DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke track and field team will send its multi-event athletes to Asuza, Calif., for this week’s Bryan Clay Invitational, hosted by Azusa Pacific.
“We’re excited to have our athletes compete in a national multi-event competition,” said director of track and field Norm Ogilvie. “The Bryan Clay is named after the Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon in 2008 and should have some very good competition.”
Duke will have five current Blue Devils competing as well as one former Blue Devil. In the heptathlon, Jaida Lemmons and Erin Marsh will both compete for the second time this season while Kate Kutzer will make her debut. Lemmons and Marsh both entered into the heptathlon at the Texas Relays. Marsh finished in 18th in Texas with 4,976 points.
The pair both had personal-bests in individual events in Texas. Marsh raced to a time of 14.02 in the 100m hurdles, which at the time was fourth in Duke history. She has since dropped her time down to 13.83 to put her in second at Duke. Marsh also set personal-bests in the high jump (5-3 [1.60]) and in the 200m (25.28).
“Erin has the potential to be a truly great heptathlete” Ogilvie said. “She’s still very much a freshman and learning as she goes.”
Lemmons was forced to withdraw from the overall competition with one event remaining due to an injury, but she had a strong showing before that. The Desoto, Tex., product set personal-bests in the high jump (5-4.25 [1.63]), the shot put (36-11.75 [11.27]) and the javelin throw (139-10 [42.63]). She followed that up with a throw of 140-10 (42.92) to finish in first in the javelin throw at the Battle of the Blues. Lemmons’ personal-best point total of 5,397 at last year’s ACC Championships is third all-time at Duke.
“Jaida has been really looking good so far,” said Ogilvie. “She’s coming off the open win in the javelin at the Battle of the Blues so that bodes well for her.”
Sobota gained his first collegiate decathlon experience at the Texas Relays and finished with a score of 6,510 to take 13th place. Sobota is currently third in the ACC this season. He had strong performances in the 100m, taking fourth and the 400m dash where he finished in seventh.
“Jacob went to Texas and he kind of found out how hard it is to compete in a decathlon,” Ogilvie said. “To be on for both days is even harder than the heptathlon because there’s more demands and more long throws. We expect that he’ll have significant improvement this weekend with that one decathlon under his belt.”
Friis will be making his outdoor debut in the decathlon while Kutzer will be doing the same in the heptathlon. Friis did earn second-team All-ACC honors in the heptathlon at the ACC Indoor Championships.
Golubovic represented Duke at the 2017 ACC Outdoor Championships and the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships. He was the ACC champion in the decathlon and was named second-team All-America and has the second-highest point in Duke history (7,717).
“Danny will certainly add to what they’re talking about,” commented Ogilvie. “The biggest area he can help them is back at the hotel after day one. Helping those guys get recovered. They’re taking ice baths and stretching and eating the proper nutrition. That stuff is really helpful. What you do the night before is largely how you feel the next morning. Decathlon is especially tough because you start out day two with the high hurdles, which is especially difficult when you’re sore. Daniel should be very helpful in that. He’ll be an advocate for the way coach (associate head coach) Shawn Wilbourn trains his decathletes and gets them ready.”
The meet is scheduled to begin on Wednesday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. The multi-event competitions will run through Thursday. The full schedule of events and meet information can be found here.
“Hopefully all five will be able to come back and compete in Miami in the multi-events in three weeks,” added Ogilvie. “This will be their test heading into the ACC Championships.”