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Duke cross country finds success all across the country this weekend

<p>The Blue Devil women were split between North Carolina and Indiana this weekend.</p>

The Blue Devil women were split between North Carolina and Indiana this weekend.

Duke was in action all across the country this weekend. The men’s squad headed to Minneapolis for the Roy Griak Invitational, while the girls team was divided between South Bend, Ind., and Charlotte, N.C.

The Blue Devils’ top three on the men’s side established themselves in the lead pack early Saturday morning at the 33rd Roy Griak Invitational with sophomore Paul Dellinger, senior Nikhil Pulimood and junior Cole Hoff all coming through the 3K mark in the top 10. 

The trio came through the finish line in 24:47, 24:50 and 24:57 for eight kilometers and finished eighth, ninth and 11th in the field, propelling the Blue Devils to a first-place finish, besting Minnesota by two points and improving on the their seventh-place showing last season. 

Pulimood led the charge for Duke for the majority of the race and recorded the fastest first mile in the field at 4:55.3. Sophomore runner Josh Romine followed close behind with a 4:55.8 first mile, and hung on for a 29th-place finish directly behind teammate Charles Cooper—a graduate transfer from Georgetown. The pair finished in 25:18 and 25:20, respectively.

Sophomore CJ Ambrosio bridged the gap between the packs of Blue Devils and finished 19th with a time of 25:08—over a minute faster than the 26:15 he ran last year on the course. The lone freshman on Duke’s Griak squad, Chris Theodore, rounded out Duke’s top seven with a time of 25:25, good for 31st in his second collegiate competition. 

The Duke women split squads this weekend, sending runners to South Bend for the Joe Piane Notre Dame invitational and Charlotte to compete in the Queen City Invite. 

The Notre Dame invite squad picked up a fifth-place finish in a field with three top-25 teams. Duke was led by sophomore Michaela Reinhart, who finished 23rd overall in a time of 17:21. Reinhart was closely followed by redshirt freshman Sara Platek in 17:25 and true freshman Monica Hebner in 17:41. 

Junior Lindsay Billings and senior Kim Hallowes worked together and crossed the line nearly simultaneously in 17:47.2 to finish 48th and 49th in the field. The next finisher for the Blue Devils was sophomore Amanda Beach in a time of 17:50.

Freshman Clara Savchik rounded out Duke’s top seven in her college debut. Savchik finished in 18:09, good for 77th in the field.

The seven-member squad at the Queen City invite had similar success, taking first in the team results and putting two runners in the top 10. After redshirting the 2017 cross country season, senior Liz Lansing took third in her season debut with a time of 17:35. She was followed by junior Sarah Armstrong, who recorded a 17:47 and a sixth-place finish. 

Seniors Sheridan Wilbur and Olivia Gwynn both came through in 18:00 and inside of the top 20. Next for the Blue Devils was Helen Williams, a redshirt freshman, who finished 25th in 18:24. Junior Veronica Brtek and freshman Ellen Hirsberg rounded out the Blue Devils' finishers in 18:55 and 19:21.

Duke will return to action next weekend in Cary, N.C., for the Great American XC Festival.


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