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Duke track and field topples 3 school records at Virginia Tech Elite Meet

Teddi Maslowski and Elizabeth Kerpon led the way for Duke this weekend, with three program records falling at their feet in Blacksburg, Va.

The Blue Devils wrapped up their third straight weekend of rewriting the all-time performance list with an impressive showing by the women’s squad Friday and Saturday at the Rector Field House for the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet.

Maslowski broke her first Duke record of the season Friday in the 60-meter hurdles and took down another Saturday afternoon, becoming the first female Blue Devil to surpass the 20-foot mark in the long jump.

“Teddi is having the best season ever,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “She’s probably going to have a really great multi-event at ACCs. We had a really good weekend and some fantastic records. We competed well across the board, and it was a positive day for a lot of people.”

At the Armory Collegiate Invitational Jan. 31, Maslowski missed Hannah Goranson’s 8.59-second record in the 60-meter hurdles by just one hundredth of a second. But the determined redshirt junior marked her place in Duke’s record books Friday, running a time of 8.48 seconds in the preliminary heats to finish ninth overall and fifth among ACC competitors.

In Saturday’s long jump, both Maslowski and redshirt junior Karli Johonnot soared past Ifeyinwa Anoliefo’s 13-year-old record of 19 feet, 1 ½ inches. Johonnot finished sixth with a mark of 19 feet, 3 ¼ inches. Maslowski set the new Blue Devil record, landing in third place after her jump of 20 feet, 4 ¼ inches.

Kerpon bested her own school record with her performance in the 200 meter invitational race Saturday. Finishing sixth in 24.25 seconds, she improved her previous mark of 24.32 seconds from the Penn State Invitational last indoor season.

The senior was the Blue Devil women’s top finisher in any event Friday evening, taking fourth in the 400-meter invitational. The former program record-holder crossed the line in 54.60 seconds—good for a season-best but shy of sophomore Madeline Kopp’s mark of 54.07 seconds at the Armory Collegiate Invitational.

Kopp competed in the shorter 200-meter open race Friday, leading sprint-relay partners Lauren Hansson and Maddy Price across the line. Kopp finished in a season-best of 24.60 seconds. Hansson and Price took 11th and 14th in 24.61 and 24.73 seconds, respectively.

But Kopp did take on the 400-meter distance Saturday in the open race. The sophomore crossed the line in 54.36 seconds in second behind Lanece Clarke, a 27-year-old from the Bahamas running unattached.

Sophomore Megan Clark also faced a non-collegiate competitor in Saturday’s pole vault. Kelsie Ahbe—a 2014 graduate from Indiana University and the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Champion—paced the field with a winning mark of 14 feet, 8 inches. Ahbe pushed Clark to her season-best performance of 14 feet, 4 inches, less than two inches shy of her school record. Clark finished first among collegiate competitors.

“Some really high-caliber NCAA athletes competed this weekend,” associate head coach Shawn Wilbourn said. “Each week we have been trying to clean up technique, and we went to a bigger pole this week. We were expecting a big performance, and this is the highest she’s jumped this early in the season. I’m very excited about where she is and to see her keep progressing.”

The men’s squad also turned in a number of personal and season-best performances.

The weekend’s highlight performances on the men’s side came from the distance group. Junior William Rooney finished second in the 3,000-meter race, crossing the line in 8:22.07 and holding off Georgia’s Brendan Hoban in the home stretch. Senior Spencer Pecha also finished second in the 5,000 meters with a time of 15:20.56.

In the men’s 400-meter open race, sophomore Chaz Hawkins moved up to second on Duke’s all-time performers list with a time of 48.80 seconds and an eighth-place finish.

Most of the Blue Devils will take a weekend off before returning to Blacksburg Feb. 20 for the Virginia Tech Challenge. But a handful of the Duke’s top athletes will seek out the nation’s best competition next weekend at two of the most elite meets in indoor track and field—the Millrose Games and the Iowa State Classic.

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