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Duke track and field finishes strong with bid for NCAA Championships on the line

Several Blue Devils had personal bests in the final week of regular season competition.
Several Blue Devils had personal bests in the final week of regular season competition.

Several Blue Devils will look to add themselves to Duke’s growing NCAA First Round roster following their performances in Raleigh, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga., this weekend.

With two weeks left before the NCAA East Region Championships in Jacksonville, Fla., the Blue Devils used the Wolfpack Last Chance Meet and Georgia Tech Invitational to post one more slate of marks before the championship field is finalized.

The top 48 athletes declaring for each event will comprise the NCAA First Round field. Declarations will begin Monday and conclude Tuesday, and the official list of competitors will be set by Wednesday.

“We don’t know what the other schools will declare,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “So for those athletes on the bubble, they will just have to wait it out. Wednesday we will know who is going to Jacksonville and who is going home.”

Redshirt sophomore Teddi Maslowski reclaimed Duke’s 100-meter hurdles record from teammate Hannah Goranson with her new personal best of 13.73 seconds. Maslowski finished fourth in the short hurdles distance but took first in the 400-meter hurdles a few hours later Friday. Besting the field by over a second, she finished in 59.39 seconds—the Blue Devils’ second-fastest all-time performance. Maslowski will look to advance to the NCAA East Region Championships in the 400-meter hurdles.

Senior Christian Britto made his bid for the postseason with his new personal-best time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Running alongside junior Shaun Thompson, who holds Duke’s third fastest all-time performance in the event, Britto finished in 9:03.39, dropping nearly 55 seconds off of his previous best time. Finishing in 9:02.83, Thompson led the one-two Blue Devil finish.

Looking to earn a chance to compete in the national championships her first year in a Duke uniform, freshman Urina Harrell threw a new personal-best mark in the shot put of 48 feet, 2 3/4 inches. Harrell remains second on the Blue Devils’ all-time list behind redshirt senior Michelle Anumba.

"Teddi has an excellent chance,” Ogilvie said. “Christian and Urina have a bit longer of a shot, but they improved their personal bests to put themselves on the bubble.”

Junior Nate McClafferty hopes to advance in the 800 meters with his new personal best of 1:51.18. Winning the second heat, McClafferty finished seventh overall.

Anima Banks earned a new personal best in the 800 meters and fourth place on Duke’s all-time list Saturday, crossing the line in 2:05.80. Taking third overall, Banks led teammates Haley Meier and Madison Granger across the line, who finished in 2:09.44 and 2:13.19, respectively.

McClafferty and Banks will also await Wednesday’s release of the NCAA East Region’s top 48 declared athletes in each event.

Although the championship roster is not set, Ogilvie is optimistic that the Blue Devils will have a strong showing in Jacksonville in two weeks.

“I estimate that we will have a dozen men and a dozen women competing in the NCAA First Round, which is a big number for us,” he said.

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