NEW YORK -- The Duke men’s 4x800 meter relay took first-place at the 107th running of the Millrose Games in New York, N.Y., Saturday afternoon, leading the seven-team field. The victory marks the second time the Blue Devils won the college men’s 4x800 at the Millrose Games, with the first win coming in 2002.
“We knew Villanova was going to press us the whole way and we figured our best chance to beat them was to keep the pressure on them,” Duke’s Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie said. “It was really a team victory because each runner made sure he handed off in first. If you do that, you’re not going to lose.”
Freshmen Dylan Murphy and Alec Kunzweiler, junior Nate McClafferty and sophomore Michal Filipczak combined to run a 7:30.06, the fourth-fastest time in Duke history, to be crowned the 2014 Byron Dyce College Men’s 4x800m Relay Champions.
“I think the order was really good with our two freshmen up front, and then our junior and sophomore on the end, with some more experienced guys to bring it home,” Ogilvie said. “As it turns out, the freshmen got us the lead, so that put us in a good position.”
The Blue Devils led from the start of the race as Murphy handed the baton to Kunzweiler following a lead-off split of 1:54.11. Kunzweiler maintained the lead for Duke following a 1:52.9 second leg. McClafferty, competing as the third leg, covered the first 400 meters in a time of 59 seconds before running a 54-second negative split to finish in a time of 1:53.9. With a decisive move, Filipczak closed the relay for Duke with a personal-best split of 1:49.2, the second time in his collegiate career that he ran under the 1:50 mark for an 800m split at the Millrose Games.
Villanova placed second in a time of 7:31.57, while Monmouth placed third, clocking a time of 7:32.16. Albany (7:33.25), University of Pennsylvania (7:35.61), NYU (7:45.17) and Adelphi (7:49.50) rounded out the team’s competing in the event.
“This is a really big win for the program,” Ogilvie said. “A really nice run by everyone.”
Coverage of the Millrose Games is available online from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight at USATF.tv.