DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke track and field team had several strong performances from its distance runners as well as another dominating performance by Maddy Price on the first day of the Duke Invitational in Morris Williams Stadium.
After winning three events during the Battle of the Blues earlier this month, Price continued to show why she is one of the best to ever compete in Morris Williams Stadium by winning the 400m dash as well as qualifying for tomorrow’s final in the 100m. Price started her day by racing to a time of 11.64 in the 100m, albeit with the aid of the wind, to go under her personal-best time in the event and qualifying her for the final. The senior from Hillsborough, Calif., later added a first-place finish when she clocked a time of 53.69.
“Another very strong event for Maddy winning the quarter-mile,” said director of track and field Norm Ogilvie. “This is her track, she owns it. She always finds a way to win. She’s having one heck of a senior year.”
Joining Price in qualifying for Saturday’s 100m final was both Kethlin Campbell and Domonique Panton while Sydnei Murphy missed out by less than a second. Campbell clocked a time of 11.72, a personal-best and the third-fastest time in school history. Panton raced to a season-best time of 11.95 to earn the eighth and final spot in the final.
“Having three girls in the 100m final is great,” Ogilvie said. “It’s very hard to put three in the finals in a field like this. We’re very happy with that.”
The Blue Devils started the day strong when CJ Ambrosio beat his previous best in the 5,000m by 30 seconds, finishing in first place in his heat with a time of 14:45.64.
In the final event of the day, six Duke runners set personal-bests in the 1,500m. The men led off and Jordan Burton and Alex Miley put together their best races of the season. Burton ran a blistering 59.62 final 400m to cross the finish line in 3:46.88, setting a personal-best and qualifying him for the ACC Championships. Miley finished right behind him with a time of 3:47.65, also his personal-best and earning him a spot at the ACC Championships as well. Burton and Miley finished third and fourth, respectively, and not far behind them was Nikhil Pulimood in eighth. Pulimood crossed the finish line in 3:50.55 to set his personal-best.
“Really good day and I’m super thrilled for Jordan,” added Ogilvie. “He was super nervous before the race and I just said, hey smile. I understand it's his senior year, his home track and he knows he’s capable of a big improvement. But he hadn’t broken through. In his last chance before the ACCs, he executed a perfect race for him. For Miley, he went from 3:50 to 3:47. As a freshman, that’s outstanding. He’s going to have a great career.”
Just like the men, the Duke women racked up three personal-best times in the 1,500m. Much like Burton, Kim Hallowes used a strong final 400m to race to her fastest time in the event. Hallowes finished in ninth overall, crossing the finish line in 4:27.20. In 10th place was Leigha Torino. Torino dominated her heat, winning by nearly four seconds with a time of 4:27.28. Also setting a personal-best was Gabrielle Richichi who had a time of 4:34.26. Although she did not run a personal-best, Liz Lansing did run a season-best 4:33.19.
Running in his second 3,000m steeplechase of his career, Alec Kunzweiler stayed undefeated by winning once again. Like he did at the Battle of the Blues, Kunzweiler stayed right behind the leaders for much of the race, before taking the lead late on. He finished with a time of 9:10.21. Also in the top-five was Ethan Ready. Ready ran a personal-best 9:20.48. Matt Luppino (9:34.43) and AJ Eckmann (9:37.28) finished in tenth and 11th respectively.
In the men’s hammer, Iyin Battle finished in fifth place, throwing the hammer 185-8 (56.59), less than a foot away from his personal-best. Jack Maher set a season-best in the event, launching the hammer 160-11 (49.05).
Closing out the field events was JR Smith clearing a season-best 22-7 (6.88) in the men’s long jump.
Duke will have another full day of competition on Saturday. The field events will get started with the men’s discus at 10:00 a.m., and events on the track will get underway with the 4x100m relay at 2:30 p.m. The Blue Devils will honor their seniors with a ceremony at 3:20 p.m.