DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke track and field team splits for the final time this indoor season with half of the squad traveling to the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind., and the other half traveling to familiar Blacksburg, Va., to compete in the VT Final Qualifier March 1-2. Seventeen athletes, including two relays, are set to compete in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Senior Juliet Bottorff is currently ranked seventh in the NCAA 5,000 meter and is the only Duke athlete to secure her slot at the NCAA Championships thus far. Several other Blue Devils remain on the bubble and need to earn marks high enough to be nationally ranked in the top 16 individually, or top 12 for relays, to secure their birth to the National Championship event.
The weekend will kick off with the men's and women's distance medley relays Friday evening at the Alex Wilson Invitational. The women's team is currently ranked 14th in the country and will consist of junior Gabby Levac(1200m), sophomore Elizabeth Kerpon(400m), senior Cydney Ross(800m) and freshman Anima Banks(1,600m). The men's team ranks 32nd nationally, will include sophomore Nate McClafferty(1200m), freshmen Michal Filipczak(400m) and Tommy Meister(800m) and senior James Kostelnik(1,600m). Both line-ups have never been run for the Blue Devils this season.
On Saturday, several members of the relay squad will compete in individual events including Kerpon in the 400m, Banks, Ross, Meister and Moran in the 800m, and Levac in the mile. Levac earned All-ACC honors in the mile last weekend, finishing third at the ACC Championships and will be joined by sophomore Carolyn Baskir in the event. Ross and Banks also earned All-ACC honors in the 800m as they finished an impressive first and third.
Several field event athletes will make their way to Virginia Tech for the VT Final Qualifier Saturday. Junior Michelle Anumba will attempt to remake history as she seeks her second NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship berth in as many years. Last season she secured her spot in the very same meet that she will be competing in this weekend.
Others looking to improve their marks include junior Tanner Anderson in the high jump and freshman Megan Clark along with junior Justin Amezquita and sophomore Ian Rock in the pole vault. All of the vaulters had impressive performances last weekend by setting personal records and will look to build off that momentum.
Multi event athlete Ian Rock, who earned a gold medal in the heptathlon at last week's championships, will also compete in the 60m hurdles while sophomore Baily Murphy will compete in the 400m and 60m hurdles. Both multi event athletes are using the weekend as a final tune-up prior to the outdoor season.
Complete results will be available at the end of each day at www.GoDuke.com.
Alex Wilson Invitational and VT Final Qualifier Duke Participants