DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke cross country team welcomes five student-athletes to the 2018-19 season as the Blue Devils received commitments from Rylee Bowen, Elizabeth Reneau, Clara Savchik, Monica Hebner and Ellen Hirsberg.
Here is a closer look at the future Blue Devils:
Rylee Bowen hails from Sonoma, Calif., and is finishing up her senior season racing for Sonoma Academy. Bowen closed her prep cross country career as the three-time California state champion. She has personal-best time of 4:43.92 in the 1,600m, 10:13.20 in the 3,200m and 6:41.26 in the 2,000m steeplechase.
“Rylee brings a great amount of energy and enthusiasm to the program,” said women’s head coach Rhonda Riley. “Rylee is a very talented and driven athlete who is determined to make a name for herself at Duke. She is an excellent steeplechaser and will have a bright future in this event at Duke.”
Elizabeth Reneau is from Argyle, Tex., and attends Argyle Liberty Christian High School. Reneau has consistently been excellent in cross country throughout her prep career, winning the Texas state championship four times. She has personal-best times of 4:56.83 in the 1,600m, 10:34.05 in the 3,200m and 16:14.90 in the three-mile.
“Elizabeth is someone who instantly connected with the team on her visit,” Riley said. “She is humble, hard-working and will thrive in a team environment. Elizabeth is a team player who will be a great addition to this squad.”
Clara Savchik, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., is finishing up her high school career at North Alleghany High School. Savchik has personal-best time of 10:18 in the two-mile race and 17:46 in the 5K.
“I’m excited to see what Clara can do in college,” said Riley. “She is someone who has a lot of grit and toughness. I love how balanced Clara is and her passion for excelling in everything that she does.”
Monica Hebner comes to Durham from Allendale, N.J., and attends Northern Highlands High School. Hebner finished in first place at the 2017 NJSIAAA cross country Meet of Champions to finish her senior cross country season. She has personal-best times of 10:38.39 in the 3,200m and 16:53.91 in the 5K.
“Monica is one of the most determined athletes I have recruited,” Riley said. “When she has her mind set on a goal, I have no doubt she will achieve it. Monica is very talented and will be a very strong runner in this program. We are excited to have Monica join the team.”
Ellen Hirsberg, a product of Las Vegas, Nev., and competes for The Meadows High School. Hirsberg has excelled in the 400m and 800m, clocking times of 58.91 in the 400m and 2:17.36 in the 800m.
“Ellen is fairly new to running and has what it takes to be very successful at Duke,” said Riley. “I love Ellen’s desire to be the best and to work hard at achieving her goals. Ellen will be a great middle distance runner and I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do as a Blue Devil.”