Despite rainy weather preventing some of the Blue Devils from competing Friday, Duke still recorded a number of highlight performances at the Raleigh Relays this weekend.
The Blue Devils competed at N.C. State Friday and Saturday in their second meet of the outdoor season, turning in 15 top-10 performances.
The women’s 1,600-meter sprint medley relay earned Duke’s best finish in Friday’s events. Graduate student Dorehn Coleman and seniors Callie Francis, Jessica Buttinger and Alexis Roper finished the two 200-meter, one 400-meter and one 800-meter legs in a combined time of 4:02.52. The Blue Devils trailed Hampton across the line but opened up a lead of more than a second against the rest of the field. The Pirates claimed the win in the event with a time of 3:58.08.
Sophomore Haley Meier and junior Anima Banks continued the success of the women’s squad on the track in the 1,500 meters, finishing second and fifth in 4:23.83 and 4:26.35, respectively.
In the field events, the Blue Devils picked up a pair of third-place finishes in the throws. Redshirt junior Stephen Boals threw a mark of 56 feet, 10 inches in the men’s shot put—just off his winning mark of 57 feet, 5 ¾ inches from the Carolina Relays last weekend. Graduate student Erica Brand took third in the women’s discus with her throw of 161 feet, 3 inches.
The Blue Devils’ strong performances kept coming Saturday, again highlighted by relay performances.
The men’s 4-x-800 relay claimed victory with an impressive come-from-behind finish. Sophomore Alec Kunzweiler and senior Henry Farley turned in splits of 1:56.63 and 1:54.66, putting Duke in third with the baton in freshman Kyle Francis’ hand. Despite logging a 1:54.21 split for the third leg, Francis passed the baton to classmate Jordan Burton with Duke falling back to fourth.
But the anchor cranked out a split of 1:51.21, passing Loyola and Brown in the final stretch to give the Blue Devils their only first-place finish of the meet. Duke finished in 7:36.70.
The women’s 4-x-800 meter relay took second with a time of 9:07.72 behind Kent State’s squad, which ran away with event in a final time of 9:02.34. Buttinger posted the fastest split in the field on the opening leg with a time of 2:13.39. Francis and Meier fell behind Kent State and Maryland Eastern Shore, but senior Abby Farley capped the race with a 2:16.32 split to earn the runner-up finish.
The Blue Devils closed out the weekend with strong performances in the men’s and women’s javelin. Redshirt junior Thomas Lang took second with a throw of 213 feet and sophomore Christine Streisel threw a mark of 151 feet, 9 inches—good for third.
Duke will continue its packed outdoor season with the two-day Vertklasse Meet starting April 3 in High Point, N.C.
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