CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Duke’s decathletes put in dominant performances en route to a sweep of the 10-event competition on the second day of the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C., Friday. The Duke men’s team ended day two with 46 points and sit in second place, just two points shy of first. The women’s team scored 33 points and is currently in 3rd place.
Sophomore Robert Rohner became the first Blue Devil to win a decathlon title at the conference championship after amassing 7,233 points. Rohner paced a Duke contingent that took the first three places, as junior Ian Rock placed second with 7,122 points and graduate student Curtis Beach finished third with 6,997 points. Freshman Chaz Hawkins, competing in his first collegiate decathlon, placed 12th with 6,296 points.
Combined, the trio contributed 24 points towards the team score.
“I can’t really describe [the feeling],” Rohner said. “I didn’t really expect it coming in. I had a really good first day. I just took care of my events and it worked out for me. I’m really happy about it.”
The decathlon opened with the 110m hurdles. After a false start, Beach recomposed himself and ran 15.51, the third-fastest time in the event. Rock jump-started his second-day of competition with a personal-record time of 15.62 in the event. Rohner and Hawkins rounded out the Duke contingent with times of 16.18 and 16.80, respectively.
Rohner earned his sixth top-three finish of the decathlon with a second-place finish in the discus. Rohner sent the implement 124-6.00 (37.95), nearly matching his personal-best of 124-6.00 (37.96). Rock moved into seventh-place in the discus with a final throw of 107-9.00 (32.84), while Beach’s distance of 106-8.00 (32.52) on his second throw placed him eighth.
Rock exhibited his pole vaulting prowess in the third-to-last event, clearing 16-6.75 (5.05) on his third attempt to win the event by nearly a foot. Beach and Rohner joined Rock in placing in the top eight. Beach cleared a height of 14-7.25 (4.45), while Rohner matched his personal-best height of 13-7.25 (4.15).
Rohner extended his lead in the decathlon in the final throwing event, the javelin. With a personal-best mark of 176-1.00 (53.69), the Sumter, S.C., native placed third. The third-place finish was his seventh top-three finish. Rock earned a second-place finish in the event with a mark of 177-8 (54.15), allowing him to maintain his second-place position heading into the final event of the competition.
With one event remaining, the 1,500m run, the lead that Rohner had established proved too great for his competitors to make up. Beach won the final event with a time of 4:17.32, however Rohner completed the two-day contest with a 1,500 time of 4:42.48, solidifying his victory. Rock finished the 1,500 with a time of 4:42.38 for a second-place finish.
“It was a great couple of days,” said Duke Associate Head Coach Shawn Wilbourn. “We got the sweep and those guys competed hard both days. It was an impressive performance by Robert, who was just a sprinter in high school. He’s learning all of these events and rapidly picking them up. I knew he was going to be really good. He’s wired for it.”
Additional point scorers for the men’s team included senior Tanner Anderson, who placed third in the high jump with a clearance of 6-11.75 (2.13). Sophomore Carl Heinz and redshirt junior Michael Krone scored additional points in the high jump for the Blue Devils, placing fifth and tied for seventh, respectively. Heinz cleared 6-9.50 (2.07) and Krone leapt over the bar set at 6-8.25 (2.04).
On the track, junior Shaun Thompson placed fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase, clocking a time of 8:58.14. Thompson worked his way through the field during the race and made multiple passes over the final 800m to earn five points for the Blue Devils.
Redshirt sophomore Stephen Boals also added to the team’s point total, placing sixth in the shot put with a mark of 54-7.25 (16.64). Boals’ sixth-place effort came on his second attempt of the event.
On the women’s side, Duke collected six points in the shot put as redshirt senior Michelle Anumba placed third with a season-best mark of 52-10.75 (16.12). Redshirt freshman Urina Harrell posted a strong performance in the first round as well, winning flight one with a mark of 47-0.75 (14.32) and moving her on to the finals. Anumba earned All-ACC honors in the shot put for the third time in her career, while Harrell competed in her first ACC Championships.
“Going into the meet, [Urina and I] talked about how her sole goal was to make finals,” Duke Throws Coach B.J. Linnenbrink said. “You have to win your flight and give yourself the best opportunity to make finals, and she did that. It was a good experience.”
In the final, Anumba was unable to improve on her first throw of the day, placing the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native third overall. Harrell sent the shot 47-9 (14.55), a personal-best mark, on her second attempt of the finals, placing her ninth overall in the competition.
“That’s the one thing we work on is putting a good one out in the first three, because that’s what advances you on to the next round,” Linnenbrink said. “That adage held true today [for Anumba]. I was hoping [16.12] would hold on for the win, but she competed real well. I’m happy with where we are.”
Sophomore pole vaulter Megan Clark added six points to Duke’s point total with a third-place finish in the pole vault. The Duke school record holder cleared 14-0.25 (4.28) on her second attempt at the height.
The scoring for Duke opened with the first throwing event of the day as freshman Christine Streisel, competing in her first ACC Championship, earned four points for the Blue Devils with a fifth-place finish in the javelin. Streisel sent the javelin 157-5.00 (47.99) on her second attempt, qualifying her for the finals. In the finals, the Tamaqua, Pa., native was unable to improve on her second attempt, with her finals-best throw of 157-4.00 (47.96) coming on her second attempt of the second round.
After two days of competition, redshirt sophomore Teddi Maslowski led the Blue Devils in the heptathlon with a fourth-place finish after amassing 5,265 points. In addition to a personal record, Maslowski’s point total also ranks second on Duke’s all-time list. Redshirt sophomore Karli Johonnot concluded competition with a seventh-place finish after amassing 4,987 points and senior Miray Seward placed 10th with a point total of 4,505.
In the long jump, the first event of the day for the heptathlon, Maslowski led the Blue Devils with a fourth-place mark of 18-9.25 (5.72). Maslowski’s farthest jump of the day came on her second attempt.
The javelin, the penultimate event of the competition, saw Maslowski place seventh with a throw of 102-1.00 (31.12), the third time this season she sent the implement over 100 feet.
In the final event of the competition, Maslowski put an exclamation point on the day with a season-best 800m time of 2:15.45. The Burgettstown, Pa., native led from the start and never relinquished her position. Johonnot finished the seven-event competition with an 800m time of 2:21.00 and a third-place finish in the event, while Seward placed 14th in a time of 2:33.62.
Numerous preliminary rounds of track events were run on Friday, with a handful of Blue Devils qualifying for the finals scheduled for Saturday.
Freshman Madeline Kopp secured a spot in the final of the 400 after finishing second in her heat in a time of 54.08. Kopp’s time was the fifth fastest in the preliminary heats of the event, qualifying her for Saturday’s final at 5 p.m.
Duke qualified two 800m runners in junior Abby Farley and sophomore Anima Banks. Farley ran the third-fastest qualifying time, covering the distance in a time of 2:06.02. Farley’s time currently ranks fourth on Duke’s all-time list. Banks also earned a personal-best, running a time of 2:06.74 to earn a spot in the final, scheduled for Saturday at 5:40 p.m.
The final day of competition begins Saturday at 11 a.m. with the men’s javelin. The conclusion of the championships will air LIVE on ESPN3, beginning at 4 p.m. Coverage is available here.