KNOXVILLE, TENN. – The Duke track and field team had a productive first day at the Tennessee Relays as the Blue Devils raced to a top-five performance in school history and 10 top-10 finishes.
“The weather was warm with the temperatures in the 70’s, but the wind was howling,” said director of track and field Norm Ogilvie. “That helped some of the sprinting and jumping events, but made it tough for oval events on the track. That was kind of consistent with the performances. We were really happy with how we ran at the Battle of the Blues last week, but the men’s distance runners lost about two seconds this week. I attribute most of that to the wind. Overall, it was a solid day.”
After breaking the school record in the 200m during the indoor season, Kethlin Campbell came very close to doing the same in the outdoor edition. Campbell, who last week ran the fifth-fastest time in school history, went even lower this weekend, clocking a time of 23.61. That places Campbell second all-time at Duke, trailing only senior Maddy Price’s time of 23.48. Campbell finished in 14th place in the field of 80 and is tied for eighth in the ACC so far this season.
Campbell was not the only one successful in the 200m. India Lowe cleared the ACC Championship auto-qualifying standard with a time of 24.02 and set a personal-best. Lowe also had a top-10 finish on the day, as the Mechanicsville, Va., native clocked a time of 1:01.45 in the 400m hurdles to finish in seventh.
Duke had some of its younger distance runners turn out great performances in the 5,000m as three got into the top-10. Josh Romine led the way, setting a personal-best with a time of 14:45.98 to finish in third. Paul Dellinger took eighth place after he crossed the finish line in 14:54.40 and Tom Sullivan was right behind him in ninth with a time of 14:55.54. Sullivan’s time was also a personal-best.
One week after racing in his first 3,000m steeplechase, Michael Ungvarsky finished in the top-five once again. This time the freshman from Cinnaminson, N.J., crossed the finish line in 9:31.88 to take fifth place.
Also finishing in fifth place was Sydnei Murphy in the long jump. Murphy cleared 19-11.75 (6.09) on her sixth and final jump to move into the top five.
Just outside the top five was Matt Wisner in the 800m. Wisner, who holds the Duke indoor 800m record, was making his 2018 outdoor debut in the event after setting personal-bests in the 1,500m the past two weekends. Wisner returned to the 800m and raced to a time of 1:51.49 to take sixth place.
The men’s javelin crew continued its string of strong performances. Michael Marsack had a throw of 211-11 (64.59) to finish in fourth place and Nicholas Solfanelli threw 199-11 (60.95) to take seventh place. Marsack has now finished in the top-10 in all four of his performances this season while Solfanelli has done the same in his three performances.
Finishing out the day in the field events was Esteban Suarez in the men’s pole vault. Suarez was able to vault over a season-high 15-9 (4.80), finishing in sixth place overall.
"It was a decent and solid day,” Ogilvie said. “There was lots of great competition. We’re looking forward to our women’s pole vaulters, Sydnei and the distance medley relay competing well tomorrow.”
Duke will have three more events on Saturday at the Tennessee Relays. The men’s distance medley relay will race for the first time this season, with Wisner, Kyle Francis, Jordan Burton and Alex Miley representing the Blue Devils. The women’s pole vault crew will get their chance to compete, with Madison Heath, Laura Marty, Nati Sheppard and Rivka Arbiv all competing. Finally, Murphy will compete in the jumps for the second straight day, this time in the triple jump. The action will be broadcast live on ESPN3 starting at 11:30 a.m.