DURHAM, N.C. – In its opening weekend of the outdoor season, the Duke track and field team stays close to home to participate in the Vertklasse Meeting hosted by High Point University at the Vert Track in High Point, N.C., March 22-23. Several Blue Devils will compete for the first time in 2013 to highlight the weekend, including 2012 NCAA Indoor Track and Field heptathlon champion and four-time All-America Curtis Beach and 2012 ACC Indoor pentathlon champion sophomore Karli Johonnot.
Johonnot will compete as a Blue Devil for the first time in more than a year after suffering an injury to her achilles tendon at the 2012 ACC Indoor Track and Field championships. The Las Vegas, Nev., native will join Miray Seward, the 2013 ACC Indoor pentathlon silver medalist, in the shot put, high jump and 100 meter hurdles Saturday.
Beach will also compete for the first time in a Duke jersey during 2013 after redshirting the indoor season. The Albuquerque, N.M., native did not compete for Duke during the indoor season but earned a silver medal in the men’s heptathlon at the 2013 USA Track and Field Indoor Championships, earning 5,895 points in the two-day event. He will compete in the men’s pole vault with junior Justin Amezquita.
The outdoor season brings several new events including the discus, hammer and javelin throws. Senior Austin Gamble and sophomore Erica Brand are both set to compete in the discus Friday afternoon. Gamble, who earned All-ACC honors in the event in 2010 and is the current school record holder, took a hiatus from the sport to focus on football before returning this spring. Brand, a two-time All-ACC honoree and women’s school record holder in the event, will look to improve on her marks this season.
Senior Andrea Hopkins will be the lone Duke representative in the women’s javelin event Saturday afternoon. The Lake Oswego, Ore., native is a two-time All-ACC honoree in the event, including a first-place finish in 2011. She has also qualified for the NCAA Championships twice in the past two years. Senior Austin Carpenter and sophomores Terrence Neal and Zach Robertshaw will compete in the same event for the men.
In the running events, Senior Dominick Robinson and sophomore Shaun Thompson along with juniors Ashley Berry and Jessie Rubin are set to compete in the 3,000m steeplechase event. In his first year in the event, Thompson ran the third fastest time in Duke history, by crossing the line in 8:58.48 and qualified for the NCAA First Round.
The Blue Devils will also field men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams. Rodio, Rohner, junior Ben Raskin and Michal Filipczak will represent the men while Hansson, Murphy, Blount and Alexis Roper will combine for the women’s team.
The table below has a complete list of Blue Devil competitors. A full recap will be available at the conclusion of each competition day on www.GoDuke.com.