TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- The Duke men’s and women’s cross country teams repeated last year’s performances at the ACC Championships, finishing fifth and first, respectively, Monday at Florida State. The top-ranked women ran seven Blue Devils in the top 11 to earn 20 points and match the lowest point-total ever scored at the ACC Championships. Duke also came out 71 points ahead of runner-up N.C. State to record the widest margin of victory in ACC Championship history. Both men and women defeated North Carolina, earning a pair of Carlyle Cup points for the Blue Devils.
“We did better than one could expect against such a talented conference,” said women’s head coach Kevin Jermyn. “There were six nationally ranked teams, so this is the most competitive race we have run so far. We are thrilled about our performance.”
Senior Shannon Rowbury won her third of four races this season and claimed her first ACC cross country title, winning the 5,750m race in 19:03.2. Fellow senior Clara Horowitz trailed closely, grabbing the runner-up spot in a time of 19:05.5. Whitney Anderson crossed the line in fourth place (19:28.9) to earn ACC Freshman of the Year honors, and was followed by senior Laura Stanley in sixth (19:34.2) and Sally Meyerhoff in seventh (19:39.8). Seniors Elizabeth Wort and Natasha Roetter rounded out the top seven, finishing ninth and 11th, respectively, less than 40 seconds behind champion Rowbury.
Duke won its first ACC Championship last year, and Rowbury, who improved on a fourth-place finish from 2004, is only the second runner in school history to win the individual title, following in the footsteps of Meyerhoff, who was the defending ACC Champion heading into Monday’s race. Anderson was the third Duke performer in four years to receive the Freshman of the Year nod. An ACC-record seven Blue Devils qualified for All-ACC honors by finishing in the top 14.
Also earning a slot on the all-conference team was sophomore Chris Spooner, who led the men’s squad to a fifth-place performance. Spooner finished 12th in a personal-best time of 24:20.6 in the 8K. The men totaled 142 points, coming in behind Virginia (30), Florida State (38), N.C. State (103) and Wake Forest (136).
“We ran about where we expected,” said head coach Norm Ogilvie. “Chris did an outstanding job today, earning All-ACC for the first time and putting himself in excellent position for an individual berth to the NCAA Championships.”
Finishing behind Spooner in scoring position were junior Keith Krieger in 24th (24:20.6), Dan Daly in 30th (24:52.0), freshman Geary Gubbins in seventh (25:01.3) and senior Chas Salmen in 41st (25:06.7).
Both men and women will return to action Nov. 12 at the Southeast Regional Championships in Greenville, N.C. The top two teams and top four individuals who are not on an advancing team will qualify for the NCAA Championships, held Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.
With the wins over North Carolina, Duke gains two points in the Carlyle Cup standings, where the Blue Devils currently lead 5 - 0.5. Duke and North Carolina compete every year for the Carlyle Cup and earn a point for each win over the other school. Duke has won three of the last five Carlyle Cups.