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Tracks finish middle-of-the-pack at Virginia Tech

The Duke men's and women's track teams had successful meets this weekend in Blacksburg, Va. at an event hosted by Virginia Tech. In the men's division, the Blue Devils finished fourth, with their record moving to 10-3 on the year. On the women's side, Duke took third, improving its record to 10-2 for the season.

The Duke men lost to 14th-ranked Clemson, Virginia Tech and William & Mary, while defeating James Madison and UNC-Asheville. The women lost to William and Mary and Virginia Tech, but defeated James Madison and UNC-Asheville soundly.

This meet, which was a scoring meet where Duke competes against other teams for total points, produced some impressive individual performances. Freshman Beth O'Donnell turned in a tremendous time in the 5,000-meter run of 17:24.26, out-legging favored senior Aryn Fehey of William and Mary in the final 100 meters. This mark easily qualified her for the ECAC, an individual event to be held later in the season in Boston.

"It was a case of going up against a really good athlete and not being intimidated," said assistant coach Norm Ogilvie of O'Donnell's run. "This run she had on Saturday was probably the best performance Duke track has seen all year."

Senior Kim Voyticky placed first in the 1000-meter run to become third all-time at Duke in the event with a time of 2:54.12. The Blue Devils also faired well in the pole vault with Rebecca Gould and Lisa Bell finishing second and third, respectively, both clearing eight feet.

Senior Jamila Forte took second in the high jump clearing five feet five inches. In the indoor pentathlon sophomore Amy Basile moved into second place all-time at Duke by totaling 3,136 points this weekend.

The men's team was led by the relay combination of sophomores Kyle Leonard and Matt Diglio, senior Mike Park, and freshman Mike McKeever. These four men placed first in the distance medley relay with McKeever outlasting Matt Lane of William & Mary, who had won the mile run earlier in the day. McKeever came through with his fastest mile of the year when the team needed it most.

Diglio set a personal best time in the 500-meter race earlier in the day with a 1:04.89 mark to move to second on Duke's all-time list in the event and qualified for the IC4A. Freshman Brendan Fitzgibbon took third in the mile run and set a personal best time of 4:12.43. In this event, he beat Esteban Diaz of Clemson, who is favored to win the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Sophomore Brian McCulley, who was recovering from the flu, ran for the first time in five days and took fourth while qualifying for the IC4A. The highlight of the field events was the performance of freshman Seth Benson, who vaulted 15 feet to take third. Rob West set a school record in the pentathlon on Friday by scoring 3,549 points, 114 points over the old record. This total just missed qualifying for the IC4A by 30 points, which is the equivalent of three seconds faster in the 1000-meter run.

"Overall, we were pleased to beat James Madison, a top-notch program," Olgivie said. "We surprised Clemson also by scoring as well as we did."

Some members of the track team will be in action this Friday and Saturday at the Virginia Tech Classic, which is an invitational event.


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