The Blue Devils claimed victories against North Carolina on both the men's and women's sides Friday at the Carolina Cup. Duke tallied a total of 157 points on the women’s side for a first place team finish, and the men earned 141 points to finish second behind East Carolina.
This weekend’s performances show that the track and field team is strong on both sides and capable of making a mark at the indoor conference meet.
“I’ve been here, just started my 24th year on the Duke track and field coaching staff, and we certainly have never beaten North Carolina on both the men’s and women’s side in the same day,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “This is a special group. They are winners. We are going to be one of the upper echelon teams in the conference, and we’re going to be right there with the top teams fighting for the title.”
Although only two meets are typically scored during the Blue Devils' indoor season, Duke's men and women have never both topped the Tar Heels on the same day at the conference championships.
On the women’s side, junior Elizabeth Kerpon earned 20 points for the team with her individual wins in the 200- and 400-meter events with times of 24.99 seconds and 55.83 seconds, respectively. Kerpon also anchored the Blue Devils’ 4x400-meter relay, earning a win for Duke with a final time of 3:51.14. Ogilvie called Kerpon the single biggest factor in the team’s overall win.
Graduate students Audrey Huth and Juliet Bottorff took first and second in the 3,000 meters, staying together throughout the course of the race to finish in 9:35.73 and 9:35.77, respectively. Bottorff exceeded expectations with her performance after being sick earlier in the week and unsure if she would even be able to run.
The Blue Devils’ best individual performance was turned in by sophomore Karli Johonnot in the pentathlon. Johonnot won the women's pentathlon by amassing 4,016 points and also placed second in the women's high jump by clearing 5-8 3/4.
Redshirt sophomore Teddi Maslowski earned second place in the women's pentathlon with a total of 3,754 points.
The multi-event athletes on the men’s side also recorded a one-two performance. Senior Curtis Beach and junior Ian Rock led the heptathlon after the first day of competition on Thursday. Beach closed Friday with 5,403 points, and Rock recorded a total of 5,129 points.
By taking first and second in both the men’s and women’s multi-events, Duke won the Tobacco Road Cup, a side competition taking place within the Carolina Cup to determine the school with the best overall multi-event performance.
The distance runners continued to shine on the men’s side as junior Nate McClafferty and graduate student Mike Moverman secured their second wins of the season. McClafferty turned in a final time of 4:09.73 to win the mile, a nearly identical time to his win at the Virginia Tech Invitational. Moverman won the 3,000-meter race in 8:20.16 and improved his season-best time by a little more than a second.
Sophomore Michal Filipczak earned a first-place finish in his first 800-meter run. With a time of 1:52.09, Filipczak qualified for the conference championships.
Ogilvie attributed the team’s energy to the team-scoring format of the meet and the opportunity to face conference rival North Carolina.
“In this situation, every event has that extra meaning of contributing to the team score,” he said. "That’s certainly always done at the conference and national levels, but when you bring a small group together, it’s super competitive. And the added element in this meet was facing Carolina. That certainly ratchets the intensity up a notch.”
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