DURHAM, N.C. – At the annual Duke track & field welcome-back banquet, director of track & field Norm Ogilvie announced the team winners for the 2017 season. Thirteen awards were handed out overall, including top indoor & outdoor freshmen, indoor & outdoor most valuable performer, field performer of the year, track performer of the year, and most improved senior.
Garnering top indoor freshmen honors were Matt Wisner for the men and Laura Marty for the women. Wisner, a Carlisle, Pa., native, set a new Duke record when he ran the 800 in 1:50.10 to finish ninth at the ACC Indoor Championships in February. Wisner also led off Duke’s DMR team which finished in eighth place at the ACC Championships. Marty, a pole vault specialist from Seattle, Wash., claimed fourth on Duke’s all-time pole vault records when she cleared 13-8.25 (4.17) at the VT Challenge. Marty finished in the top five in the pole vault in all four meets she competed in.
The top outdoor freshmen honors were earned by Katelyn Gochenour for the women and Esteban Suarez for the men. Gochenour, a product of Logan, Ia., earned first team All-America accolades after finishing in sixth in the javelin throw at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June. Her throw of 178-0 (54.26) set a new school record. Gochenour also finished in third at the ACC Outdoor Championships to earn first team All-ACC honors and finished in second place at the USATF Junior Championships. For her performances, Gochenour was named ACC Women’s Outdoor Freshman of the Year. Suarez, a pole vault specialist from South Pasadena, Calif., claimed top-10 finishes in all six of his competitions. Suarez finished in eighth place at the ACC Outdoor Championships by clearing a season best 15-7.75 (4.77).
Connor Hall and Madison Heath were recognized as the indoor most valuable performer for the men and women. Hall, a native of San Luis Obispo, Calif., specialized in the pole vault. Hall finished in the top eight in all six of his competitions, including a first place finish at the Carolina Cup and winning a silver medal at the Bob Pollock Invite. He closed out the indoor season by clearing a season best 16-8.75 (5.10) to finish in eighth place at the ACC Indoor Championships in February. Heath, a product of Mandeville, La., won her first individual ACC title when she cleared 13-11.25 (4.25) in the pole vault at the ACC Indoor Championships. Heath also claimed second on Duke’s all-time records, clearing 14-0.00 (4.27) at the VT Challenge. Heath qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships and earned second team All-America honors with a 13th place finish.
Gochenour added to her awards by taking home outdoor most valuable performer for the women while Daniel Golubovic earned the honor for the men. Out of Los Angeles, Calif., Golubovic earned his ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the Decathlon, garnering Second Team All-America honors. The multi-event athlete scored the second highest total points in the decathlon when he racked up 7,717 at the USATF Championships in June. He also collected an individual ACC Championship with 7,493 points in the decathlon.
Madeline Kopp took home track performer of the year. Kopp, a native of Rochester, N.Y., was a Second Team All-American in the 800 during both the indoor and outdoor seasons and added the same honors in the 4x400 relay during the outdoor campaign. She entered the top five in the Duke record books in 15 different events, including setting new school records in the indoor 600 (1:28.47), indoor 4x200 relay (1:36.37) and outdoor 4x100 relay (44.91).
Golubovic and Heath picked up their second honors of the night when they took home field athlete of the year for the men and women respectively.
The final award of the night was the most improved senior which was awarded to Hall for the men and Kopp for the women.
The 2018 track & field season will kick off for Duke at the Carolina Cup Saturday, Jan. 13 in Chapel Hill, N.C.