DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke University men's and women's track & field teams are set to compete in the Eastern Preliminary Round of the 2010 NCAA Championships, held Thursday, May 27 through Saturday, May 29 at North Carolina A&T University's Irwin Belk Track in Greensboro, N.C. Twenty-eight Blue Devils - 17 women and 11 men - have declared for the meet.
2010 marks the first year the NCAA will hold a regional round at two sites - North Carolina A&T (East) and the University of Texas in Austin (West) - with the top-48 declared athletes in each event competing for one of 12 spots that will advance to the 2010 NCAA Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon from June 9-12.
For the men, Duke's largest contingent of student-athletes will compete in the 1,500-meters with Cory Nanni, Ken Sullivan and Joshua Lund declared for the event. Nanni, an All-ACC performer in both cross country and indoor track, leads the way for the Blue Devils after recording a personal-best time of 3:42.07 in the event at the Carolina Fast Times. His mark ranks second in the ACC, eighth in the East and 19th in the nation. Sullivan and Lund, both All-East performers during their careers, each qualified for the event at the Georgia Tech Invitational, posting times of 3:45.89 and 3:45.98, respectively.
Continuing with the men's distance events, Ryan McDermott will compete in the steeplechase after successfully defending his 2009 ACC title earlier this season. At the IC4A Championships, the Hempstead, N.Y., native set a personal best with a time of 8:51.27, which ranks second in the conference and 21st in the region.
In the 5,000-meters, Andrew Brodeur, James Kostelnik and Bo Waggoner have declared for the meet. Kostelnik earned All-East honors with a personal-best 14:09.31 at the IC4A Championships. Waggoner also earned All-East distinction this year, taking eighth at IC4A's in 14:13.84, while Broduer's top time of 14:12.06 came at the Duke Invitational on April 2.
In addition to the Devils' track athletes, Duke will have four participants in the men's field events, including John Austin in the javelin, Austin Gamble in the discus, Tony Shirk in the pole vault and Michael Barbas in the shot put.
Austin is in the hunt for his second All-America honors after placing eighth at the 2008 NCAA Championships. The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native claimed an ACC title earlier this season and raised his own Duke record with a throw of 227-3 to win the Duke Invitational.
Gamble, also a member of the Duke football team, secured the top performance in Duke history with a mark of 179-5 to take third at the ACC Championships, while Barbas turned in the No. 3 all-time performance at Duke with a 55-6.25 throw at the Duke Twilight on May 9. Shirk has been Duke's top pole vaulter all season, registering s season-best jump of 16-6 ¾ on two occasions in 2010.
On the women's side, four Duke runners made the field for the 800-meters, led by Devotia Moore's 2:06.34 effort at the Duke Invitational, which is also the No. 2 all-time performance by a Blue Devil. Following close behind are Cydney Ross, whose time of 2:07.23 at the Duke Twilight ranks third in Duke history, and Leslie Morrison, whose 2:09.10 was good for second at the Duke Twilight and currently ranks 10th in the conference.
In the 1,500-meters, Esther Vermeer's first-place 4:23.21 at the Duke Twilight ranks 34th in the East, while Kate Van Buskirk, an All-ACC performer this spring, ran a 4:23.94 at the Carolina Fast Times to secure a 37th-place ranking.
Four Duke distance runners will take part in the 5,000-meters, led by Suejin Ahn's 16:23.84 performance at the Stanford Invitational. Katelyn Bastert (16:37.97) and Amanda Truelove (16:42.97) also turned in season-best performances at Stanford. Juliet Bottorff completes the Duke quartet as the freshman posted a season-best 16:24.13 at the Duke Twilight.
Additionally, cross country All-America Carly Seymour (35:05.05) and rookie standout Kayla Hale (35:26.74) both earned spots in the 10,000-meters with season-best performances at the Georgia Tech Invitational two weeks ago.
Duke continued its success in the distance events, placing three student-athletes - Emily Schwitzer, Kristina Krasich and Mary Carleton Johnston - in the steeplechase. Schwitzer was an All-ACC performer in the event this spring, while Krasich and Johnston own the eighth and 10th fastest marks in the ACC. The trio of Blue Devils are also 3-4-5 on the Duke all-time performance list for the event.
Fryt cemented her position as the ACC's top pole vaulter, claiming her second-straight conference championship in 2010. Fryt's mark of 13-5.25 at the Tar Heel Classic is tops in the ACC this season and ties for eighth in the East as well.
In the javelin, Hopkins' throw of 154-6 at the Wake Forest Open earned her first place at the meet and is also the No. 2 all-time performance at Duke. Matulewicz posted a season-best mark at the meet as well, recording a throw of 145-6 to qualify for the NCAA first round.
Eastern Preliminary Round action begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Live results will be available at http://www.ncaa.com/sports/c-otrack/champpage/c-otrack-div1-east-index.html.
2010 NCAA First Round Schedule
|Thursday, May 27|
|10:00 AM||W. Javelin||Andrea Hopkins|
|4:00 PM||M. Pole Vault||Tony Shirk|
|4:30 PM||M. 1,500m||Josh Lund|
|5:00 PM||W. 1,500m||Kate Van Buskirk|
|8:00 PM||W. 800m||Devotia Moore|
|9:15 PM||W. 10,000m||Kayla Hale|
|Friday, May 28|
|10:00 AM||M. Javelin||John Austin|
|3:00 PM||M. Shot Put||Michael Barbas|
|4:00 PM||W. Pole Vault||Amy Fryt|
|6:45 PM||W. 800m||TBD|
|8:30 PM||M. Steeplechase||Ryan McDermott|
|9:10 PM||W. Steeplechase||Mary Carleton Johnston|
|Saturday, May 29|
|9:30 AM||M. Discus||Austin Gamble|
|6:30 PM||M. 1,500m||TBD|
|6:45 PM||W. 1,500m||TBD|
|8:05 PM||M. 5,000m||Andrew Brodeur|
|8:45 PM||W. 5,000m||Suejin Ahn|