DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke track and field team returns to the road this weekend as the Blue Devils travel to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Tennessee Relays.
Jumps and Pole Vault
- The Duke women’s pole vaulters will try to continue their early season dominance in the invitational section on Saturday. Madison Heath and Laura Marty have the top two marks for Duke this season and are coming off finishing in the top two spots at the Battle of the Blues. Heath has cleared 14-7.25 (4.45), setting her personal-best and making her second all-time at Duke. Marty has a season-best leap of 13-7.25 (4.15) and finished in first place at the Battle of the Blues. Joining them this weekend will be Nati Sheppard and Rivka Arbiv. Sheppard has a season-best 13-1.50 (4.00) while Arbiv has cleared 12-6.25 (3.82) this season.
“That week coming into the Battle of the Blues, the pole vaulters had a hard week of training after coming back from Texas,” said associate head coach Shawn Wilbourn. “They vaulted well in that state. We’re freshening up for Tennessee so I’m looking for the vaulters to jump a little bit better than this past weekend. That’s the goal and right now we’re just trying to get a little bit better each week for ACC’s.”
- Sydnei Murphy and Kethlin Campbell will represent Duke in the long jump. Murphy has opened her season with a pair of second place finishes. Her season-best leap was 20-5.25 (6.23) at the Texas Relays. Campbell finished in fourth place at last week’s Battle of the Blues in her outdoor long jump debut.
“We’re taking Kethlin and Sydney in the long jump,” Wilbourn added. “We’re trying to balance their sprinting and jumping and so this week we’ll focus on the jumping without needed to worry about running a 100m sprint or a relay. They can focus on the long jump and dial in on their approach consistency. Potentially next week we’ll sprint and jump, but this week we’ll focus on the jumps.”
- Murphy will also compete in the triple jump for the first time this season.
- In the men’s pole vault, Caleb Sanford and Esteban Suarez will compete for the second time this season. Suarez started his season with a fourth place finish and a clearance of 14-10.25 (4.53) at the Battle of the Blues. In the same meet, Sanford took sixth place and cleared 14-4.50 (4.38).
Sprints and Hurdles
- India Lowe and Lauren Hoffman will compete in the 400m hurdles one week after they both moved into the top five all-time at Duke. Racing in the hurdles for the first time this season, Lowe became just the third Blue Devil to cross the finish line in less than a minute. Her time of 59.46 won her the Battle of the Blues and put her third all-time in program history. Hoffman was right behind Lowe in second place with a time of 1:00.27. It improved on her opening time of 1:00.50 at the Texas Relays and put her at No. 4 all-time at Duke.
“The 400m hurdlers, that’s an event where we need to run as often as possible,” Wilbourn said. “We’re trying to establish a consistent step pattern. So whenever we get an opportunity to run the 400m hurdles, we’re going to do it and then India and Lauren will come back and run the 200m for a little speed work.”
- Hoffman and Lowe will double up as they also compete in the 200m along with Campbell. Campbell finished in third in the event at the Battle of the Blues with a time of 23.93, the fifth-fastest time in Duke history. Hoffman and Lowe will be running the 200m for the first time this season, but Lowe ran a personal-best 24.07 during the indoor season. That made her third all-time on Duke’s indoor list.
- The men’s javelin squad are coming off a great performance at the Battle of the Blues. Michael Marsack took second place after he had a personal-best throw of 216-8 (66.03). That is fourth all-time at Duke. Finishing right behind him was Nicholas Solfanelli with a season-best throw of 206-2 (62.85).
- Rounding out the field events is Jack Maher in the shot put. Maher has a season-best throw of 50-6.25 (15.40) and has top-three finishes at both the Outdoor Opener and the Battle of the Blues.
- Starting off the distance events will be Kyle Francis and Matt Wisner in the 800m. Francis ran a season-best 1:51.50 to finish in third at the Battle of the Blues. Wisner, Duke’s record holder in the indoor 800m, has not run the event outdoors this season but set a personal-best 3:49.00 in the 1,500m at the Battle of the Blues.
- Jordan Burton returns to the 1,500m after a personal-best time in the 800m last week. Burton also has a personal-best 3:50.36 in the 1,500m this season. Alex Miley finished in sixth in the 1,500m last week with a personal-best time of 3:51.28. Alec Kunzweiler is coming off winning the 3,000m steeplechase in his first attempt at the event. He will bump down to the 1,500m with CJ Ambrosio, Josiah Hanko and Matt Luppino also running.
- On the women’s side, Veronica Brtek will toe the start line in the 1,500m. Brtek began her season in the 1,500m at the Battle of the Blues.
- Michael Ungvarsky and AJ Eckmann will race in the 3,000m steeplechase. In his first steeplechase, Ungvarsky finished in third place with a time of 9:11.10.
- In the 5,000m, four Blue Devils will compete. Paul Dellinger, Stephen Garrett and Tom Sullivan will all be making their season debut in the 5,000m while Josh Romine will be competing for the second time after competing at the Raleigh Relays.
- The Blue Devils will close out the weekend with the distance medley relay. Duke’s squad will consist of Wisner, Francis, Miley and Burton.
The full schedule of events can be found here.