DURHAM, N.C. – Director of Track & Field Norm Ogilvie announced Duke’s 2013 track & field team award winners Saturday, Sept. 7, as part of the team’s welcome back celebration. The event was held on Edens quad, located on Duke’s west campus.
A total of eight student-athletes received team-related awards Saturday afternoon. Award categories included most valuable performer, top freshman competitor, top track performer, top field performer, and most improved senior. A female and a male student-athlete received a nomination for each award and all categories spanned both the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons.
After setting the school record in both the indoor and outdoor 800-meters, graduate student Cydney Rossleft the event Saturday afternoon with the most hardware of all her teammates. The St. Louis, Mo. native earned three team awards for her efforts in 2013, including indoor most valuable performer, outdoor most valuable performer, and top track performer for the year. Ross concluded her indoor collegiate career with an 800-meter time of 2:04.52, by-passing the old school record by nearly two seconds. The record-setting performance also earned Ross a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championship meet. Ross continued her success into the outdoor season, finishing seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet and running a school record 2:02.48 in the process.
Sophomore Anima Banksearned the second most team awards Saturday, receiving the women’s top freshman award for both the indoor and outdoor track & field season. Banks also excelled at the 800-meters in her first season with Duke. During her inaugural indoor season with the Blue Devils, Banks recorded a time of 2:07.64 over 800-meters at the Armory Feb. 2. The time placed the Mamaroneck, N.Y. native fourth on Duke’s all-time indoor list. Throughout the outdoor season, Banks continued to improve her 800-meter time, with the culmination of the season occurring at the NCAA East First Round meet, when the then freshman ran a 2:06.82. Banks’ performance at the NCAA East meet ranked her fifth on Duke’s all-time outdoor list.
Sophomore Megan Clark received recognition as top field performer following the 2013 season, following a sensational freshman pole vault campaign that included a winning vault of 13-7.25 (4.15) at the USA Junior National Championships. The vault placed Clark third on Duke’s all-time outdoor pole vault list as well as qualified the pole vaulter for a spot on the USA roster at the Pan Am Junior Athletics Championship. Clark placed fifth in the event with a vault of 13-1.5 (4.00). The Fort Benning, Ga. native cleared 13-1.00 (3.99) during the indoor season, also placing her third on the school record list.
Fellow pole vaulter and former senior Emily Mattoon earned the most improved senior award Saturday. Mattoon bested her freshman personal best vault of 12-1.50 (3.69) at the Armory College Meet, when she cleared 13-5.25 (4.10) at the Virginia Challenge and earned a fourth-place ranking on Duke’s all-time list. The Virginia Challenge effort was an improvement of 1-3.75 (0.40) from Mattoon’s freshman to senior year. At the final ACC Championship meet of her collegiate career, the San Diego, Calif. native placed fifth, clearing 12-9.50 (3.90).
On the men’ side, junior Ian Rock received the most valuable performer award for the indoor track & field season. Rock earned a first-place finish at the ACC Championship meet Feb. 22, accumulating 5,328 points in the heptathlon. The performance ranked Rock third on Duke’s all-time list for the event. The Davis, Calif. native followed his strong indoor ACC Championship showing with a 7,030 point effort in the decathlon, at the outdoor Texas Relays March 28. Rock’s decathlon total ranks him third on Duke’s all-time list.
Redshirt junior Curtis Beach earned the outdoor most valuable performer and the top track performer. The 2013 outdoor season proved to be successful for the decathlete. After finishing seventh at the NCAA National Championship meet, Beach earned first team All-America honors. The Albuquerque, N.M. native also contributed on a number of school record-breaking relay teams, including the 4x800 relay and the 4x400 relay. In addition to breaking multiple school records as a member of a relay team, Beach also set new records in individual events, including the long jump and the 200-meters.
Hailing from Niles, Ill., sophomore Michal Filipczakprovided an immediate impact to Duke’s men’s track & field team, which earned him the top freshman competitor for both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Filipczak competed on the record-setting 4x800-meter relay team during the indoor season, an effort that helped the foursome to a second-place finish at the Millrose Games on Feb. 16. During his outdoor campaign, Filipczak contributed on both the 4x400-meter and 4x800-meter relay teams that set new school records. Filipczak also ran the team’s fastest outdoor 800-meter time of the season, with his 1:49.74 effort on April 6 at the Duke Invitational.
In the field, senior Austin Gamblegarnered top field performer honors following a stellar 2013 campaign. The discus thrower qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships following a throw of 184-5 (56.22) at the NCAA East First Round competition May 23. The Weston, Fla. native bested his own school record an astonishing four times throughout the season, with his best throw of 190-6 (58.07) coming at the Virginia Challenge May 10.
Former senior Marcus Wright rounded out the awards on Saturday, receiving the most improved senior award after acting as leadoff for the 4x400-meter relay team that finished third at the ACC Outdoor Championship meet. The relay team, covering the distance in 3:12.78,set a new school record. The Cheshire, Conn. native also led off the sprint medley relay team that ran a 3:24.41, Duke’s fourth fastest time on the all-time list.
Duke opens the 2014 indoor track & field season at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. Jan. 17-18.
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