Duke Blue Devils takes winning crown with eight finishing in top-10
CARY, N.C. – Duke turned in a dominant performance to claim its fourth consecutive team title at the annual Great American Cross Country Festival Friday at the WakeMed Cross Country Course.
Junior Phil Fairleigh paced the Blue Devils for the second time this season, coming in second overall with a personal-best of 24:56.8 on the 8K course. Sophomore Brian Schoepfer also recorded a new personal best, crossing the line just behind Fairleigh in 25:14.5. Senior Joseph Elsakr took fourth at 25:21.0, while junior Christian Britto placed fifth (25:22.7) in his first outing of the season. Freshman Daniel Moore, who notched a course record at the same meet during his high school career, rounded out the scoring for the Blue Devils with a seventh-place finish (25:33.2).
A pair of Duke freshmen completed the first 8K race of their careers, as Eddie Merenda came in ninth at 25:56.6 and Blake Udland finished 10th in 26:24.9. Sophomore Nate McClafferty followed in 11th place (26:45.9) and junior Spencer Pecha in 17th (27:10.3).
As a team, the Blue Devils totaled 16 points to take first overall. Longwood came in second with 70 points, while Young Harris took fifth (109), Hampden-Sydney eighth (220) and Methodist 10th (282). Several other clubs teams also participated in the meet.
Andrew Brodeur, a 2012 graduate of Duke and the Blue Devils’ current volunteer assistant coach, won the race as an unattached participant with a time of 24:35.0.
“It was a really great group effort,” head coach Norm Ogilvie said. “We had a great turnout with not only our varsity cross country group, but our half-milers and a lot of support from around here at Duke. I think that helped a lot. The guys responded really well. We’re very happy with our performance.”
Duke improved to 13-4 overall and remained 1-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference following Friday’s meet.