WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Duke track and field team closed out the regular season portion of its indoor schedule with a strong performance on the final day of the UCS Invite at the JDL Fast Track on Saturday afternoon.
For the third time this season, a Blue Devil finished atop the women’s pole vault leaderboard. This week it was Madison Heath taking home the victory as the senior cleared 13-5.25 (4.10). Right behind her in second was Laura Marty who also cleared 13-5.25 (4.10). With those finishes, Duke has finished in the top two eight times this season. In fifth place was Chesney Ward, clearing a season-best 12-11.50 (3.95). That qualifies Ward for the ACC Indoor Championships, joining Heath, Marty, Rivka Arbiv and Nati Sheppard in doing so this season. Arbiv also reached a height of 12-11.50 (3.95) to finish in seventh while Sheppard’s 12-5.50 (3.80) was good for ninth place. Overall, Duke now has five of the top ten marks in the ACC this season.
“It’s really good to see the ACC qualifying mark picked up by Chesney,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “That’s the fifth such mark by our women’s pole vaulters. Having five qualifiers in the same event is something that hasn’t been done by many schools and it really shows the dominance of Coach Shawn Wilbourn’s squad.”
In the men’s weight throw, Iyin Battle set a personal-best when he tossed the implement 57-0.75 (17.39). Battle ranks second on the all-time lists at Duke after his toss. The Chapel Hill, N.C., native finished in sixth place in the event and he is tenth overall in the conference this season.
Duke saw two Blue Devils run season-best times in the 3,000m. Josh Romine (8:27.46) was the seventh finisher overall and fourth collegiate athlete to cross the finish line. Right behind him in eighth was Tom Sullivan (8:28.87). Those times by Romine and Sullivan are two of the top three times run by Duke this season.
In the men’s pole vault, Esteban Suarez collected his second top-three finish of the season. Suarez cleared a mark of 15-11 (4.85) to finish third overall and second among collegians.
Rounding out the field events was Stefani Vukajlovic who took fourth place in the women’s weight throw. On her second throw of the day, Vukajlovic tossed the implement 57-8.5 (17.59). That throw is the second furthest of the season for Vukajlovic.
Duke will start its postseason on Thursday, Feb. 22 when the Blue Devils travel to Clemson, S.C., for the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships.