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Courtesy: Cheryl Treworgy
Blue Devils Prepped for ACC Outdoor Championships
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 05/08/2018
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DURHAM, N.C. – With the regular season complete, the Duke track and field team will kick off postseason competition with the ACC Outdoor Championships, beginning Thursday, May 10 and running through Saturday, May 12 in Coral Gable, Fla., at Miami’s Cobb Stadium.

One year ago, the Duke women finished in fifth overall, scoring 77.5 points. The Blue Devil men claimed 53 points to end the weekend in eighth place.

“We’re going to try to do better than last year and I really think we can,” said director of track and field Norm Ogilvie. “We’ve had a very good spring, probably our best spring in several years, especially if the Penn Relays and the meet at Virginia say anything. We set three school records at Virginia and had three top-four finishes at the Penn Relays so I think we’re coming into the ACC Championships at full stride.”

ACC Network Extra will bring live action Thursday from 6-9 p.m. Friday’s live coverage will air from 5:30-9:30 p.m., followed by Saturday’s finals from 5-9 p.m. Sean Kenney returns to handle play-by-play, while former U.S. Olympic standout Dan O’Brien will serve as analyst. The pair will be joined by distance race analyst David Mitchell and Melanie Newman as sideline reporter.

Sprints & Hurdles

  • Kethlin Campbell will take to the track for the first time since breaking the Duke record in both the 100m and the 200m at the Virginia Grand Prix. The rookie from Shelbyville, Tenn., has times of 11.59 in the 100m and 23.38 in the 200m and will race in both events this weekend.
  • Joining Campbell in the 200m will be Maddy Price. Price is second all-time at Duke in the 200m and has a season-best time of 23.53. The senior from Hillsborough, Calif., will also be racing in the 400m. Price is third in the ACC in the quarter-mile, clocking a time of 53.21 this season and has a personal-best time of 52.88.
  • Steven Solomon will compete individually as a Blue Devil for the first time this outdoor season, when he races in the 400m. The Sydney, Australia native has already clocked four races of under 46 seconds this season when representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games. He reached the finals of the individual 400m and finished in seventh place.
  • Also racing in the 400m will be MacKenzie Kerr for the women and Miles Mingo for the men. Kerr has a personal-best time of 54.07, placing her third all-time at Duke. Mingo clocked a time of 47.71 to rank fifth all-time at Duke.
  • In the 400m hurdles, Lauren Hoffman and India Lowe will compete on the women’s side while Chase Peterson will take the start for the men. Lowe and Hoffman are both in the top-five all-time at Duke, with Lowe clocking a time of 58.77 to rank third at Duke and sixth in the ACC this season, while Hoffman’s time of 1:00.27 ranks fourth in school history. Peterson is tenth in the conference in 2018 with a time of 53.50.
  • Along with competing in the heptathlon, Erin Marsh will enter in the 100m hurdles. Marsh has a time of 13.83, which is the second-fastest in Duke history.

Multi-Events

  • Duke will have a pair of competitors in the decathlon and a trio of Blue Devils in the heptathlon.
  • Jaida Lemmons is the only Duke multi-event competitor with experience at the ACC Outdoor Championships as the DeSoto, Tex., native finished in second in the heptathlon at last year’s championships with a personal-best 5,397 points. Lemmons is second in the ACC this season, scoring a season-best 5,271 points at the Bryan Clay Invitational.
  • Both Blue Devils competing in the decathlon will be making their ACC Outdoor Championships debuts. Jacob Sobota is coming off racking up 6,818 points at the Bryan Clay Invitational and is fourth in the ACC this season. Christian Friis will be looking to complete the decathlon for the first time in his collegiate career. 
  • Competing alongside Lemmons in the heptathlon will be Marsh and Kate Kutzer. Both Marsh and Kutzer have completed one heptathlon each this season, with Marsh racking up 4,976 points at the Texas Relays and Kutzer amassing 4,613 at the Bryan Clay Invitational. Marsh’s total places her fourth in the ACC this season while Kutzer is eighth.

Jumps & Pole Vault

  • Duke returns four of the top six women’s pole vaulters from the 2017 ACC Championships, including all three medalists. Madison Heath will try to repeat as champion. She is second all-time at Duke and third in the ACC this season, clearing 14-7.25 (4.45). Laura Marty took second last year and this season, has cleared 13-9.25 (4.20) to rank fourth all-time at Duke and fifth in the conference this season. In third last season was Nati Sheppard, who has cleared 13-3.5 (4.05) to rank eighth in the conference in 2018. Rounding out the quartet is Chesney Ward who finished in sixth last year and has a season-best clearance of 12-9.5 (3.90) this year.
  • Sydnei Murphy finished in third in the women’s long jump last year, earning first-team All-ACC honors. She will compete again this year and is third in the ACC with a season-best leap of 20-5.25 (6.23). Joining Murphy will be Campbell who finished in seventh at the ACC Indoor Championships.
  • Last time out, Domonique Panton broke the Duke record in the triple jump, clearing 42-2 (12.85). Panton is fifth in the ACC this season and has three top-three finishes. In eighth in the conference is Murphy, clearing 41-0.50 (12.51), the third-furthest jump in school history.
  • In the top four of the ACC is Rivers Ridout. Ridout has cleared 7-0.5 (2.15) in the high jump this year to rank fourth in the conference and third in Duke history. He will be joined by Colt Sessions who has a personal-best jump of 6-10.25 (2.09) to rank fifth in school history.
  • Esteban Suarez and Caleb Sanford will both enter the men’s pole vault competition. Suarez ranks sixth in the ACC this season with a personal-best mark of 16-4.75 (5.00) while Sanford has reached a season-best 15-3 (4.65).
  • Cassie Martin and Tracy Jander will represent Duke in the women’s high jump. Martin leads Duke with a jump of 5-5 (1.65) this season while Jander has cleared 5-4.25 (1.63).
  • In his last outing, JR Smith cleared a season-best 22-8 (6.91) in the long jump and he will try to improve that this weekend.

