CORAL GABLES, FLA. – The Duke track and field team saw four of its multi-event athletes score as well as qualifying four athletes for finals on Saturday.
Through two days of competition, the Duke women are tied for fifth in the team standings with 25.5 points. The men have accumulated 18 points and are in eighth place.
"We’re expecting our standings on the women’s side to improve on Saturday and the men certainly have potential to have a really good finish,” said director of track and field Norm Ogilvie. “We’re excited for the day”
Leading off the day was the multi-event competition and Duke finished with four competitors earning All-ACC honors as well as scoring points for the Blue Devils.
For the women, Jaida Lemmons earned first-team All-ACC honors in the heptathlon for the second straight year. Lemmons used a personal-best throw of 147-2 (44.86) in the javelin throw to help her score a personal-best 5,462 points. That total was good for third place in the standings as well as the third-highest total in Duke history.
Joining Lemmons in earning All-ACC honors was Erin Marsh, as the freshman was named second-team All-ACC after finishing in fifth place. Marsh racked up 5,184 points throughout the competition, ranking her fourth all-time at Duke.
In the decathlon, Jacob Sobota and Christian Friis both were named second-team All-ACC. Sobota scored more than 700 points in both the 110m hurdles and the pole vault, reaching marks of 15.18 and 14-9 (4.50), respectively. The rookie from Knoxville, Tenn., finished with a haul of 6,825 points, a total that is a personal-best and the fourth highest in the competition.
Friis’ time of 14.90 was the second-fastest of the competition and proved to be Friis’ best event as he scored 862 points. The sophomore from Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., closed the decathlon with 6,498 points to place sixth. It is the first outdoor All-ACC honors for Marsh, Sobota and Friis.
Joining the multi-event athletes in earning All-ACC honors was Esteban Suarez in the men’s pole vault. Suarez finished with a mark of 15-7 (4.75) to tie for sixth place and earn second-team All-ACC honors. It is the highest finish at the ACC Outdoor Championships for the sophomore from South Pasadena, Calif.
For the second straight day, Duke set itself up for a big Saturday as four Blue Devils qualified for finals, joining the five that did so on Thursday.
In his first individual collegiate race of the spring, Steven Solomon easily qualified for the 400m final. Solomon, who competed for his native Australia at the Commonwealth Games earlier this season, cruised to a time of 46.57 to finish atop both his heat and the entire qualifying field.
Qualifying for her second final of the weekend was Maddy Price. Price clocked a season-best time of 52.91 in the 400m to win her heat and place third overall. She adds the 400m final to the spot she booked in the 200m final.
With a first-place finish in his heat, Matt Wisner will head to the 800m final. Wisner, who was fifth halfway through the race, used a final 400m split of 53.60 to cross the finish line in 1:50.01.
Although she had to sweat it out, Brittany Aveni earned a spot in the 800m final as well. Aveni raced in the second of four heats, finishing third in the heat with a time of 2:08.25. The Geneva, Ohio native had to wait for two more heats to be sure, but she finished on the right side of the qualifying, earning the eighth and final spot in Saturday’s final.
Duke also had another trio of strong performances that missed qualifying. In the 400m, MacKenzie Kerr finished in a season-best 54.48 to place tenth. Jordan Burton finished with a time of 1:50.93, just missing his personal-best. Liz Lansing did set a personal-best, crossing the finish line in 2:11.00. Kerr and Burton will return to compete on Saturday, Kerr as a member of the 4x400m relay and Burton in the 1,500m final.
“Another successful day in Miami,” added Ogilvie. “The qualifying rounds looked very, very good. They all looked like they can do big things tomorrow. Steve looked great in his race, he even eased up down the stretch. Maddy continues her great meet. Brittany and Matt both looked good in qualifying. We have a big Saturday coming up. There’s a lot of places to score points.”
Duke will start Saturday’s events with the men’s javelin at 11:00 a.m., while track events will kick off with the women’s 4x100m relay at 5:00 p.m. ACC Network Extra will have a live broadcast starting at 5:00 p.m., and running through the conclusion of the match. Below is a full list of the Blue Devils competing on Saturday.
Women’s 4x100m Relay: Sydnei Murphy, Kethlin Campbell, Domonique Panton, India Lowe
Women’s 1,500m: Kim Hallowes
Men’s 1,500m: Jordan Burton
Women’s 400m: Maddy Price
Men’s 400m: Steven Solomon
Women’s 800m: Brittany Aveni
Men’s 800m: Matt Wisner
Women’s 400m Hurdles: India Lowe
Women’s 200m: Maddy Price, Kethlin Campbell
Women’s 5,000m: Amanda Beach, Gabrielle Richichi, Lindsay Billings
Men’s 5,000m: Paul Dellinger, Josh Romine, Nikhil Pulimood
Women’s 4x400m Relay: India Lowe, MacKenzie Kerr, Brittany Aveni, Maddy Price
Men’s 4x400m Relay: Miles Mingo, Steven Solomon, Tionne Barmer, Chase Peterson
Men’s Javelin Throw: Kiegan Lenihan, Michael Marsack, Nicholas Solfanelli
Women’s Javelin Throw: Kate Kutzer, Jaida Lemmons
Women’s Triple Jump: Domonique Panton, Sydnei Murphy