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Rowbury cracks Duke mile record

In just her first meet of the year, Shannon Rowbury topped her All-American performance from last season in the mile, claiming first place and setting a Duke record.

Rowbury’s record-setting performance was just one of many this weekend at Boston University’s Terrier Invitational.

“This is a meet that people come from all over the country for,” head coach Norm Ogilvie said. “It was a tremendous weekend for us.”

In the mile, Duke used one if its runners as a “rabbit” to draw the competition out in the early stages of the race. Rowbury ran just behind the leaders and sped up during the last 400 meters to finish in 4:39.09, a provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

“I was ready to run fast, but I didn’t expect to run that fast,” Rowbury said. “I’ve had seven years of consistent training, and [the sport] is a lot about experience.”

Rowbury also set a Duke record in the 3000-meter race Friday. Like in the mile, Rowbury maintained her position behind the leaders for the majority of the race, only to pick up her pace for the last two laps. But Roisin McGettigan, a professional runner, edged out Rowbury at the finish line.

Sophomore Debra Vento also topped her performance last year, which earned her a trip to the National Indoor Championships. Vento broke the school record in the high jump, clearing 5-11.5, and captured first place with an NCAA Provisional mark.

On the men’s team, freshman Jade Ellis took first place for the second week in a row. Ellis, who was recruited for and competed in the triple jump last week, recorded a long jump of 23-9—six inches longer than his previous best, set in high school.

“Jade is probably only a couple of meets away from setting the school record,” Ogilvie said of Ellis’ performance, which ranks second in the Blue Devil record books.

Fellow freshman Chris Spooner was the deciding factor on two distance relays for the Blue Devils. Ogilvie said Spooner ran a “textbook anchor” for the distance medley relay, which also featured Tyler Wasilewski, Peter Lewellen and Steve Craig.

When Spooner received the baton for his anchor mile, he was 15 meters and several positions behind the leader. He used the first half-mile to catch up to the leaders and then sprinted ahead in the final 150 meters to beat the Boston College team.

Spooner also anchored a 4x800-meter relay consisting of John Brockhart, Ryan McCann and Steve Craig that also won first place.

Lewellen capped off a week of top freshman performances, setting a Duke record in the 500-meter dash. Although he ran a school-high time, he finished third overall in his race at the distance.


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