BLACKSBURG, Va. - It was a strong start to the 2012 campaign for the Duke men's and women's cross country programs Friday, as both collected team victories at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational on the Tech Cross Country Course.
In her first cross country race since 2010, senior Juliet Bottorff guided the Blue Devil women to the win with an individual first-place finish. Bottorff covered the 4K course in 13:38.75 to lead all runners, while junior Gabby Levac came in third at 14:08.81 and graduate student Suejin Ahn placed fourth in 14:20.51. Junior Jessie Rubin finished fifth (14:20.87) and senior Ashley Brasovan sixth (14:22.12) to round out the scoring for Duke.
Senior Madeline Morgan took second overall with a time of 14:01.77 while running unattached, and freshman Olivia Anderson was impressive in her Duke debut, taking seventh as an unattached runner. Senior Kayla Hale also finished inside the top 10, coming in eighth at 14:29.68, as did graduate student Cydney Ross, who crossed the line ninth at 14:32.49.
As a team, Duke took first overall with 15 points to start the season 4-0 and 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Virginia women were second with 50 points, while Liberty took third, Virginia Tech fourth and Radford fifth.
"We had a really positive day," said women's head coach Kevin Jermyn. "We had a record number of people come out of the race feeling good about how they started the season."
Shortly after the conclusion of the women's race, the Blue Devil men followed suit with a team victory. Sophomore Shaun Thompson led the field of 60 on the 6K course, crossing the finish line at 18:25.68, followed closely by junior Brian Atkinson in third (18:31.21) and graduate student James Kostelnik in fourth (18:36.59). Also scoring for Duke were seniors Dominick Robinson in fifth (18:37.96) and Domenick DeMatteo in sixth (18:44.55), with just 19 seconds separating Duke's first and fifth finishers.
The Blue Devils scored 19 points as a team to win the meet and begin the season with a 3-0 ledger overall and a 1-0 mark against ACC competition. Liberty came in second with 55 points, while Virginia took third and Radford fourth.
"We had really good results and a great start to the season," said men's head coach Norm Ogilvie. "Shaun Thompson got the individual win and we had a tremendous pack right behind him with some great veteran presence. We were also extremely happy to see two of our freshmen finish seventh and eighth. It's a really good start."
Both the men's and women's teams resume action at home on Sept. 15 in a dual meet against N.C. Central. The meet will be part of the Bull City Classic, in conjunction with Duke's football game against the Eagles on the same day.