Duke track and field breaks two program records in outdoor season openerWith brief relief from this year’s long and brutal winter, the Blue Devils opened the outdoor season with a sunny and warm Friday and Saturday at the Carolina Relays.
Returning to competition just one week after the NCAA Indoor Championships, Duke broke two program records and debuted its top-performing javelin throwers for the first time in 2014 this weekend in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Duke’s field events shined this weekend, thriving in the warm and dry conditions.
“The good weather was conducive to good performances, and the athletes responded with enthusiasm,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “In early spring, winter still occasionally rears its ugly head. But we had beautiful weather this weekend. I think people felt great. The coaches got sunburned because we haven’t been in the sun very much recently.”
Sophomore Megan Clark returned to the pole vault just a week after competing in the NCAA Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. Clark earned second-team All-America honors in Albuquerque with her 13 feet, 9 1/4 inches clearance, but her season best from the ACC Championships was 14 feet, 5 1/4 inches.
Missing 12 feet, 5 1/2 inches on her first two attempts, Clark rebounded and cleared the height on her third attempt. Making many of the next heights on her first attempt, including her new school record of 14 feet, 7 1/4 inches, Clark almost cleared 15 feet, 1 inch. Clark ultimately won the event by more than two feet.
“Her vault at nationals was better than her personal record at the beginning of the season,” Ogilvie said. “She’s gotten better and better all season long. She’s headed for pretty special stuff. She had an attempt at 15 feet, 1 inch that Coach Wilbourn said was extremely close to being good, so that’s the next frontier for her. She’ll be able to do it. It’s just a matter of time.”
Redshirt sophomore Teddi Maslowski also broke a Duke record, posting a mark of 19 feet, 4 1/4 inches in the long jump on Friday. Her effort earned her second place overall.
The Blue Devils debuted freshman Christine Streisel and redshirt sophomore Thomas Lang in the javelin Saturday.
In the first javelin competition of her collegiate career, Streisel posted a personal best mark of 164 feet, 6 inches and earned Duke’s second-best all-time throw.
“That’s a great debut,” Ogilvie said. “We were expecting her to do special things this season, but for her to do it her very first meet is pretty exciting. Duke’s had a great tradition of women’s javelin throwers, and in her first meet as a freshman, she’s already number two on the list.”
Returning after Tommy John surgery and sitting out last year’s season, Lang threw his best mark of his collegiate career. Winning the event with a throw of 220 feet, 3 inches, he also moved into second place on Duke’s all-time list.
“He had a huge PR, throwing further yesterday than he had before the injury,” Ogilvie said. “So huge credit goes out to our Duke doctors for doing a great job putting him back out there. It’s Tommy’s first throw in a meet in nearly two years. Our young guns in the javelin should be good for a long time.”