DURHAM, N.C. -- The Duke women’s track and field team garnered a third-place ranking on the preseason freshman class list, Track & Field News recently announced. The rating is the highest in school history for Duke.
Oregon received the highest ranking, followed by Texas. Stanford and Kentucky rounded out the top five, while Arizona State, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Harvard and Nebraska received honorable mentions.
Track & Field News considers numerous factors in ranking incoming classes, including previous performances and a student-athlete’s ability to make an immediate impact on a squad.
The Blue Devils welcome a number of talented student-athletes to the team, both on the track and in the field. Duke’s distance team is bolstered by the additions of Wesley Frazier, Hannah Meier and Haley Meier.
Frazier joins Duke after extensive high school experience competing at the national level. The 17-time All-America nominee earned eight national championships at distances ranging from 1,600 meters to 5,000m while at Ravenscroft School. After winning the 1,600, 3,200 and 5,000 at the 2013 New Balance Outdoor Nationals, the Raleigh, N.C., native became the first high school female to sweep the long-distance events at the competition. Frazier ran a personal record of 15:55.9 for 5,000m at the meet and concluded her high school career with personal-best times of 4:39.2 at the Adidas Dream Mile and 9:57.7 at the Raleigh Relays.
Hannah Meier boasts similar high school credentials. While attending Grosse Point South High School, she earned eight national championships, including two individual victories at the New Balance Indoor National Championship in the mile. Meier also placed first at the World Youth Trials 1,500, Nike Elite Invitational mile and the Brooks PR Invitational mile and 800. She concluded her high school career with 11 state titles.
Haley Meier infuses comparable high school achievements, including a second-place finish at the Brooks PR Invitational mile and a third-place finish at the prestigious Adidas Dream Mile. A three-time All-America honoree at the New Balance Indoor and Outdoor Nationals, she also contributed to two state titles in the 1,600 relay and the 3,200 relay during her high school career.
Although now teammates, the trio of Frazier, Hannah and Haley competed against one another during their high school campaigns, including at the Adidas Dream Mile in May. The then future Blue Devils swept the event in times of 4:39.2, 4:40.5 and 4:42.5, respectively.
Duke’s field disciplines receive a boost from incoming freshman and All-American heptathlete Kendall Gustafson. In 2013, Gustafson represented the United States in the biennial Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in Medellin, Colombia. The Los Angeles, Calif., native qualified for the event after placing second with a heptathlon score of 5189 at the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Gustafson looks to contribute to a strong contingent of Duke heptathletes, with three members of the team currently holding the second, third and fourth highest heptathlon point totals in school history.
Christine Streisel, a javelin-thrower from Tamaqua, Pa., looks to transfer her strong high school performances to the collegiate level this season for the Blue Devils. Streisel joins the squad with a personal-record mark of 160-11 (49.04), which came at the Tamaqua Blue Raider Invitational March 30. Streisel put together a strong 2012, including a throw of 154-11 (47.22) to win the prestigious Penn Relays. Streisel’s performances earned her a spot on the Track and Field News Girls High School All-America Team in 2012.
The Duke track and field team opens competition Jan. 17-18 at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va.