As a program, Duke’s men’s and women’s teams have never before collectively earned a spot in the top half of the ACC. But later this week, they hope to set a new record by changing that.
With athletes showing strong performances in both the running and field events, director of track and field Norm Ogilvie feels confident in both teams’ abilities to accomplish this goal at the ACC Indoor Championships.
“We are coming in off of two of our best meets,” Ogilvie said. “And all segments [of the team] are contributing.”
In previous years, the Blue Devils have had most of their successes in the distance events, but according to Ogilvie, this has started to change. Throughout the season, school records have been set on the track, including the women’s mile and the men’s 5k, and in multiple field events like the pole vault. In addition, athletes have set several personal records, and shown improvement in events such as the hurdles and sprints.
Certain Duke athletes have also been able to earn a top ranking in addition to breaking records. Kate Van Buskirk, whose mile time of 4:35.83 at the Armory Invitational was enough to earn her a top spot and qualify her for the NCAA Indoor Championships, has been named ACC Performer of the Week twice this season.
Other athletes who have shown improvement and set school records include seniors Bo Waggoner and Josh Lund, who set new records in the 5k and 3k races, respectively. Freshmen Tanner Anderson and Michael Krone have made Duke the only school in the ACC with two freshmen jumping over seven feet, and they are ranked second and fourth in the conference, respectively. Ranked third in the ACC and ninth in the country in the pole vault, senior Amy Fryt has also had an impressive season, and joins Van Buskirk in being an ACC Performer of the Week this season.
“We’ve had a tremendous season until this point with all of the personal records set,” Ogilvie said. “We’re in a great mood coming in [to the ACC meet].”
The successes experienced by the Blue Devils at their last meet, the Virginia Tech Challenge, as well as earlier in the year at the Hokie Invitational, are especially promising since the ACC Indoor Championships will be hosted in Blacksburg this year. The meet will start today, when sophomore Curtis Beach and freshman Miray Seward compete in the multi-event decathlon and heptathlon, and continue throughout the week, with the last finals finishing Saturday.
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