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Duke track and field women finish third, men fifth at ACC Championships

The Blue Devils left the 2013 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships with program-best finishes for both the men and women. The women’s team closed out the competition in third place with 82 points behind Clemson’s 141.5 and Florida State’s 100 points. The men’s 52-point total earned them a fifth-place finish in Blacksburg, Va.

“I think it was a great effort for both teams and fifth for the men is very similar [to] third for the women,” Blue Devil head coach Norm Ogilvie said.

The Duke team finished the meet with eight All-ACC selections, three ACC champions and three school records. The Blue Devils were motivated on their first day of competition by the outstanding performance of junior Miray Seward, who recorded a second-place finish in the pentathlon.

“A lot of people came out and ran personal bests,” Ogilvie said. “They just competed really well and they fed off each others’ energy. It all started the very first day when Miray Seward put us off to a great start.”

Ogilvie also praised the performance of Duke’s Ian Rock. The multi-event athlete set a personal best in the pole vault, launching 16-feet, 9.25 inches to finish sixth in the pole vault on his way to a first-place finish overall in the heptathlon, beating three North Carolina athletes who finished second, third and fourth behind the sophomore.

“[On his third day of competition] all he did was respond with a lifetime best in the pole vault,” Ogilvie said. “[Rock] can definitely be looked at as one of the MVP’s for Duke this [past] weekend.”

Duke also saw senior Cydney Ross earn her first ACC title in the women’s 800 meters, clocking in a time of 2:06.81. Despite the tight packing that led to two athletes’ falls in the race, Ross was able to maintain focus and take the lead with about 100 meters left, and she never looked back.

The third Blue Devil to earn an ACC title was Juliet Bottorff, who is familiar with the big stage. The senior, who won the 2011 NCAA Outdoor title in the 10km, won the women’s 5km run finishing in 16:15.83, about three seconds in front of Florida State’s Kayleigh Tyerman, who finished in second.

“[Juliet Bottorff] has the ACC time record in that event,” Ogilvie said. “She is definitely the boss in the 5,000.... She hung in the back and then just took over and cruised in the last mile.”

Blue Devil Dominick Robinson clocked a personal best in the mile in the preliminary rounds Friday in 4:09.88 and earned valuable points for Duke in the final race with a time of 4:10.58, which was good for a seventh place finish in the event.

“Both the favorites came through as well as the underdogs [in this meet],” Ogilvie said. “A lot of good things happened across all areas.”

Duke will travel to South Bend, Ind. to participate in the Alex Wilson Invitational next weekend. The invite will mark one of two “last-chance” meets for Blue Devils to earn a spot in the NCAA Indoor Championships March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ariz.

“Juliet [Bottorff] will make it [to the NCAA Championships], but for everyone else who is on the bubble, they have to get out here and run again,” Ogilvie said. “Hopefully we will end up getting a lot of selections for the NCAA Championships.”

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