The 11th-ranked Blue Devil women placed four runners within the top 20 on their way to a second-place finish - the team's best showing at the championship meet dating back to the 2009 season. Senior Juliet Bottorff got out to a fast start on the 6K course and never looked back, crossing the line third in 20:10.6 to claim the third All-ACC accolades of her cross country career. Joining Bottorff in earning all-conference recognition was sophomore Kelsey Lakowske, who took sixth in only the third cross country race of her Duke career with a personal-best clocking of 20:23.7.
"It really helped to have two people up front leading the way," said women's head coach Kevin Jermyn. "Juliet ran with confidence the whole way for her best finish ever. Kelsey went to the front pack and hung on really strong. I'm really proud of both of them."
Duke also received strong contributions from a tight pack that was led by senior Madeline Morgan, who came in 17th at 20:56.1. Sophomore Caroline Baskir followed just behind Morgan in 20th place (21:00.4), while graduate student Suejin Ahn finished 21st (21:02.7) and senior Ashley Brasovan 22nd with a personal-best time of 21:06.8. Rounding out the Blue Devil contingent were junior Jessie Rubin in 44th (21:57.6), junior Gabby Levac in 61st, junior Dana Morin in 65th and freshman Olivia Anderson in 76th.
The top-ranked Florida State women captured their fifth consecutive ACC title with a team score of 35 points, while the Blue Devils posted a score of 67 points to come in second. No. 26 Boston College took third (82), followed by NC State (86) and North Carolina (152). The Seminoles' Violah Lagat was the top individual finisher with a 20:00.1 clocking over 6K.
"We did a nice job of racing together," Jermyn said. "It was a really challenging level of competition today and they handled that really well. It's fun running well in a high-level competition."
With the strong performance, the Duke women improved to 78-15 overall and 17-1 against ACC competition.
Senior Mike Moverman guided the 18th-ranked Duke men to a fifth-place finish, breaking into the top-10 individually for the first All-ACC cross country honors of his career. Moverman covered the 8K course in 24:02.9 to place ninth in the field of 103 runners. Junior Brian Atkinson was the next Blue Devil to cross the finish line, coming in 17th at 24:18.9, while graduate student James Kostelnik clocked 24:31.3 in a 21st-place performance. Also scoring for Duke were junior Christian Britto in 32nd place (24:49.0), sophomore Shaun Thompson in 33rd (24:49.6) and junior Lucas Talavan-Becker in 41st (25:00.7).
The 21st-ranked Virginia Tech men claimed their first ACC title with a team score of 55 points, as the Hokies' William Mulherin led the field with a mark of 23:37.3. Virginia took second with 61 points, while No. 14 Florida State came in third (62), NC State fourth (74) and the Blue Devils fifth (112).
"We knew it was going to be a five-way battle for first," said men's head coach Norm Ogilvie. "Mike Moverman ran a very strong race ... but we didn't have that tight pack. Today was a setback but not one that we can't overcome. We still have every plan of accomplishing our season-long goal of making it back to NCAAs."
Following Saturday's action, the Duke men own a season ledger of 54-12 and an 8-6 mark against conference opponents.
Both the men's and women's teams will send runners to the Three Stripe Invitational Nov. 3 in Cary, N.C. before competing at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Nov. 9 in Charlotte.