Throws

  • The second of Duke’s pair of returning ACC Champion is Nicholas Solfanelli, who won the 2017 men’s javelin throw. Solfanelli will be joined by Kiegan Lenihan and Michael Marsack who were both second-team All-ACC last season. Lenihan leads Duke this year with a throw of 217-9 (66.38), placing him third all-time at Duke and fourth in the conference this season. Marsack is right behind him on both lists with a throw of 216-8 (66.03) while Solfanelli is seventh in the ACC this season with a season-best 206-2 (62.85). The Blue Devil squad has racked up 18 top-10 finishes this season.
  • Stefani Vukajlovic holds the Duke record in the women’s hammer throw, reaching 203-1 (61.90) and she will be looking to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish that earned her second-team All-ACC honors. Vukajlovic is currently fifth in the ACC this season and has a pair of first-place finishes and a pair of third-place finishes this season.
  • Both Iyin Battle and Jack Maher are in the top-10 of the ACC this season in the men’s hammer throw. Battle is second all-time at Duke after he launched the hammer 189-3 (57.69) and he is sixth in the ACC so far this season. Battle has finished in the top-five on four different occasions this season, including taking the top spot at the Outdoor Opener. Maher is tenth in the conference with a season-best throw of 160-11 (49.05) and he has three top-10 finishes this year.
  • Maher will also enter into the shot put competition. The senior from Brentwood, Tenn., has a season-best toss of 50-6.25 (15.40). Maher has two top-three finishes this season.
  • Rounding out the throwers is Lemmons and Kutzer entering in the women’s javelin throw. Lemmons is sixth in the ACC this season after finishing in first at the Battle of the Blues with a throw of 140-10 (42.92). Kutzer has a season-best throw of 118-2 (36.03).

Distance

  • Duke has three runners in the top-10 of the ACC in the 800m, Matt Wisner and Jordan Burton for the men and Brittany Aveni for the women. Wisner has a personal-best time of 1:48.04 this season, ranking him third in the conference and fourth all-time at Duke. Burton is ninth in the ACC with a time of 1:50.32. Duke will also have Kyle Francis competing alongside Burton and Wisner. Francis has a season-best time of 1:51.50 this year.
  • Aveni is eighth in the ACC this season, clocking a time of 2:07.20. Also racing in the half-mile will be Liz Lansing, who has a season-best time of 2:13.75.
  • Alec Kunzweiler will be looking to win his third consecutive 3,000m steeplechase race. Kunzweiler has a personal-best time of 9:03.39. Also racing will be Michael Ungvarsky, who has a time of 9:11.10 this season, and Matt Luppino, who has clocked a time of 9:26.27.
  • Covering the 1,500m will be Burton and Alex Miley for the men and Kim Hallowes and Leigha Torino for the women. Each pair have the top-two times for Duke this season. Burton leads with a time of 3:46.88 while Miley crossed the finish line in 3:47.65. Hallowes has a Duke-best 4:27.20 this season while Torino is right behind her with a time of 4:27.28.
  • In the 10,000, Duke will have four Blue Devils entered. Amanda Beach has Duke’s only entry in the event this season, finishing in 34:53.12. Joining her will be Gabrielle Richichi and Lindsay Billings, while Nikhil Pulimood will be the lone entrant for Duke in the men’s race.
  • Billings and Richichi will also race in the women’s 5,000m and are coming off personal-best times at the Penn Relays. Richichi crossed the finish line in 16:52.65 while Billings posted a time of 17:12.29.
  • For the men, Pulimood will race again in the 5,000m as will Paul Dellinger and Josh Romine. Pulimood’s time of 14:21.49 is the best time by a Duke runner this season while Romine and Dellinger have season-best times of 14:40.41 and 14:40.82, respectively.

Relays

  • Duke will race in three relays on the ACC Championships’ final day.
  • The women’s 4x400m relay team of Lowe, Kerr, Aveni and Price are coming off winning one of the most prestigious races in the country when they took the top spot at the Penn Relays. It was the first title for Duke at the Penn Relays since 2011 and the quartet’s time of 3:32.43 is the fastest in the ACC this season.
  • Also on the women’s side is the 4x100m relay team of Murphy, Campbell, Panton and Lowe with Price serving as an alternate. The team of Murphy, Campbell, Panton and Price broke the school record earlier this season with a time of 44.47, ranking them fourth in the ACC this season.
  • The Blue Devils will compete in the men’s 4x400m relay with their full contingent of quarter-milers for the first time this season. The quartet of Mingo, Solomon, Barmer and Peterson will pass the baton for Duke with Sobota serving as an alternate.

The ACC Championships will get started at 11:00 a.m., on Thursday morning with the first event of the decathlon. Friday’s events will kick off once again with the decathlon at 11:00 a.m., while Saturday will get started with the men’s javelin throw at 12:00 p.m. 

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