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Johonnot shines for Duke track and field at Tobacco Road Cup

Johonnot won the pentathlon, placing first or second in all 5 events

Winter storm Jonas may have cancelled the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va., but it could not keep Karli Johonnot from a record-breaking performance at the Tobacco Road Cup. 

Johonnot earned the top or second-highest score in all five events en route to victory in the women’s pentathlon Friday at the Eddie Smith Field House in Chapel Hill, tallying a final score of 4,282 points. Sophomore Tanner Johnson finished as the top collegiate competitor in the men’s heptathlon after two days of competition, leading a two-three-four Duke finish.

The Blue Devils claimed the team victory in the dual with North Carolina based on the sum of the top two women’s scores and top two men’s scores.

“Karli had a career day,” Duke director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “She did that with [personal records] or almost that in the first four events. We knew heading into the 800 that she had a great shot to set herself up for NCAAs. That was big.”

Johonnot and fellow redshirt senior Teddi Maslowski claimed the top two spots in the opening event of the pentathlon, the 60-meter hurdles. Maslowski crossed the line in 8.56 seconds with Johonnot close behind her in 8.65 seconds—a new personal-best.

The Las Vegas native nearly matched her own school record in the high jump to take the lead after the second event. Johonnot cleared 5 feet, 10 3/4 inches to tie for the top mark less than an inch shy of her career best. The redshirt senior continued to distance herself from the field with the top mark in the shot put of 43 feet, 4 inches—again just off her personal-best throw of 43 feet, 5 1/4 inches.

With the top mark in the long jump of 19 feet, 1 1/4 inches and second-fastest time in the 800 meters 2:22.95, Johonnot clinched the win.

The redshirt senior’s 4,282-point total surpassed Maslowski’s previous record of 4,097 by nearly 200 points. Accounting for the flat track at the Eddie Smith Field House, her score converts to a total of 4,304 points—the highest in Division I so far this season.

“The ACC meet was won in [4,273] last year, so she was [nine] points better than the winner at ACCs last year. She is clearly in new territory,” Ogilvie said. “She put herself on top of the ACC leaderboard and as of now, the top of the country. We probably now have our first athlete who will qualify for the NCAA meet in March.”

Maslowski was in third overall heading into the final event behind Emily Godwin of North Carolina but did not run in the 800 meters.

Freshman Jaida Lemmons competed in the first pentathlon of her collegiate career, turning in the third- or fourth-best performances in every event for fourth overall with a total of 3,474 points.

Two Blue Devil men also made their indoor multi-event debuts in Thursday and Friday’s heptathlon.

Junior Chaz Hawkins finished third with 4,982 points with highlight performances in the 60-meter dash and 1,000 meters. Hawkins was first across the line in the sprint with a time of 6.98 seconds and second in the longer run behind Johnson in 2:51.01.

Pole vaulter Connor Hall added six events for the first multi-event competition of his career. The junior tallied 4,261 points for fourth overall.

After a slow start on Thursday, Johnson cleared a personal-best 15 feet, 9 inches Friday in the pole vault for the second-highest mark of the contest behind overall winner Mike Morrison—the 2011 NCAA outdoor decathlon champion. The sophomore then won the 1,000 meters in 2:48.38 to clinch second with 5,259 points.

“The men were decisive. Tanner had a good, solid day Friday,” Ogilvie said. “It was a good first time out for Connor and Chaz, so a really successful day.”

Senior Robert Rohner led the field after the first four events on the first day of the heptathlon but did not compete in Friday’s 60-meter hurdles, pole vault or 1,000 meters. 

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