CARY, N.C. – Duke senior Shannon Rowbury defended her 2004 Race of Champions title at the Great American Cross Country Festival Saturday, leading the Blue Devils to a dominating win with 20 points. Seven Duke women claimed spots in the top ten to keep the A team undefeated in 2005. Duke’s men raced their B team, which finished 11th out of some of the top A teams in the country.
The Duke women were trailed by 48 points by the runner-up team, sixth-ranked Brigham Young, whose top runners earned two top five spots. Virginia came in third, earning 110 points. In the men’s race, No. 16 William & Mary (48) came out on top in front of Virginia (60) and Abilene Christian (83).
Rowbury, senior Clara Horowitz and freshman Whitney Anderson formed a solid trio in the lead for the whole race. Horowitz assumed an early lead before being edged after the three-mile mark by Rowbury, who won the race in 16:40.7. Horowitz finished second in 16:50 and Anderson, the second-place high school runner in 2004, came in a decisive third in 17:06.2.
“We’ve been training really hard, and we weren’t backing off for this meet, so I wasn’t really sure how I was going to do,” said Rowbury. “But we knew we had an amazing team, and this was very exciting. It’s tough to be ranked No. 1 becasue everyone’s looking to you. But this helps build our confidence for other big meets this year.”
Seniors Laura Stanley and Sally Meyerhoff rounded out the Duke scoring, finishing sixth and eighth, respectively. Seniors Natasha Roetter and Liz Wort crossed the finish line three and four seconds behind Meyerhoff to finish in the top ten.
Junior Kyle Kershner led the men’s team, finishing just outside the top 50 in a time of 25:49.5. Freshman Kevin McDermott was less than two seconds behind to finish 53rd. Senior Daniel Narvey, sophomore Mark Buha and junior Pat Parish ran together with Narvey crossing the line in 76th place in 26:27.4 and Buha and Parish tying for 77th in 26:28.6 to round out the team’s scoring.
The men’s team heads to Notre Dame, Ind., Friday for the Notre Dame Invitational, while the women’s team will be closer to home at the Greensboro Cross Country Classic Saturday.
Duke Women’s Results
1. Shannon Rowbury, 16:40.7; 2. Clara Horowitz, 16:50.0; 3. Whitney Anderson, 17:06.2; 6. Laura Stanley, 17:17.7; 8. Sally Meyerhoff, 17:22.0; 9. Natasha Roetter, 17:25.9; 10. Liz Wort, 17:26.3; 17. Maddie McKeever, 17:46.4; 27. Kelly Fillnow, 18:06.9
Duke Men’s Results
51. Kyle Kershner, 25:49.5; 53. Kevin McDermott, 25:51.2; 76. Daniel Narvey, 26:27.4; 77t. Mark Buha, 26:28.6; 77t. Pat Parish, 26:28.6; 84. Marco Salmen, 26:39.1; 88. Alex Reinhart, 26:55.9; 91. Billy Kennedy, 27:04.2; 97. John Maletis, 27:34.7