DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke track and field team saw three top-five all-time Duke performances on the track Friday, with strong showings during day three of the Texas Relays and day one of the Raleigh Relays.
In Texas, the Duke women’s 4x400, comprised of juniors Lauren Hansson, Alexis Roper and Elizabeth Kerpon and freshman Madeline Kopp, won their heat and placed eighth overall with a time of 3:38.60. The relay’s finishing time ranks second on Duke’s all-time list. The eighth-place finish qualified the relay for the final, scheduled for 4:55 (CT) Saturday.
The Blue Devils saw similar success on the track in Raleigh, as junior Nate McClafferty, coming off a successful indoor season, earned a third-place finish in the 1,500 at the Raleigh Relays. McClafferty ran a personal-best time of 3:45.77 in rainy conditions, showcasing a strong kick by closing in 41 seconds over the final 300 meters.
In the men’s 5,000 at the Raleigh Relays, junior Shaun Thompson ran a personal-best time of 13:58.82, breaking the 14-minute barrier for the first time in his career. Thompson, placing seventh overall and second against conference opponents, sits fourth on Duke’s all-time list at 5,000 meters.
In his 2014 10,000m debut, senior Brian Atkinson not only ran a personal-best time of 29:27.85 en route to a fifth-place finish, but also ran the fourth-fastest 10,000m time in school history. Atkinson saw almost a 30-second improvement on his previous personal best of 29:56.70, run at the Virginia Challenge in 2013.
In the field events, redshirt freshman Urina Harrell nearly matched her season and personal best in the shot put, posting a mark of 43-5.75 (13.25) and earning a 13th-place finish at the Raleigh Relays.
Saturday’s competition in Raleigh continues at 11 a.m. with the 4x1,500 while the discuss opens the final day of competition at the Texas Relays, beginning at 10 a.m.