4.25 (18.09). Boals received All-ACC honors for his efforts.
“You talk about goals throughout the year, and it’s exciting to see him achieve that,” Duke throws coach B.J. Linnenbrink said. “It’s a benchmark along the way, and to be able to do it at the championship meet like this is huge. It says a lot about Stephen’s ability to step up under pressure and get it done. That’s exciting. When you’re a coach, you’re not only working on the physical aspect of your thrower, but you have to work on the mental aspect, as well.”
In the women’s pole vault, Clark continued her impressive sophomore campaign after placing second in the event with her record-setting clearance. Clark entered at 11-11.75 (3.65) and cleared heights of 13-3.50 (4.05), 13-7.25 (4.15), 14-1.25 (4.30) and 14-5.25 (4.40), all on third attempts, en route to her second-place finish. Clark held the previous school record of 14-3.50 (4.36).
Two-time ACC Indoor 5,000-meter champion Juliet Bottorff returned to the track with a third-place finish in the 3,000. Bottorff covered the distance in a time of 9:27.18 (9:22.36 converted), earning the second All-ACC honor of the competition. Graduate student Audrey Huth joined Bottorff in the 3,000, placing fourth after clocking a time of 9:28.64 (9:23.81 converted). Huth also earned an ACC Championships title earlier in the competition, anchoring the winning distance medley relay on the first day.
Sophomore Anima Banks repeated as the 800m third-place finisher after running a time of 2:08.37 (2:06.69 converted). Banks ran an evenly paced race, as the pack went through the 400m mark in 1:04. Banks made up ground on the top-3 runners with a strong move over the final lap of the race, passing Virginia Tech’s Frances Dowd in the final meters to take third.
Senior Hannah Goranson, competing in her first 60m hurdle conference final, placed eighth with a time of 8.75. The Los Altos, Calif., native earned the first point of the day for the Blue Devils.
The duo of freshman Madeline Kopp and junior Elizabeth Kerpon, participating in the 400m final, placed fourth and sixth, respectively after running times of 54.31 (53.60 converted) and 55.11 (54.39 converted). The ACC Championships 400m finals appearance marks the first for Kopp and the second for Kerpon.
In the women’s mile, freshman Haley Meier earned a sixth-place finish with a time of 4:46.15 (4:43.35 converted) representing Duke in the 10-competitor field. Meier positioned herself in the middle of the pack throughout the race before a group of three runners pulled away, causing the field to string out. Meier, who fell as far back as 10th in the race, closed strong in the final quarter to garner sixth place.
Juniors Brian Schoepfer and Nate McClafferty finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in a physical and exciting men’s mile, with significant contact occurring over the eight-lap race. Schoepfer covered the distance in a time of 4:13.55 (4:10.36 converted) while McClafferty clocked a time of 4:13.98 (4:10.78 converted). Only Duke was represented by more than one competitor in the men’s mile Saturday.
In the women’s shot put, the final women’s throwing event of the conference championships, redshirt senior Michelle Anumba earned a fifth-place finish with a 51-9.75 (15.79) effort. Anumba’s best throw of the day came on her second attempt after opening the competition with a distance of 49-0.25 (14.94).
Junior Ian Rock, the second-place finisher in the men’s heptathlon, set a personal record after clearing 16-10.75 (5.15), moving him into third on Duke’s all-time list in the event. Duke’s current record holder, senior Justin Amezquita, earned two points for the Blue Devils in the same event with a clearance of 16-6.75 (5.05), placing him seventh in the event.
The foursome of junior Lauren Hansson, freshman Madeline Kopp, junior Callie Francis and junior Elizabeth Kerpon closed out competition on the track for the Duke women’s track and field team as the relay placed fourth overall in a time of 3:41.78 (3:38.88 converted).
The men’s 4x400, concluded competition on the track for the men, as senior Marcus Wright, sophomore Robert Rohner, freshman Michael Wilson and sophomore Matthew Rodio placed fifth in a time of 3:18.66 (3:15.55 converted). Rodio closed with a strong anchor leg to win the section for the Blue Devils.
Duke concluded the 2014 ACC Indoor Championships with a combined nine competitors and one relay garnering All-ACC honors, earned by placing top three in an event.