DURHAM, N.C. – With the regular season completed, the Duke men’s and women’s track & field programs will turn their focus to the ACC Indoor Championships, hosted by Clemson at the Clemson Indoor Track.
“We have the chance to compete against some of the very best track teams in the country,” said director of track and field Norm Ogilvie. “We have some areas that we’re very strong in. What comes to mind first is the women’s pole vault with five ACC qualifiers so that should be a strong point producer for us. Also on a roll for us is senior sprinter Maddy Price, running in the 200m, 400m and 4x400 relay. Our 4x400 relay should be very competitive. We also have one of the outstanding quarter-milers in the ACC in Steven Solomon. He has Olympic experience and will run the 400 for the first time this season. That should be interesting. Some recent good news in the men’s high jump with Rivers Ridout clearing seven feet. He’s ranked fifth in the conference as is our men’s DMR.”
Setting the Scene
The Blue Devils will travel to Clemson, S.C., to compete at the 2018 ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships Feb. 22-24 at the Clemson Indoor Track.
At the 2017 championship meet, the Duke women finished sixth in the team standings followed by the men in 13th.
Friday and Saturday’s portion of the meet will feature coverage on ACC Network Extra. The meet will be live Friday from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m., while Saturday will air from 12:30 p.m. through the conclusion of the meet. Calling the action will be former Olympic decathlon gold medalist Dan O’Brien (analyst), ESPN announcer Shawn Kenney (play-by-play) and sideline reporter Hanna Yates.
All 15 ACC teams will compete at Clemson this weekend. That includes sixth-ranked Florida State, ninth-ranked Syracuse and 17th-ranked Virginia Tech on the men’s side and 15th-ranked Virginia Tech for the women.
“There’s incredible depth in every event across this conference. That’s what happens when you have 15 quality Power Five teams,” said Ogilvie “For the young people, coming in running their first ACCs, their eyes will be wide open and they’ll learn something. But it’s a good thing, it’s learning how to compete and how to advance out of a heat and make a final.”
Quest for Another Crown
Senior Madison Heath will look to capture the ACC indoor women’s pole vault title for the second consecutive season. The Mandeville, La., native secured gold and All-ACC accolades last year after clearing 13-11.25 (4.25).
Duke will field five of the top 10 ACC women’s pole vaulters. Heath leads the way with the second-best mark in the ACC, reaching 14-1.75 (4.31) to finish first at the Carolina Cup. Laura Marty holds the fourth spot in the conference with a mark of 13-10 (4.22). Heath (9th) and Marty (19th) are both in the top 20 in the nation. Also qualifying for the championships is Rivka Arbiv (13-5.25 [4.10]; 6th in the ACC), Nati Sheppard (12-11.5 [3.95], 8th) and Chesney Ward (12-11.5 [3.95]; 8th).
The men also have two pole vaulters ranked in the top-10 of the conference. Esteban Suarez ranks fourth with a personal-best clearance of 16-2.75 (4.95). In eighth is Sobota, as he has cleared 15-9 (4.80).
Ridout cleared 7-0.25 (2.14) at the Air Force Invite to garner the second best clearance in school history and also ranks fifth in the ACC. Colt Sessions follows close behind at No. 10 in the conference after posting a jump of 6-8.75 (2.05). Cassie Martin is seventh in the conference with a season-best clearance of 5-7.00 (1.70) and has two first-place finishes.
Freshman Kethlin Campbell has excelled on and off the track in her debut season and will represent Duke in the long jump this weekend. Campbell posted the fourth-best jump in school history with a leap of 19-9 (6.02), the third-best jump in the ACC. Also in the top five of ACC is Sydnei Murphy who has a season-best mark of 19-8.25 (6.00). Murphy was first team All-ACC in the long jump in 2017 after she finished in second with a jump of 20-7.00 (6.27).
Domonique Panton broke the school record in the triple jump when she cleared 40-10.25 (12.45) at the Tiger Paw Invite. Panton ranks fourth in the ACC this season.
Duke has broken the 200m school record three times this season. Price currently holds the record after she ran a time of 23.73 at the Tiger Paw Invite. In second in Duke’s record books is Campbell who briefly held the school record after she clocked a time of 24.01. Price ranks fourth in the conference while Campbell is 12th.
Price is also in the top-10 of the conference in the 400m. Price has a season-best time of 54.18, putting her in sixth. Also in the top 20 is MacKenzie Kerr (16th) who has a time of 55.24. For the men, Miles Mingo and Solomon will take the start. Mingo is coming off a life time best time of 48.35, which ranks him third in school-history and ranks him 19th in the conference. It will be the first time racing in the 400 as a Blue Devil for Solomon, who is a former Olympic finalist in the event.
Erin Marsh will race in the 60m hurdles after clocking the fourth-fastest time in school history earlier this season. Her time of 8.62 is 20th in the conference.
