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Several medal at Duke Invitational

For the Blue Devils’ seniors, this past weekend’s Duke Invitational represented their last chance to shine in front of the home crowd and become champions.

And fortunately for Duke, two member’s of the men’s team stepped up to the challenge.

In the field, senior Mike Schallmo threw a personal record of 55.26 meters in the discus to take first. Schallmo’s teammates, sophomore Austin Gamble and junior Michael Barbas, followed his lead by earning third and fifth, respectively.

“The personal record for Schallmo to win the men’s discus was really probably one of the highlights of the entire day,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said.

Fellow senior Ryan McDermott also took advantage of the opportunity to become an Invite Champion and impressed his coach with a stellar performance in the men’s steeplechase.

“Ryan McDermott looked absolutely fantastic running 8:55,” Ogilvie said. “He’s actually a two-time defending champion in the steeplechase. He’s going for the three-peat in two weeks at ACC’s, but it’s his first Duke Invite win ever…. So there were two seniors winning a Duke Invitational title today. That was really great.”

The women’s side also had successful performances with juniors Brittany Whitehead, Deirdre Anglin-Stone, and Nicole Ragucci, along with sophomore LaCresha Styles, setting a new school record in the 400-meter relay with their time of 48.03 seconds. Shortly afterward, Whitehead was back for the open 400-meter dash, where she took a tenth-place finish.

In the 800-meter run, Duke women took five of the top fifteen spots, with senior Kate Van Buskirk finishing in second followed by sophomore Cydney Ross in third place. Junior Esther Vermeer took sixth in the same event, and sophomore Katie Apibunyopas set a new personal record with an eighth place finish. Also, in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, freshman Hannah Goranson sprinted her way to third place as she dove across the finish line to edge out her competitors.

Senior Kristina Krasich had an impressive showing in the women’s steeplechase, taking first in the 2000-meter race. In the 3000-meter, junior Mary Carleton Johnston and senior Emily Schwitzer finished second and third, respectively.

On Friday, for the fourth week in a row, freshman Michelle Anumba took first place in the women’s shot put with a 15.83-meter throw, continuing her undefeated outdoor season. Fellow freshman Erica Brand also took a top-ten spot for Duke, throwing 13.24 meters. On the men’s side, junior Michael Barbas became a Duke Invitational champion with his throw of 17.76 meters, and a personal record-breaking throw from Schallmo earned him the number-two spot.

In the women’s javelin, sophomores Andrea Hopkins and Shannon Sullivan took first and second, respectively, while senior John Austin also earned the top collegiate spot on the men’s side, but was edged out of first by unattached thrower Colin Moletin.

The personal record-breaking performances continued into Friday’s running events. A close race in the men’s 1500 meters saw junior Stephen Clark barely miss a first-place finish as he crossed the lines 0.07 seconds behind Northeastern’s Eric Jenkins. And despite the windy conditions, junior Josh Lund ran a lifetime best in the 5K with his time of 14:01.65, the third-fastest in Duke history. The Blue Devils took seven of the top 20 spots in the same race, with junior Andrew Brodeur and senior Bo Waggoner also finishing in the top five.

The Duke team took one other top five spot in the running events on Friday. Sophomore Joseph Elsakr moved up throughout the 10,000-meter race to finish in fourth place, just before an incoming storm forced the rescheduling of the men’s 5000 meter run.

Ultimately, the Blue Devils’ men and women had solid performances heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

“It was just another really strong Duke Invitational,” Ogilvie said.

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