CARY, N.C. – With six of the top 11 overall finishers, the Duke men’s cross country team surged to a first-place team victory on Saturday morning at WakeMed Soccer Park in the Great American Cross Country Festival.
Duke secured the top spot in the 16-team field with 26 team points to earn their second win of the fall campaign, while Morehouse finished second with 93 points. Florida Atlantic came in third place with 104 team points, with Emmanuel (107) and North Carolina A&T (113) rounding out the top five.
“I’m very happy with our performance today,” said head coach Norm Ogilvie. “This meet became very important to us when we lost a weekend due to Hurricane Florence. We had to get these guys racing because they hadn’t toed the line since August 31st, and they responded very well. We had four freshmen in the race, and for all those guys, it was the first 8K of their career. I think they did very well. It was great to see Dalton Randall returning from an injury to lead us with a strong second-place finish.”
In his first competition in two years, junior Dalton Randall provided an impressive performance, finishing second overall with a time 25:09.7 to lead the way for the Blue Devils. The upperclassmen duo of junior Matt Wisner (25:22.9) and senior Stephen Garrett (25:25.6) were right behind Randall, finishing third and fourth, respectively, to give Duke three top-five overall finishers.
Ethan Ready notched a personal-best on Saturday with a solid outing that saw the junior post a time of 25:40.5, eclipsing his previous best by 35 seconds to earn him a seventh-place overall finish. Freshman Carter Dillon also earned a top-10 overall finish, finishing 10th with a time of 25:45.9, while fellow freshman Will Dixon (25:51.4) finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place.
The Blue Devils had three more runners inside the top 20 with the trio of Joe Cullen, Adamson Bryant and Zachary Alhamra. Cullen placed 13th overall, clocking a time of 26:20.4, with Bryant (26:37.1) finishing three spots behind in 16th. In his first race of the season, Alhamra recorded a time of 26:50.5 to finish 20th in the 104-man field.
Freshman Devin Connell was the final Duke runner to cross, posting a time of 27:25.1 to close out the Blue Devils’ 10-man lineup.
With today’s results, Duke adds 15 wins to its total, improving its overall record to 34-1 through three races of the fall season. The Blue Devils will return to action next week, splitting the squad for the ECU Pirates Invitational on Oct. 12 and Pre Nationals on Oct. 13.