Finals week didn’t stop Juliet Bottorff from traveling across the country to compete in Palo Alto, Calif., Sunday and breaking one of the Blue Devil’s longest standing records.


Representing Duke at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, graduate students Bottorff, Audrey Huth and Mike Moverman competed against the nation’s fastest collegiate distance runners drawn to Stanford’s ideal racing conditions.

“This is a great meet for distance runners,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “The conditions at Stanford are usually close to perfect. The have a decent amount of cool air during the day, and there isn’t much wind. Stanford meets produce some of the best distance running in the country. That’s where people go to run the fastest.”

In last year’s competition, meet participants posted four of the world’s leading times, broke two stadium records and reached 13 World Championship A-standards. A mixture of collegiate and professional athletes competed Sunday, hoping to secure spots in the NCAA Outdoor Preliminaries and qualifying standards for international competition.

Bottorff took advantage of the meet’s near-perfect conditions and competitive field Sunday night in the women’s 10,000 meters. Turning in a blistering time of 32:25.69, she finished 14th in a field dominated by professional athletes. Emma Bates of Boise State was the only collegiate runner across the line before Bottorff, finishing in 13th with a time of 32:20.83.

Bottorff’s time improved upon her personal best performance of 32:53.72 at the ACC Championships, where she broke the conference meet record by five seconds. Bottorff also broke Ellen Reynolds’ 28-year-old school record in the 10,000 meter by nearly 20 seconds.

Posting Duke’s top two all-time performances in her only two races of the outdoor season, Bottorff is poised to finish her career as a Blue Devil contending for a second NCAA Outdoor Championship title in the 10,000 meters after her win in 2011. Currently ranked fourth in the nation in the event, Bottorff may break into the top three with this weekend’s performance.

Moverman competed in his first 10,000 meters since the 2103 NCAA East First Round and hoped to secure his qualification to return to the meet. Crossing the line with a time of 30:23.55, Moverman finished 24th.

Huth ran in the third section of the women’s 5,000 meters. Finishing her second race at that distance this outdoor season, Huth crossed the line five seconds off her ACC Championships performance. Unable to catch Michigan’s Taylor Manett and Joanna Stevens of Georgetown in the final leg of the race, she finished in 21st with a time of 16:48.26.

While their teammates raced at the prestigious Penn Relays last weekend, Huth, Bottorff and Moverman remained at Duke to prepare for their final exams for the Fuqua School of Business Wednesday.

After the roles were reversed this weekend, both undergraduates and graduate students will compete at the Virginia Challenge next weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

“The rest of us are training when we don’t have finals and trying to get through the week without getting run down from too much work and studying,” Ogilvie said. “They are looking forward to getting back to competing.”