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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Blue Devils Prepped for NCAA East Preliminary Round
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 05/22/2018
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DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke track and field team will send 17 athletes to the NCAA East Regional Preliminary round to try to punch their tickets to the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The East Regional will take place in the USF Track & Field Stadium on the campus of the University of South Florida from May 24-26.

Duke will have entries in 16 individual events as well as a pair of relays. To advance to the national meet in June, the Blue Devils will need to place among the top 12 in their respective events.

A livestream of the NCAA Division 1 East Regional Preliminary Championships can be found at Flotrack.com starting at 3:15 p.m., on May 24 and continuing through May 26.

Sprints & Hurdles

  • Duke will have four competitors in the sprints and hurdles, including a pair of top-12 seeds.
  • Steven Solomon will race in the 400m after winning the ACC title his last time out. The graduate student from Sydney, Australia broke the Duke record twice during the conference meet, running a time of 46.57 in the preliminary heats, and then clocking a time of 45.50 to win the gold medal. He will be seeded in seventh at the regional competition.
  • Seeded 11th in the women’s 400m will be Maddy Price. Price is coming off breaking the school record in the event, when she crossed the finish line in 52.30 to earn the silver medal at the ACC Championships. Price has competed at the NCAA East Regional in all four years of her career, but this will be just the second time she competes individually, also doing so in the 400m at the 2016 regional.
  • In the 400m hurdles, India Lowe is the 25th seed. Lowe ran a season-best time of 58.77 to finish in first at the Duke Invitational, which is the third-fastest time in program history. She most recently qualified for the finals of the ACC Championships.
  • Rounding out the sprinters is Kethlin Campbell in the 200m. The rookie from Shelbyville, Tenn., has a season-best time of 23.38 and is seeded 29th. Campbell has the second-fastest time in Duke history and she most recently was named second-team All-ACC in the event after finishing fifth at the outdoor championships.

Distance

  • Just outside of the top-12 seeds is Matt Wisner in the 800m. Wisner, who is fourth all-time at Duke with a time of 1:48.04, is seeded 13th. The sophomore earned second-team All-ACC honors by finishing in fifth at the ACC Championships.
  • Also competing in the 800m will be Brittany Aveni. Aveni’s fastest time this season is 2:07.20, seeding her 33rd for the regional competition. She reached the finals of the 800m at the conference championship and finished in seventh place. Aveni also competed at the 2017 East Regional Championships.
  • One of two Duke rookies who qualified for the regional is Amanda Beach, who will race in the 10,000m. Beach has a season-best time of 34:53.12 and is the 35th seed. The Melbourne, Fla., product finished in sixth at the ACC Championships to earn second-team All-ACC honors.
  • Qualifying as the 48th and final seed in the 3,000m steeplechase was Alec Kunzweiler. Kunzweiler will be competing in his second NCAA East Regional, although he raced in the 1,500m at the 2016 edition. Kunzweiler has a season-best time of 9:03.39.

Pole Vaults & Jumps

  • Duke will have three competitors in the women’s pole vault, including the highest seeded Blue Devil.
  • Madison Heath will be seeded third in the competition with a season-best clearance of 14-7.25 (4.45). The senior from Mandeville, La., will be attempting to reach the fourth NCAA Championships of her career. Heath has racked up top-eight finishes at all six meets she has competed in, including a fourth-place finish at the ACC Championships, earning her second-team All-ACC honors.
  • Joining Heath for the second straight year is Laura Marty and Nati Sheppard. Marty is seeded 13th with a season-best mark of 13-9.25 (4.20), placing her fourth all-time at Duke. Marty will be trying to return to the NCAA Championships for the second straight season, after finishing in 11th place at the 2017 NCAA East Regional.
  • Sheppard will be trying to reach her first career NCAA Championship after taking 18th place at last year’s regional. She has a season-best mark of 13-3.50 (4.05) and is coming off finishing in fifth place at the ACC Championships to earn second-team All-ACC honors.
  • Although she has competed in relay events at past regionals, Domonique Panton will be competing individually for the first time, as she is the 28th seed in the triple jump. Panton broke the Duke record earlier this season with a leap of 42-2.00 (12.85) and finished in fourth at the ACC Championships to earn second-team All-ACC honors.
  • Competing for the second straight year in the high jump is Rivers Ridout. Ridout has cleared 7-0.50 (2.15m), the third-highest jump in school history. Ridout is seeded 30th in the competition and earned second-team All-ACC honors with a sixth place finish at the ACC Championships.

Throws

  • Duke record holder Stefani Vukajlovic will enter the women’s hammer throwing competition as the 15th seed. Vukajlovic came into the year as the school record holder in the event and has extended that mark to 203-1 (61.90) this season. Vukajlovic is competing at her second straight NCAA East Regional.
  • Kiegan Lenihan comes into the regional after his throw of 221-2 (67.42) won him the title in the javelin throw at the ACC Championships. Lenihan is the 21st seed at the regional and is ranked third all-time at Duke.
  • Also competing in the javelin throw will be Michael Marsack. Marsack finished in sixth at the ACC Championships, earning second-team All-ACC honors. He has a season-best throw of 216-8 (66.03) and is seeded 35th.

Relays

  • Duke will have a pair of relay teams competing in the regional, the women’s 4x100m relay and the women’s 4x400m relay.
  • The foursome for the 4x100m relay will be Panton, Campbell, Lowe and Price. The quartet have a season-best time of 44.73 and will be seeded ninth.
  • Duke’s 4x400m relay team will consist of Lowe, MacKenzie Kerr, Aveni and Price. The Duke squad has a season-best time of 3:32.43, which came when they won the title at the Penn Relays. Lowe, Kerr and Price, along with current Duke volunteer assistant coach Madeline Kopp, qualified for the NCAA Championships in the event last year. Price and Kerr also earned trips to the national meet in the 4x400m relay in 2016.

Live scoring of the meet can be found here.

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