DURHAM, N.C. - When the Duke men's and women's cross country squads line up against N.C. Central Saturday, they will be competing in front of the largest crowd ever for a home meet. This year's edition of the annual meet between the two schools features a unique element - all runners will begin the race on the track in Wallace Wade Stadium 15 minutes prior to the kickoff of the Duke-N.C. Central football game.
The meet will begin with one lap around the track, with the men's 6K race getting underway at 6:45 p.m. and the women's 4K race set to start at 6:47 p.m. All runners will line up near the video scoreboard in Wallace Wade, complete nearly a full lap around the track and exit the stadium before heading to the Sally Meyerhoff Fitness Loop on the Al Buehler Trail where the races will conclude.
In addition to the opportunity to watch the start of both the men's and women's races, fans in Wallace Wade will also be updated on the team scores following the conclusion of both events. The two individual winners will be recognized on the video scoreboard during the third quarter of the football game.
Eight Blue Devils are slated to compete in the 6K men's race, including senior Joseph Elsakr, juniors Phil Fairleigh, Spencer Pecha and Lucas Talavan-Becker, sophomores Nate McClafferty and Brian Schoepfer and freshmen Eddie Merenda and Blake Udland. Lining up for Duke in the 4K women's race will be senior Adrianne Soo, juniors Dana Morin, Brianna Welch and Colette Whitney and sophomores Abby Farley and Kelsey Lakowske.
The women's cross country program is 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference action this season after taking first at the season-opening Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational on Aug. 31. At the same meet, the men's team also took first overall to open the season 3-0 and 1-0 in the ACC.