TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Wrapping up the ACC Outdoor Championships in Tallahassee, Fla., with the third and final day of competition, the Duke track & field program combined for three silver medals and a plethora of personal-record performances Sunday. Senior Anima Banks had a hand in 21 of Duke’s 66 points on the women’s side, with matching silver medals in the women’s 800 and 1,500 and a fourth-place showing in the 4x400, to lead the Blue Devils. Overall, 11 Blue Devils combined for 13 All-ACC performances over the three-day competition
In the final team standings, the Duke women finished sixth overall with 66 points, while the men scored 26.5 points to finish 13th. Florida State captured the women’s team title with 106.5 points, and Virginia Tech was crowned champions on the men’s side with 129 points.
Banks stole the show Sunday afternoon in the finals of the women’s 800 and 1,500, snagging a pair of silver medals to go with an automatic-qualifying time for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 800. After capturing the silver medal and first team All-ACC honors with a time of 4:14.67 in the 1,500 final, a mark that ranks as the second-fastest time in Duke history, Banks returned strong as ever in the 800 just over an hour later with another silver-medal finish. The Mamaroneck, N.Y., native nearly edged Virginia Tech’s Hanna Green at the line to win the title, but her runner-up performance with a time of 2:02.50 secured a trip to July’s Olympic Trials while ranking second all-time in school history.
“She’s a warrior,” Ogilvie said. “There’s no question about it. She’s fit, she’s confident and she has a great combination of speed and endurance. It’s a perfect match for both the 800 and the 1,500 … that’s just a really great sequence of races.”
Fellow senior Madison Granger joined Banks in the 1,500 and finished fourth with a 4:18.67, the No. 5 time in the Duke records book, to garner second team All-ACC recognition. Freshman Liz Lansing placed one spot out of scoring, stopping the clock at 4:31.74 to finish ninth.
Over in the field events, senior Maddie Morrow claimed a silver medal of her own Sunday as she placed second in the women’s high jump. Finishing with a height of 5-8.75 (1.75m), her second-best clearance of the season, Morrow cleared each of her four successful heights on her first attempt, putting her atop a four-way tie to garner runner-up honors and first team All-ACC status.
The Blue Devils added seven points in the men’s javelin competition, led by redshirt senior Thomas Lang placing fourth for five points. The ACC champion in the event in both 2014 and 2015, Lang registered a throw of 211-8 (64.51m) on his third attempt to ultimately capture second team All-ACC recognition, while freshman Nicholas Solfanelli broke the 60-meter barrier for the second time this year to place seventh and score two points with a mark of 196-11 (60.02m). Duke added a third top-10 placing in the event as sophomore Travis Closs finished 10th, heaving the javelin 187-0 (57.00m).
Less than 24 hours after placing fourth and earning second team All-ACC honors in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, graduate student Shaun Thompson duplicated that effort with a fourth-place showing in the men’s 5,000. Setting the pace for a major portion of the competition, Thompson clocked a personal-best time of 13:54.76, the fourth-best time in school history, capped by a 58.06 split on the final lap. In the women’s race, freshman Sheridan Wilbur took 11th with a time of 17:11.84.
In the men’s 1,500 final, junior Alec Kunzweiler added three points for the Blue Devils and captured second team All-ACC status by placing sixth with a personal-record time of 3:44.51. The showing for Kunzweiler topped his previous all-time best of 3:46.23 set last month. Classmate Dylan Murphy toed the line in the men’s 800 final, scoring two points with a 1:50.77 showing to place seventh. Both Kunzweiler and Murphy, who ran a personal-best 1:49.18 in the 800 prelims yesterday, put themselves in good position to qualify for the upcoming NCAA East Preliminary Round.
The Blue Devils received another boost in the women’s 400 final as sophomore Maddy Price and junior Madeline Kopp combined for six points. Price led the way with her second PR in as many days, running a 53.50 to place fifth and rank No. 2 in the Duke records book. Kopp crossed the line in a time of 53.96 to place seventh. Returning to the track roughly an hour later, Price scored another point by finishing eighth in the women’s 200 final with a time of 24.13.
Wrapping up the running events with the 4x400 relays, the Duke women’s team of Kopp, Price, freshman MacKenzie Kerr and Banks finished fourth in a time of 3:37.57, while the men’s team of Matthew Rodio, Brett Bofinger, Michal Filipczak and Chaz Hawkins won section one and placed seventh overall with a combined showing of 3:10.96, which ranks third in the Duke records book.
Duke added three more top-10 finishes in the rest of the field events. Junior Amarie Bremel just missed putting points on the board for Duke in the women’s discus, placing ninth overall with a distance of 150-9 (45.94m), while redshirt senior Stephen Boals took 10th in the men’s discus with a mark of 166-3 (50.67m). Competing in her first ACC Outdoor Championships, freshman Domonique Panton tied for 11th in the women’s triple jump after registering a leap of 40-0.00 (12.19m).
Duke will return to the state of Florida in two weeks for the NCAA East Preliminary Round scheduled for May 26-28 in Jacksonville.
A full list of Blue Devils that earned All-ACC honors throughout the weekend can be found below:
2nd Team All-ACC
Olivia Anderson – Women’s Steeplechase (5th)
Madison Granger – Women’s 1,500 (4th)
Teddi Maslowski – Heptathlon (4th)
Maddy Price – Women’s 400 (5th)
Alec Kunzweiler – Men’s 1,500 (6th)
Thomas Lang – Men’s Javelin (4th)
Shaun Thompson – Men’s Steeplechase (4th), Men’s 5,000 (4th)