DES MOINES, Iowa – Recent Duke graduate senior Cydney Ross closed out her Duke career with a 15th place finish in the women’s 800 semifinals at the 2013 USA Championships Friday, June 21 in Des Moines, Iowa. The St. Louis, Mo., native crossed the line in 2:03.07 and capped off a fantastic year that included being a three-time All-America, two-time ACC Champion and school record holder.
Ross began the race towards the back of a tight pack but was able to find enough room to gradually move up throughout the middle 400. She lost touch with the leaders in the final 150 meters, unable to produce a good enough kick to advance to the finals.
Earlier in the day, rising sophomore Megan Clark competed her way to the top of the podium in the junior women’s pole vault and earned a coveted spot to represent the United States at the 2013 Pan Am Junior Athletics Championships.
In adverse weather conditions, Clark matched her personal best of 13-7.25 (4.15) to win the event. The Fort Benning, Ga., native almost knocked herself out of the competition after missing twice at 12-11.5 (3.95) but was able to clear the bar on her third attempt.
“She had a clutch performance, commented Duke associate head coach Shawn Wilbourn. “She cleared her first bar but had two misses on the second. I just challenged her, I told her that she needed to gut it out and make it and she did. It wasn’t a pretty vault but she fought and used her gymnastics ability to get over the bar. She looked great over the next bar and when she made 4.15 on her second attempt I knew that she was going to finish in the top two. The wind was swirling and giving a lot of the athlete’s trouble but she handled it better than anybody. It was a lot of fun.”
The 2013 Pan Am Junior Athletics Championships will be in Medellin, Columbia, August 23-25. Clark will be joined by incoming freshman Kendall Gustafson who qualified for the championship event after finishing second in the women’s heptathlon with a point total of 5,189.
Next up, Duke alum Shannon Rowbury will vie for a spot at the 2013 World Championships in the women’s 1,500 Saturday, June 22.