ATLANTA, Ga. – With most of Friday's competition on the track serving as preliminary heats and after only four scored events for the women and two on the men's side, the Duke track & field program secured two ACC titles through day one at the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Heading into Saturday's portion of the meet, the Duke women sit atop the leaderboard in second with 42 points, trailing only Virginia Tech with 43.5 points. On the men's side, the Blue Devils are also in second place with 17 points, just behind Virginia with 20.
Sophomore Nicholas Solfanelli put the Blue Devils on the scoreboard with a first-place showing in the men's javelin competition. Solfanelli registered a personal-best 212-10 (64.89) mark to claim gold, marking the third gold medalist and fourth title overall in the men's javelin for associate head coach B.J. Linnenbrink.
Also grabbing gold was junior Madison Heath in the women's pole vault competition. Heath cleared 13-10.50 (4.23) for her first outdoor ACC title as she captured bronze one year ago.
Alongside Solfanelli was freshmen Kiegan Lenihan and Michael Marsack and junior Travis Closs. The Blue Devil men were outstanding today in javelin to combine for 17 points towards Duke's total score. Lenihan placed fifth with a mark of 199-7 (60.85), followed by Marsack with a 196-10 (60.00) mark to take sixth and Closs in ninth with 185-5 (56.52). Lenihan and Marsack collected second team All-ACC accolades following their performances
Once again, the women's pole vault squad continued their impressive outdoor season. Heath, Laura Marty and Nati Sheppard swept the top-three spots for a Duke takeover on the podium. Marty soared 13-6.50 (4.13) to take silver and was followed close behind by Sheppard's personal-best clearance of 13-2.50 (4.03) to capture bronze. Chesney Ward rounded out the complete Blue Devil performance in sixth and second team All-ACC with a height of 13-2.50 (4.03).
Elsewhere in field events, freshman Katelyn Gochenour and senior Christine Streisel took third and fourth, respectively, in the javelin competition. Gochenour registered a mark of 167-5 (51.03) to garner first team All-ACC honors and Streisel tossed the implement 161-9 (49.30) to claim second team.
Sophomore Stefani Vukajlovic used a mark of 195-0 (59.45) to finish fifth overall in the women's hammer throw to gain second team All-ACC recognition. Fellow classmate Iyin Battle represented the Blue Devil men, placing ninth with a throw of 175-0 (53.34).
Graduate students Robert Rohner and Daniel Golubovic had outstanding performances through the first five events of the decathlon today in Atlanta. Rohner accumulated 3,925 points to finish day one in first place, followed by Golubovic in fourth with 3,712 points.
Rohner tallied four top-three finishes in the 100m, long jump, shot put and in the 400m, with the shot put and 400m serving as the competitors top mark. The Sumter, S.C., native kicked off competition with a second-place finish in the 100m in a time of 10.79, followed by third place in the long jump with a leap of 22-9.25 (6.94). Rohner added to his total with a first-place time of 49.22 in the 400m and a 44-9.00 (13.64) toss in the shot put. Rohner concluded his first five events with seventh place in the high jump, clearing 6-0.50 (1.84).
Golubovic completed the 100m in 11.34 to take fifth and leapt a personal-best 21-6.25 (6.56) in the long jump. The product of Los Angeles, Calif., tossed the implement 44-0.00 (13.41) to take second in the shot put competition and cleared a personal-best height of 6-4.00 (1.93) in high jump. Golubovic rounded out his overall day one performance with a personal-best time of 50.70 in the 400m.
Competing as Duke's lone competitor in the heptathlon, sophomore Jaida Lemmons sits in fifth place, registering three personal-bests and a 200 point personal-best overall total through four events. Lemmons clocked in a personal-best 14.42 in the 100m hurdles to take third and followed with a sixth-place finish in high jump, clearing 5-3.75 (1.62). The Desota, Texas, local tossed the shot put 36-5.50 (11.11) to notch sixth and posted a 25.29 in the 200m, both personal-bests.
On the track, Liz Lansing advanced to the finals of the 1,500m with a fourth-place finish in the preliminaries, clocking a personal-best 4:23.29. Lansing will return to the track Sunday for the finals.
The Blue Devils will be back in action for day two of the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. for the final five events of the decathlon. The ESPN3 broadcast will kick off at 5:30 p.m.