DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke track & field program put on a show in front of a home crowd as they hosted the Battle of the Blues in Morris Williams Track & Field Stadium in Durham, N.C.
In the team standings, the Duke women took first place with 75 points, followed by Michigan in second (62) and North Carolina in third (59). The Michigan men took home first-place with 101 points, while Duke came in second (54) and North Carolina in third (45).
“The Battle of the Blues today was a great meet,” said head coach Norm Ogilvie. “I think all three of the schools enjoyed it, we had spectacular weather today and some really great performances. If I had to pick one person to highlight, even though everyone had great days, it would be Madeline Kopp. She won the open 400m and came back to run 52.34 in the 4x400m. That is just a fantastic double. We also had Stefani Vukajlovic who had an awesome performance today in the hammer throw. She really got us off on the right foot today and we just had people compete really hard all day long.”
In just the second meet of the outdoor season, sophomore Stefani Vukajlovic has gone to new heights in the hammer throw. Vukajlovic led the pack and claimed first this morning with a school record mark of 190-4 (58.02). The Bosnia-Herzegovina native tossed the implement 187-5 (57.12) in her second-to-last attempt to post a school record and then surpassed that in her final attempt. Along with the school record, Vukajlovic set the Bosnia-Herzegovina national record.
Sophomore Sydnei Murphy continued her dominate sophomore campaign with a school record leap in the long jump. Murphy leaped 21-0.50 (6.41) to claim first, which also sets a Morris Williams Stadium record.
Also competing in the long jump was Jaida Lemmons who saw a personal-best 19-0.00 (5.79) mark for second place.
Senior Madeline Kopp once again proved her versatility on the track today in the women’s 400m. Kopp took first place in 52.91, setting a new Morris Williams Stadium record.
Kopp then was a member of the 4x400m relay that clocked in at 3:43.05 alongside fellow teammates Brittany Aveni, Kim Hallowes and MacKenzie Kerr. Kopp sprinted in the final leg and posted a stellar 52.34 split for a come-from-behind second-place finish.
The Blue Devils kicked off the Battle of the Blues with impressive marks in their respective field events.
Senior Amarie Bremel notched first place in women’s discus with a 159-11 (48.74) toss, surpassing her previous No. 3 Duke all-time mark from 2016.
Men’s high jump saw two top-notch performances from sophomore Rivers Ridout and junior Colt Sessions in first and third, respectively. Ridout cleared 6-10.75 (2.10) to tie his No. 3 Duke all-time mark that was set last weekend at the Raleigh Relays. Sessions notched 6-4.75 (1.95) for a third-place finish.
Competing for the women was freshman Cassie Martin’s fourth-place finish with a leap of 5-4.50 (1.64).
The women’s sprint squad continued to excel on the track today in the 4x100m relay. Murphy, Domonique Panton, Kopp and Maddy Price raced to a first-place finish in 45.48, etching their names as the third-fastest time in Duke history.
The pole vaulting squads for both the men and women have been in control early in the outdoor season and continued to jump to new heights today. Senior Connor Hall led the men’s squad with a first-place finish after clearing 16-7.50 (5.07), tying his fifth-best Duke clearance mark. Also competing for the men was freshman Esteban Suarez, clearing a personal-best 15-5.00 (4.70).
Junior Madison Heath and freshmen Laura Marty and Chesney Ward competed for the women and swept the top-three spots. Heath claimed first place with a height of 13-5.25 (4.10), followed by Marty in 13-1.50 (4.00). Ward rounded out a complete Blue Devil effort with a 12-5.50 (3.80) mark.
The Blue Devils showed a strong showing in both the men’s and women’s javelin for the second weekend in a row. On the men’s side was Michael Marsack in first place with a 205-10 (62.74) toss, followed by Kiegan Lenihan in third with a personal-best 199-8 (60.86) mark. Nicholas Solfanelli took fourth after tossing the implement 188-5 (57.43).
After a one-two showing at last weekend’s Raleigh Relays, freshman Katelyn Gochenour and senior Christine Streisel once again took first and second, respectively. Gochenour threw the javelin 158-10 (48.43) followed by Streisel close behind in 148-10 (45.36).
Lemmons hit the track for the women’s 100m hurdles and secured third place with a personal-best time of 14.67. On the men’s side was Jeremy McDuffie and Daniel Golubovic and took first and third, respectively. The Duke football player, McDuffie, clocked in at 14.66 followed by Golubovic in 14.90.
Murphy turned her focus to the women’s 100m and took first in 11.70, etching her name in the No. 2 Duke all-time spot. Panton competed alongside Murphy and registered a personal-best 12.06 time. On the men’s side was Tionne Barmer, who clocked in a personal-best time of 10.96 to claim third place.
The Blue Devils dominated in the 800m, highlighted by senior Dylan Murphy’s first-place 1:50.73 finish. Freshman Matt Wisner clocked in right behind Murphy in 1:51.38 to take second, while fellow classmate Aveni competed for the women and secured second in 2:08.80.
Sophomore Iyin Battle saw a couple strong performances today in Durham in the hammer throw and in discus. Battle claimed third in the hammer throw in 174-5 (53.16) and fourth in discus with a mark of 138-10 (42.32).
Sophomore Liz Lansing represented Duke in the women’s 1,500m and clocked a personal-best time of 4:27.16.
Duke went all out in the 200m with Murphy and Kerr representing the women and Robert Rohner and Tionne Barmer fielding the event for the men. Murphy clocked in at 24.32 while Kerr finished in a personal-best 24.62 to take second and third, respectively. Rohner posted a second-place 22.21 finish and Barmer stopped the clock in 22.38, which is a personal-best.
McDuffie and Panton took the top spot on the men’s and women’s side in the triple jump, highlighted by McDuffie’s second-best leap in Duke history of 51-1.50 (15.58). Panton registered a mark of 39-6.75 (12.06).
Freshman Ben Beatty and Daniel Golubovic competed in the men’s shot put and Beatty paced the Blue Devil men with a fourth-place finish of 53-11.00 (16.43), followed by Golubovic’s personal-best 44-11.00 (13.69) mark.
In the second-to-last event of the evening, sophomore Gabrielle Richichi competed in the women’s 3,000m and posted a fourth-place finish in a time of 9:57.88. On the men’s side was fellow classmate Nikhil Pulimood in fourth-place in 8:30.84.
The Blue Devils will be back in action April 6-8 at the Tennessee Relays in Knoxville, Tenn.