DURHAM, N.C. – With just one week until the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Duke Track and Field team will compete at two different meets for a final tune-up. The Blue Devils will have athletes competing at the Air Force Open in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the UCS Invite in Winston Salem, N.C.
“This one of the interesting times for our team as a whole,” said director of track and field Norm Ogilvie. “Every group we’re trying to fine tune for ACCs. For some that means training all week and through the weekend, for others, getting a last minute competition in.
Duke will send three high jumpers to the Air Force Open, all three of which have already reached ACC qualification marks. Rivers Ridout and Colt Sessions will compete for the men while Cassie Martin will enter for the women. Ridout has a personal-best jump of 6-11.50 (2.12) while Sessions has a season-best leap of 6-8.75 (2.05). Martin reached ACC qualification her last time out when she cleared 5-7.00 (1.70). Sessions will have a chance to compete in his hometown, as he is a Colorado Springs, Colo., native.
“Air Force Academy is the second highest Division I site in altitude,” Ogilvie added. “With a little less air pressure, it’s an advantage in the jumping events. We’re hoping they can jump really, really well.”
Highlighting the UCS Invitational will be the pole vaulters. Madison Heath, Laura Marty and Rivka Arbiv will all enter on the women’s side. Heath is second in the ACC and ninth in the NCAA with a clearance of 14-1.75 (4.31). The Mandeville, La., native has finished in the top two in all five competitions she has entered this season. Marty is also in the top four of the ACC, clearing 13-10 (4.22) to put her fourth all-time at Duke as well. Marty added a first-place finish at the Power Five Invite earlier this season. Arbiv is coming off a clearance of 13-5.25 (4.10), which is fifth all-time at Duke and qualifies her for the ACC Championships. She is also tied for sixth in the conference.
Duke will have entries in three throwing events at the meet. Stefani Vukajlovic will compete in the weight throw. She tossed the implement 58-4.75 (17.80) at the Clemson Invite. That throw is second all-time at Duke and qualifies her for the ACC Championships.
For the men, Ben Beatty and Jack Maher will enter in the shot put while Iyin Battle will cover the weight throw. Beatty is coming off a season-best throw of 53-1.50 (16.19) that qualifies him for the ACC Championships. Beatty also has a second-place finish at the Carolina Cup this year. Battle has the second-furthest throw in Duke history, clearing 56-6.50 (17.23) at the Armory Invite.
“In the technical events, you want to get that last competition in to iron out any last minute details,” Ogilvie said.
On the track, Tom Sullivan and Josh Romine will both enter in the 3,000m. It will be the first time for both in the event this season after each has competed in the mile run.
Jasmine Hill and Sophia Parvizi-Wayne will both compete on the women’s side. Hill will race in the 200m, with her personal-best clocking in at 26.10. Parvizi-Wayne will line up for the mile run. It will be the first race of the season for both Hill and Parvizi-Wayne.
The Air Force Invite will take place on Friday with the women’s high jump beginning at 6:00 p.m. The UCS Invite will begin on Friday and run through Saturday. Live results can be found here.