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Duke finishes strong in last meet before ACCs

The Blue Devils raced in their last meet before the ACC Indoor Championships this past weekend at the Virginia Tech Challenge, winning several events.

On the women’s side, junior Esther Vermeer dominated the 1000-meter run, taking each of the top five spots. Freshman Gabby Levac, graduate student Laura Paulsen and senior Kristina Krasich finished behind her to take the second, third and fourth spots, respectively, while freshmen Rebecca Craigie finished in fifth with a time of 2:51.94. The women also performed well in the 800-meter race, in which junior Cydney Ross finished in first.

The women’s success was not limited to the track, however, as senior Amy Fryt displayed another impressive performance in the field. The senior topped a pole vault record previously held by Olympian Jillian Schwartz and won the event with a vault of 13-feet-11.25 inches. According to director of track and field Norm Ogilvie, that performance should be sufficient to earn a spot in the upcoming NCAA Championships.

Redshirt freshman Michelle Anumba also had a record-setting day with successful performances in the shot put and weight throw. Anumba took second in the shot put with a throw of 15.05 meters, and fourth in the weight throw with a toss of 17.09 meters, breaking both school records she had previously set.

The men had several strong performances as well. On the track, junior Brendon Pierson, and sophomores Mike Movermen, Drew Hickey and Matt Marriott won the distance medley for Duke, while senior Ryan McDermott took second place in the mile with his time of 4:02.06. His time was good enough to place him just behind the all-time indoor school record of 4:00.70, set by Bob Wheeler.

Senior Josh Lund also ran well in the mile, taking sixth with his time of 4:04.96, and coming in behind sophomore Domenick DeMatteo who ran a 4:04.81 to finish fifth.

“[DeMatteo] has shown tremendous potential,” Ogilvie said. “When he came here, he was running about a 4:16. This is pretty much unheard-of improvement.”

The men have also been showing improvement in the field events, in which junior Michael Barbas shattered a 45-year-old school record in the shot put and won the event with a throw of 51-feet-11.5 inches. This performance places him at number two in the conference. Senior Mike Schallmo finished behind Barbas to pick up the number four ACC ranking and set a new personal record with his throw of 55-feet-11.5 inches.

“It was just a spectacular weekend for our program,” Ogilvie said. “We are going into the ACC’s on a real high note. We can’t wait to get started with the competition on Thursday.”

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