EUGENE, ORE. – The Duke track and field team finished its season on Thursday night as five Blue Devils were named second-team All-America at the 2018 NCAA Championships at Hayward Field.
The women’s 4x400m relay team ran its second-fastest race of the season, but it was not enough to book a spot in Saturday’s final as the Blue Devils finished in ninth place, one spot out of the eight team final. Duke clocked a time of 3:32.26, which is the second-fastest performance in school history, trailing only the same foursome’s time of 3:32.21 from the NCAA East Regional two weeks ago.
India Lowe and MacKenzie Kerr had Duke among the leaders halfway through the race, as the two combined to cover the first 800m in 1:46.34. Brittany Aveni followed with a 400m split of 53.96, placing Duke fifth heading into the final leg. Maddy Price gave it a valiant effort, running a split under 52 seconds for the third time this season, as she clocked a split of 51.97. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, it left them just outside qualifying.
With the ninth place finish, Lowe, Kerr and Price earn second-team All-America honors for the second straight season while Aveni earns the first of her career. It is the highest NCAA Championships finish by a Duke 4x400 relay.
“They ran tough,” said director of track and field Norm Ogilvie. “It’s the best 4x400 relay in Duke school history. They won the Championship of America at the Penn Relays. They were outstanding in Regionals two weeks ago and came back today with the No. 2 all-time performance at Duke. It ends a phenomenal career for Maddy. She was outstanding all of her senior year and we wish her the very best.”
In the women’s pole vault, Laura Marty earned the highest finish of her career, taking 15th with a mark of 13-7.25 (4.15). Marty failed to clear 13-1.50 (4.00) on her first attempt, but bounced right back to advance. She had no trouble vaulting over 13-7.25 (4.15) on her first attempt at that height to advance once again. However, the Seattle, Wash., native could not clear 14-1.25 (4.30), a mark that would have been a personal-best.
With the 15th place finish, Marty earns second-team All-America honors for the first time in her career. She improves on her 17th place finish in 2017.
“Congratulations to Laura with her second-team All-America honors,” Ogilvie said. “It would have taken a personal-best to move on and we’re very proud of the way she competed. She now has two years of NCAA experience and hopefully has 2 more shots at it. She has a very bright future.”