DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke track and field team will compete for the final time prior to the ACC Outdoor Championships when the Blue Devils travel to Charlottesville, Va., for the Virginia Grand Prix on Saturday.
- Duke has two of the best hammer throwers in the ACC in Stefani Vukajlovic and Iyin Battle and the pair will open Saturday’s competition for Duke. Vukajlovic holds Duke’s record in the event, reaching 203-1 (61.90) that placed her third at the Texas Relays and she has added first-place finishes at the Battle of the Blues and Outdoor Opener. Vukajlovic currently sits in fourth in the ACC and is ninth in the NCAA East Region.
- Battle is second all-time at Duke after launching the hammer 186-7 (56.87) to win the Outdoor Opener. Battle also has a pair of top-five finishes at the Battle of the Blues (3rd) and the Duke Invitational (5th). He resides in sixth in the ACC this season. Joining Battle in the competition will be Jack Maher. Maher has a season-best throw of 160-11 (49.05).
- Three Blue Devils are in the top-seven of the ACC in the javelin throw this season. Kiegan Lenihan is third in the conference and third all-time at Duke after he threw 217-9 (66.38) to win the Battle of the Blues. Michael Marsack is right behind him in fourth and is competing in the Penn Relays this weekend. Joining Lenihan in Virginia will be the defending ACC champion Nicholas Solfanelli. Solfanelli has a season-best throw of 206-2 (62.85) and is seventh in the ACC this season. Combined, the Blue Devil men’s javelin squad has racked up 15 top-10 finishes.
Jumps & Pole Vault
- In the triple jump, Domonique Panton will try to close her regular-season with her fourth top-10 finish. Panton has a personal-best leap of 41-0.50 (12.51) to place her second all-time at Duke and earn her third straight Battle of the Blues titles. She is sixth in the ACC so far this season.
- Duke’s dominant women’s pole vault squad has five Blue Devils ranked in the top-20 of the ACC and four will compete this weekend. Madison Heath paces Duke with a clearance of 14-7.25 (4.45) ranking second in program history and third in the ACC. Laura Marty is fourth all-time at Duke after reaching 13-9.25 (4.20) and she is fifth in the conference. Also in the top-10 is Nati Sheppard who checks in at No. 8 after clearing 13-3.50 (4.05) to set a personal-best. Rounding out Duke’s squad this weekend will be Chesney Ward who has a personal-best mark of 13-5.25 (4.10).
- Leading Duke’s men’s pole vault is Esteban Suarez after he cleared a personal-best 16-4.75 (5.00) at the Duke Invitational last weekend. Suarez is now fifth in the ACC this season. Joining Suarez will be Caleb Sanford who cleared his season-best of 15-3.00 (4.65) at the Tennessee Relays.
- In the long jump, Kethlin Campbell and Kate Kutzer will compete on the women’s side while JR Smith will enter the men’s competition. Campbell has a season-best leap of 18-10.50 (5.75), placing her in fourth at the Battle of the Blues. It will be the first individual long jump competition for Kutzer, although she competed in the event as a part of the heptathlon.
- Smith cleared a season-best 22-7.00 (6.88) at last week’s Duke Invitational.
- Rounding out the jumps will be Bryant Lewis and Benjamin Ross competing in the high jump. Both Lewis and Bryant have a season-best jump of 6-5.00 (1.96) and Lewis earned first-place at the Outdoor Opener.
Sprints & Hurdles
- Campbell is third all-time at Duke in the 100m after she ran a time of 11.72 at the Duke Invitational. The freshman from Shelbyville, Tenn., has a pair of top-five finishes in the 100m, taking third at the Battle of the Blues and fifth at the Duke Invitational as well as helping Duke set the school record with a time of 44.47 in the 4x100m relay.
- Campbell’s third event of the day will be the 200m dash where she will be joined by Simi Gbadegesin, Lauren Hoffman and Kutzer. Campbell is second all-time at Duke with a time of 23.61 and finished in the top-three at both the Battle of the Blues and the Duke Invitational. Gbadegesin clocked a personal-best time of 25.12 this season.
- Hoffman, Gbadgesin and Kutzer will all pull double duty in the sprints and hurdles. Hoffman will race in the 400m hurdles, an event in which she holds the fourth-fastest time in school history. Hoffman clocked a time of 1:00.27 to enter the Duke record books and finish second at the Battle of the Blues.
- Gbadgesin will race in the 400m. The Durham, N.C., product has a personal-best time of 57.22 this year and a top-10 finish at the Battle of the Blues. Kutzer has a season-best time of 15.18 in the 100m hurdles and earned a fifth-place finish at the Battle of the Blues.
- Chase Peterson will cover both his usual 400m hurdles as well as the 200m dash. Peterson is coming off a season-best time of 53.50 in the hurdles at last week’s Duke Invitational. It will be the first time this season that the graduate student from San Diego, Calif., will race in the 200m.
- Duke’s only distance runners competing at the Grand Prix will be a group of five runners in the 1,500m. Kim Hallowes and Leigha Torino will come back to compete after setting personal-bests at last week’s Duke Invitational. Hallowes finishes ninth with a time of 4:27.20 while Torino was right behind her crossing the finish line in 4:27.28 to take tenth place. Joining them in the race will be Liz Lansing, who raced a season-best 4:33.19 last weekend as well as Sheridan Wilbur and Veronica Brtek.
The meet will get started with the women’s hammer throw at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday morning. Events on the track will get underway at 6:10 p.m. Live results can be found here.