Matt Wisner and Brittany Aveni have both seen success in the 800m this season. In the 2017 edition of the championships, Wisner set the school record with a time of 1:50.10. This season, Wisner is ranked 16th in the conference with a time of 1:51.67. Aveni set a personal-best of 2:08.27, placing her seventh in the ACC.
In the mile run, Jordan Burton ranks 26th in the conference with a personal-best time of 4:07.68. Gabrielle Richichi and Olivia Gwynn both rank inside the top-30 in the ACC in the mile. Richichi’s time of 4:53.05 is 29th and Gwynn is 30th with a mark of 4:53.53.
Gwynn has a team-best time of 9:55.53 to lead the Blue Devils in the 3,000m while Sheridan Wilbur is right behind her with a time of 9:55.72. For the men, Josh Romine is coming off running a personal-best time of 8:27.46 while Nikhil Pulimood has a time of 8:28.86. Those are the two best times run by a Blue Devil this season.
In the 5,000m, Cole Hoff (14:39.60) and Paul Dellinger (14:40.25) have the two best Duke times this season and both will toe the start line in the event. Lindsay Billings has a season-best of 17:26.15 to lead Duke. She will be joined by Michaela Reinhart who will be making her indoor debut after competing at the NACAC Cross Country Championships last weekend.
Wisner, Mingo, Solomon and Burton will take the track ranked as the fifth fastest DMR in the ACC with a season-best time of 9:45.70. The women’s relay will be composed of Richichi, Lauren Hoffman, Leigha Torino, and Gwynn. The Blue Devils rank ninth in the conference with a time of 11:42.66.
Price, Aveni, India Lowe and Kerr will team up in the 4x400m after posting the fourth best time in the ACC of 3:38.17, which also ranks fourth in Duke history.
Stefani Vukajlovic and Iyin Battle are slated to represent Duke in the weight throw and are ranked 14th and 10th, respectively, in the conference. Vukajlovic posted a personal-best mark of 58-4.75 (17.80), while Battle tossed the implement 57-0.75 (17.39), both of which are second on Duke’s all-time list.
Duke will have four athletes competing in the multi-events. The Blue Devils have two ranked in the top four of the heptathlon. Jacob Sobota scored a personal-best 5,204 to rank second in the conference and Christian Friis ranks fourth with 5,072. On the women’s sidein the pentathlon, Marsh has a season-best total of 3,478. Also competing will be Jaida Lemmons, who finished ninth in last season’s ACC Championships.
“We’re going to go and compete to the best of our ability and place high in the conference, as high as we’re capable of,” Ogilvie added. “We’ve been to the Clemson track twice this year so we shouldn’t be strangers to that. I think we’re all anxious to get after it and see how it goes.”
A full list of Blue Devils scheduled to compete can be found below:
Pentathlon: Jaida Lemmons, Erin Marsh
Heptathlon: Jacob Sobota, Christian Friis
Men’s High Jump: Rivers Ridout, Colt Sessions
Women’s High Jump: Tracy Jander, Cassie Martin
Women’s Long Jump: Kethlin Campbell, Sydnei Murphy
Men’s Long Jump: JR Smith
Men’s Weight Throw: Iyin Battle, Ben Beatty
Women’s Weight Throw: Stefani Vukajlovic
Women’s Pole Vault: Rivka Arbiv, Madison Heath, Laura Marty, Nati Sheppard, Chesney Ward
Men’s Pole Vault: Jacob Sobota, Esteban Suarez
Women’s Triple Jump: Sydnei Murphy, Domonique Panton
Men’s Shot Put: Ben Beatty, Jack Maher
Women’s 60m: Kethlin Campbell, Domonique Panton
Women’s 60m Hurdles: Erin Marsh, Lauren Hoffman
Women’s 200m: Kethlin Campbell, India Lowe, Maddy Price
Men’s 200m: Tionne Barmer
Women’s 400m: MacKenzie Kerr, Maddy Price
Men’s 400m: Miles Mingo, Steven Solomon
Women’s 800m: Brittany Aveni, Leigha Torino
Men’s 800m: Kyle Francis, Matt Wisner
Women’s Mile: Olivia Gwynn, Gabrielle Richichi
Men’s Mile: Jordan Burton, Alex Miley, Josh Romine
Women’s 3,000m: Olivia Gwynn, Sheridan Wilbur
Men’s 3,000m: Nikhil Pulimood, Josh Romine
Women’s 5,000m: Lindsay Billings, Michaela Reinhart
Men’s 5,000m: Paul Dellinger, Cole Hoff
Women’s 4x400m: India Lowe, MacKenzie Kerr, Brittany Aveni, Maddy Price
Women’s DMR: Gabrielle Richichi, Lauren Hoffman, Leigha Torino, Olivia Gwynn