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Four Blue Devils qualify for NCAAs

With three distance runners qualifying for the NCAAs for the first time at the Stanford Invitational and one at the UNC Invitational this weekend, Duke has recorded one of its most successful starts in program history.

"Within the first two weeks of the outdoor season, we have already qualified for our most events ever," head coach Norm Ogilvie said.

At Stanford, senior Sally Meyerhoff and sophomore Maddie McKeever finished ninth and 14th, respectively, in the 10,000-meter race in a meet that Ogilvie said attracted the best runners in the country trying to qualify for the NCAAs. The runners responded to the high level of competition with the third- and fifth-fastest times in Duke's history.

Meyerhoff's time of 33:30.12 and McKeever's time of 33:52.95 should qualify them for the NCAA Championships, Ogilvie said. Runners in the 10,000-meter race qualify directly to the championships, bypassing the regional competition due to the grueling nature of the event.

Also at Stanford, senior Elle Pishny placed 16th in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 16:47.62 to qualify for the NCAA East Regional while lowering her personal best by 20 seconds.

The Blue Devils' field team found success closer to home in Chapel Hill. Freshman Alexa Revord bested her own Duke record she set last week in the discuss with a throw of 154'-06". Her throw earned her second place at the meet and an ECAC qualifier. It was almost two feet longer than her Duke record throw at the Wake Forest Open last weekend, and she is only 20 centimeters shy of the NCAA East Regional qualifying standard.

Sophomore Michelle Seibert won the 800-meter race with a time of 2:10.95 to qualify for the ECACs. Senior Kelly Reynolds came in first in the hammer throw, and her distance of 169'-03" also qualified her for the ECACs.

Junior Daina Pucurs won the javelin with a throw of 166 feet and six inches and senior Debra Vento won the high jump with a 5-foot-10 jump. Both athletes qualified for the NCAAs East Regional for the second week in a row.

Freshman Kate Van Burskirk won the 1,500-meter race with a time of 4:27.15, which Ogilvie said was the fastest Duke freshman time ever to be clocked to qualify for the NCAA East Regional.

For the men, senior Pat Parrish battled with Michigan's Mike Dobmeier to come away with the 5,000-meter race win in a time of 15:07.33. The mens pole vaulters finished with the top five spots at the meet with senior Jonathan Fay leading the way.


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