FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. - With a time of 15:49.45, Juliet Bottorff set a new ACC and Duke record on her way to earning First Team All-America honors in the women's 5,000 meters Friday, March 8 at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Senior Cydney Ross also solidified All-America honors by completing the 800m in 2:06.04, which was the seventh fastest time of the evening, and allowed her to advance to the finals tomorrow evening.
Bottorff stuck to her style of consistent racing and maintained her pace throughout the entire 5,000m distance before kicking it in for the last 200m where she was able to run the second fastest split of the entire field and finish seventh overall.
"She did everything we talked about," commented Associate Head Coach Kevin Jermyn. "Hanging back early and running hard the last mile. This is strongest 5K field the NCAA has ever had and we knew that going in. As the front pack started closing down she was able to pick off a few runners and earn First-Team All-American honors. Anytime you can run a PR in a national race it is good thing and Juliet has proved she can do that. We are both really excited that it worked out."
In what is always a very aggressive race, Ross held her ground despite getting jostled in the middle and back of a tightly bound pack for the majority of the distance. Then in the last 200m, the field began to stretch itself out and the St. Louis, Mo., native found enough room and energy to outkick her competitors in the last 100 meters and claim the qualifying spot.
"I am thrilled with Cydney's race and she is thrilled too. She got out poorly at the start line and had to fight through a lot of elbows throughout the race which made it really choppy but she had a good last fifty that allowed her to qualify. It wasn't her fastest time but it was the best she's ever raced in these aggressive conditions."
The women's distance medley relay team finished ninth in the final race of the evening with a time of 11:11.21. Junior Gabby Levac led off for the Blue Devils in the 1200m leg. Levac remained toward the back of the pack in what started at a slow paced and quickly became a very congested race. In the final 400m, the Hartland, Wisc., native moved up into scoring position and covered the first leg distance in 3:26.73 before handing off to sophomore Elizabeth Kerpon.
Kerpon maintained the Blue Devil position in the 400m leg of the relay, completing the shortest leg in 53.97, which was the fourth fastest time of the evening, and handed off to Ross who ran the 800m leg. The fifth year senior was able to improve the Blue Devils position a few more places, covering the distance in 2:06.57, before handing off to freshman Anima Banks for the 1,600m anchor leg. Banks maintained scoring position for the majority of the race but as other teams began their final kicks the Mamaroneck ,N.Y., native didn't have enough left to stay within the top eight teams and earned a split of 4:43.96.
"Overall, we had a good day. Everyone ran at their highest level and we did really well."
Ross will race again tomorrow in the 800m final. The race marks her final indoor competition as a Blue Devil. A full recap will be available at www.GoDuke.com.