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Anumba in position to compete for nationals

As they move through their first few outdoor meets, the Blue Devils have carried on the success that was a hallmark of their indoor meets this season.

This past weekend the Duke track squad divided, with some athletes competing at the Tiger Track Classic at Auburn and others traveling to the Colonial Relays at William & Mary. While the Duke program had an impressive showing in the running events, the most dramatic successes took place in the field.

At Auburn, on the women’s side, freshman Michelle Anumba threw 53 feet, 10.25 inches in the shot put to take first place and continue her undefeated outdoor season. Anumba’s performance has improved with each meet this season, and she currently holds a ninth-place ranking in the NCAA. According to director of track and field Norm Ogilvie, this puts her in the position to be able to compete in nationals as a freshman.

Freshman Erica Brand, who competed in the shot put with Anumba, had another strong performance shortly afterward in the discus, where she finished second. In the javelin throw, sophomore Andrea Hopkins and senior Amy Matulewicz were able to maintain the momentum and finish in first and second, respectively, while Shannon Sullivan took fourth. Due to their stellar performances, Hopkins and Matulewicz are now sitting in the top 20 spots in the NCAA’s eastern division.

On the men’s side of the field, freshman Tanner Anderson continued his tradition of breaking school records in his first meets, as his jump of 6 feet, 11.5 inches set a new Duke standard, good for fourth place in this meet. Fellow freshman Michael Krone came in close behind Anderson to take the fifth-place spot for Duke with a jump of 6 feet, 9.5 inches. Freshman Justin Amezquita pole-vaulted to a fifth-place finish as well.

In the shot put, the men took home the first and third collegiate spots as junior Michael Barbas set two personal records this weekend, and senior Mike Schallmo finished two spots behind with throws of 55 feet, 4.25 inches.

Schallmo then went on to compete alongside Austin Gamble in the discus, where the two Blue Devils took second and fourth place, respectively.

The Duke men also performed admirably in the running events, where a close race in the 1500-meter saw seniors Ryan McDermott and Bo Waggoner, as well as redshirt freshman Domenick DeMatteo, place in the top six spots. Another tight race in the 3000-meter ended with six Duke athletes in the top 11 spots. Senior Josh Lund led the group as he crossed the line in second, followed by junior Andrew Brodeur who beat fourth-place finisher Cory Nanni by less than a second.

The strong performances shown this past weekend are, once again, indicative of Duke’s recent emphasis on the field element of the track-and-field program, according to Ogilvie.

“We’re trying to become a more balanced and complete track and field team,” he said. “This is a gradual evolution.... We still have areas to improve.”

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