PRINCETON, N.J. – The Duke track & field squads received first-place performances in the 1500-meter races of the 2009 IC4A and ECAC Outdoor Championships Sunday afternoon at Princeton University’s Weaver Stadium. Cory Nanni won the IC4A title in a time of 3:49.54, while Molly Lehman captured the ECAC championship in 4:21.41.
Overall, the Duke women took fourth as a team with 41.25 total points behind the University of Connecticut (88), Virginia (58), and West Virginia (47.25). The men captured 10th place with 27 points, where the University at Albany came away with the team title (68 points). This year’s showing is good for Duke’s best combined finish ever at the outdoor IC4A and ECAC meets.
Between the indoor and outdoor meets this year, the Blue Devils have now swept the mile runs as Anna Farias-Eisner won the ECAC Indoor mile and Nanni won the IC4A title. Nanni’s win today makes him just the third athlete in Duke history to win multiple IC4A titles with still two years of competition ahead of the sophomore.
In his race today, Nanni went through the 800 at 2:08 before opening up his first lead with 500 meters remaining. He then put the jets on to widen his lead with a final 400 meters of 55 seconds. Nanni’s lead ballooned to 20 meters in the final lap and he hung on to win comfortably with another NCAA Regional qualifier.
Lehman’s 4:21.41 was another regional mark for her, as she improved on her place in the finals following yesterday’s third-place run in the trials.
The women’s 4x800 team of Katie Apibunyopas (2:14.3), Devotia Moore (2:09.2), Leslie Morrison (2:12.1), and Lehman (2:08.4) took home the ECAC title in 8:44.11, the fourth-fastest run of the relay in Duke history. That foursome – as well as trials participants Katie Doswell, Emily Schwitzer, and Patricia Loughlin – earn all-East honors.
The men’s 4x800m relay team of Joshua Lund (1:53.6), Stephen Clark (1:52.1), Chris Rowland (1:50.5), and Nanni (1:51.2) logged a total time of 7:27.44, good for third all-time at Duke as they finished fourth. All of those athletes, in addition to Ken Sullivan who raced in yesterday’s trials, earned All-East honors.
Both Nanni and Lehman came back from their individual championships to anchor Blue Devil record-setting relays on the day.
The ECAC 800-meter run saw freshman Esther Vermeer earn All-East with a seventh-place showing of 2:14.51.
“We saw some really good running here – it was an outstanding weekend for the women’s distance group as Kevin Jermyn’s runners combined for 41 points,” said Director of Track & Field Norm Ogilvie. “It was just everything we could have expected. It was a fantastic race for Cory today, and Molly continues to prove she is one of the best runners on the East Coast in the 1500.”
“We feel great about our preparation as we head into the East Regional meet in two weeks.”
Now to enjoy their first off week since mid-March, the Blue Devils will prepare for those NCAA Regionals in Greensboro, N.C., May 29-30.
Five men – Nanni (1500m), Jade Ellis (long jump/triple jump), Ryan McDermott (steeplechase), Mike Schallmo (discus), and John Austin (javelin) and seven women – Molly Lehman (800m/1500m), Vermeer (800m), Morrison (800m), Moore (800m), Christy Adamyk (5000m), Loughlin (steeple) and Amy Fryt (pole vault) have qualified for the East Regional and will continue their seasons in Greensboro with a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on the line.