SPOKANE, Wash. - Four Blue Devil freshmen represented the Duke University women's cross country team on Saturday, Feb. 13 at the USATF Junior Cross Country Championships with Juliet Bottorff and Sophia Ziemian qualifying for the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, and Kayla Hale and Madeline Morgan qualifying for the 2010 NACAC Cross Country Championships.
"We are thrilled to have four of our freshmen healthy and running at personal best levels in cross country," assistant coach Liz Wort said. "They have all progressed phenomenally well since coming to Duke this fall and we are very excited for their future here at Duke, both on the track and in future cross country seasons. Representing the USA on a national team is always a very special experience and we are so proud to have so many Duke athletes earn this opportunity."
Bottorff, an All-ACC, All-Southeast Region and ACC Freshman of the Year honoree in 2009, led the way for Duke with a third-place effort to qualify for the national team. The Newark, Del., native completed the 6K course in 20:32 to take third out of 39 finishers. Ziemian will join Bottorff at the IAAF World Championships after finishing sixth with a 20:49 clocking.
Representing Duke at the NACAC (North America, Central America, and Caribbean) Championships will be Hale and Morgan, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Hale, who earned All-Southeast Region honors in her rookie cross country campaign, turned in a 20:57 effort in Saturday's meet, followed closely by Morgan with a 20:58 time.
In order to compete in Saturday's junior meet, an athlete must be a U.S. citizen and may not turn 20-years-old during 2010. The top six finishers in the race earned a spot on the U.S. National Team, set to compete at the World Championships on Mar. 28, 2010 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, while the top five finishers who declare for the NACAC Championships will travel to Mt. Irvine, Trinidad and Tobago on Mar. 6, 2010.