The Duke women have moved up in both the regional and national polls after they passed 15 nationally-ranked teams en route to a seventh-place finish at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational.
After their strong performance, the Blue Devils moved up to the top spot in the region and are ranked No. 11 in the nation.
The team split up this past weekend, with most runners heading to the Adidas Invitational, while a few competed in Charlotte, N.C.
“We’re very happy,” head coach Kevin Jermyn said. “It was a real positive weekend. We had some really strong races in both locations and good team finishes. We really achieved the… things we hoped to. We came out of the weekend feeling better than when we went into it.”
In Wisconsin, Juliet Bottorff led the Blue Devils once again as she crossed the finish line in eighth place overall. Bottorff’s time of 19:55 was the senior’s first-ever finish below 20 minutes.
“We were really happy. [The results] definitely help with our confidence,” Bottorff said. “We’ve had some really good workouts… but good workouts don’t always translate to good races so... we were really happy to actually be able to follow through.”
Bottorff started off her race in second place, well ahead of the rest of the Duke runners, and according to her, at a pace that was definitely too fast. She was caught by the chase pack by the middle of the race, but used the challenge provided by the runners around her to hold on to a seventh-place finish.
Sophomore Kelsey Lakowske, senior Madeline Morgan and graduate student Suejin Ahn also finished in the top-100 runners for the meet, beating out the rest of the 227 athletes in the field. Lakowske came in almost half a minute after Bottorff at 20:27 and crossed the line in 50th. Morgan and Ahn followed in 20:37 and 20:38, and graduate student Megan Deakins posted a time of 21:13. Sophomore Jessie Rubin finished in 253rd with a time of 21:45, while sophomore Carolyn Baskir won the open 6K race with a time of 20:59.
Duke runners also brought home a first-place finish at the Queens Royal Cross country challenge in Charlott. Senior Ashley Brasovan finished in 5th as she broke the 18 minute barrier for the first time in her collegiate career with her time of 17:41.1. Brasovan was followed by freshman Olivia Anderson and junior Dana Morin, who placed 10th and 11th, respectively. Their teammates, junior Ashley Berry, who finished in 18:09.5, and senior Adrianne Soo, who crossed the line in 18:16.6, rounded out the top five for Duke.
Although the successes of the past weekend are certainly a cause for celebration, the team will be careful not to let their focus slip.
“Rankings change all the time. It doesn’t guarantee anything,” Bottorff said. “I think we’re in a really good place right now… but I think we would be stupid if we assumed we didn’t have to take advantage of the time we still have, because that’s what every other team is going to do.”