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Blue Devils open outdoor slate

The Blue Devils started off their outdoor season this past weekend by splitting their team to head to the High Point and UCF Invitationals.

The outdoor season started much like their indoor campaign, with top performances in both venues and six individual wins. Also similar to the beginning meets of the indoor season, though, the weekend was less about finishes than the chance for the athletes to see where they stood as they kicked off the outdoor slate.

“It was a good weekend for us,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “We just wanted to compete again outdoors and ease into it, and we had some really good performances.”

The majority of those “good performances” took place at the High Point Invitational, as most of the Blue Devils headed there to compete. Duke posted several top-five finishes in the running events as well as taking some first-place finishes in the field, totalling five first-places.

On the men’s side, Domenick DeMatteo took second place in the 1500m with a time of 3:48.36. Shortly afterwards, freshman Shaun Thompson provided Duke’s first win with a time of 9:12.82 in the steeple chase, leading junior Dominick Robinson, who finished just two seconds behind him. Like Ogilvie, Robinson was satisfied with the way the season began, though he is already hoping to build on his performance for the next meet.

“My form is a lot better in practice when I’m going over hurdles,” Robinson said. “Once I start getting that same form in races, I will be going a lot faster.”

Senior Amy Fryt, coming off a 2011 season in which she earned second team All-America honors, cleared 13’7.25” in the pole vault to take first place by more than a foot. Teammate Emily Mattoon took fourth after clearing 11’8.50”.

Other successful performances in the field included Justin Amezquita’s 15’11.75” first-place finish in the pole vault, freshman Kyler Shumway’s second-place finish in the hammer throw and Tanner Anderson’s win in the high jump after clearing 7’0.50”.

The women provided the rest of Duke’s first-place finishes at High Point on the track. Sophomore Hannah Goranson brought in the first win with a 13.96 performance in the 100m hurdles, and then freshmen Lauren Hansson, Alexis Roper and Elizabeth Kerpon joined senior Brittany Whitehead to take second in the 4x400m with a time of 3:52.33.

The last win for Duke this weekend came from Michael Barbas at the UCF Invitational, where he competed in both the discus, where he finished in fourth and the shot put, where he took first with a throw of 55’7.50”. Sophomore Michelle Anumba competed in the women’s side of the shot put, where she mirrored Barbas’s discus performance by coming in fourth.

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