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Duke track squads earn team titles at John Covet Classic

In only the second indoor meet of the season for both squads, men's and women's track captured both of the team titles out of a nine-team field at the John Covert Classic in Allentown, Pa. Saturday.

The Duke men's team actually trailed host Lehigh heading into the final event, but Duke's two-mile relay team of Kyle Leonard, Brian McCulley, Mike McKeever and Brendan Fitzgibbon ran away from its competition to clinch the win over the Engineers, 130-126.5.

"We had a strong relay team; we stacked our relay team and we got out quick, and we pretty much didn't have any competition in that relay," Fitzgibbon said. "Kyle got out real fast and gave us the lead, Brian increased the lead, and then he handed it off to Mike, who increased it even more, and I just kept it and brought it home."

The Blue Devils' performance in the distance events highlighted the meet. Terry Brennan led a one-two-three sweep for Duke in the 5000 meter race (15:01.31). Mike Caiazzo captured the 3000 meter title (8:36.90) with a dramatic surge in the race's final 100-meters. Mike Park rebounded from a lackluster cross-country season to lead a Duke sweep of the top three spots in the mile (4:14.78), and qualified for the IC4A meet in the process.

"[Park] looked better in the mile than we have ever seen him at this stage in the season," men's associate head coach Norm Ogilvie said. "He's set for a tremendous year. He was in total control of the race at all times, and looked really good. He's going to be a factor for the [Atlantic Coast Conference] mile title."

In other events, freshman Seth Benson won the pole vault for the second consecutive week. Lamar Grant recorded Duke's only first-place finish in sprint events with his win in the 55-meter dash (6.60), and Leonard won the 800-meters (1:56.20).

"Our team this year probably has more all-around potential than other teams we've had recently," Ogilvie said. "We didn't have a hole in any event at Lehigh. We have better depth than we've ever had."

Like the men, the women's team used its top-heavy strength in the distance events to record 160.5 points and a convincing win over its competition, with Lehigh being its closest challenger at 92.3.

Beth O'Donnell, Erin Fleming and Kim Folk swept the top three spots in the 5000-meters, with O'Donnell establishing a personal best time of 17:52.6. Kristin Faraguna ran away and hid from her competition in the 3000-meters with a time of 10:40.3-the only sub 11-minute time of the meet. Cross-country MVP Megan Sullivan continued her impressive rookie season by winning the mile (5:01.3).

Top performers in non-distance events included Kim Voyticky's top finish in the 800-meters (a meet record 2:14.2), good enough to qualify her for her second ECAC event. Voyticky qualified for the 1000 meters last weekend in Fairfax.

Jeannie Minton won both the high jump (5-foot-6) and the long jump (17-foot-6) en route to becoming the highest individual scorer of the meet. Lisa Bell won the meet's newest event, the women's pole vault, with a vault of 18 feet. The Blue Devils also won the 800 meter relay.

"I'm excited about where we are at right now," women's coach Jan Ogilvie-Samuelson said. "I think the women and the men are working extremely hard right now and that bodes very well for the future."

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