The biggest stages can produce the best performances.
Competing against the trop track and field athletes in the country, Duke broke three school records at the 119th Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
In the field, junior Tanner Anderson captured the lone victory of the weekend for Duke in the men’s high jump. After nearly failing to make a 7-foot, one inch jump, Anderson rallied to clear a 7-foot, two-and-a-half inch jump—his highest of the spring—which was good enough to earn the victory.
“[It was] definitely his best outing of the outdoor season in the high jump, and just great to win an event. He had the whole crowd clapping for him, so that was a lot of fun,” Duke head coach Norm Ogilvie said. “He has his own school record. He’s just such a good athlete.”
Two Blue Devil relay teams set school records in their respective events and gave Duke its top two finishes on the track last weekend.
In the women’s sprint medley relay, the Blue Devils captured a second-place finish with a timeof 3:46.43, shattering the school record by more than nine seconds. The team of Baily Murphy, Lauren Hansson, Elizabeth Kerpon and Cydney Ross beat every team in the field except LSU, the favorite and eventual champions. Duke ran in the top division of the race for the first time in recent memory after usually competing in the lower divisions.
“It was the first time we were in the first section of this race so I don’t think anyone was expecting us to challenge,” Ogilvie said. “[We had] a fantastic anchor from Ross who ran a 2:04 flat for the school record.”
With a time of 7:20.97, the men’s 4-x-800 meter relay team finished five seconds ahead of the previous school record and took fourth overall in a competitive field. The relay team of Tommy Meister, Kyle Moran, Michal Filipczak and Curtis Beach combined to lead Duke to its highest Championship of America finish for a men’s relay team since 1972, when the Blue Devils won the 4-mile relay at the Penn Relays.
“We exceeded even what we thought we could do. We had a really young team. We ran with the best teams in America,” Ogilvie said. “It was a historic race and that I think was our top performance of the weekend.”
Redshirt senior Austin Gamble secured the third school record of the weekend for the Blue Devils in the men’s discus. Gamble’s first throw of 184-feet earned him both the school record and a fifth place finish in the event.
“[Gamble] is on his way to being one of the top guys on the entire East Coast, so that was a real positive development,” Ogilvie said.
Duke will return to the track May 5 for the Duke Twilight meet, the team’s last home meet of the season.