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Rowbury records best mile time of season

Shannon Rowbury ran the fastest mile of the NCAA this season to highlight an impressive weekend for the Duke indoor track teams.

The men and women combined to reach seven NCAA qualifying marks and set two school records Friday and Saturday at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.

Running against a field of predominantly professional athletes, Rowbury's sixth-place finish at 4:34.94-top among all college entrants to the event-broke her school record by more than three seconds and automatically qualified her for the NCAA Championships in March.

"It was the best performance by a Duke athlete so far this year," head coach Norm Ogilvie said.

Duke also had a strong showing in the women's 3,000-meter race. Liz Wort won the event, Maddie McKeever placed third, and Sally Meyerhoff placed fifth. All three reached the NCAA provisional qualifying mark, and Wort also reached the provisional mark in the mile.

The women were not the only ones to make changes to the record books this weekend. The 4x400 men's relay team of Nick Trombold, Peter Lewellen, Matt Danforth and Daniel King set a new school record of 3:14.17 and qualified for the IC4A Championships.

Junior Chris Spooner ran the second fastest indoor mile in Duke history. Spooner's time of 4:06.99 in the mile was the fastest by a Duke athlete since Bob Wheeler, a former Olympian, set the school record in 1973.

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