DURHAM, N.C. — The Duke track and field team opened up its season in spectacular fashion with numerous victories, school and collegiate records falling.
In the very first event of the very first meet of the year, senior Laura Paulsen took the top spot in the women’s 3000-meter with a time of 9:45.31. Success in the distance continued as Andrew Brodeur, Ryan McDermott and school record holder Bo Waggoner went 1-2-3 in the men’s 3000m. Brodeur’s time of 8:10.81 is the second best time ever run by a Blue Devil. Freshmen Clint McKelvey and Brain Atkinson took second and third place in the 5000m using the race in preparation for the USA Cross Country Junior Championships to be held in San Diego, Calif. on February 5th.
In the field, the men and women’s throwers started the season strong. Fifth year senior Michael Schallmo threw 55’5.75” in the weight throw, just 4 inches short of his personal best and Duke school record. Also in the weight throw, in her first meet, freshman Michelle Anumba threw 55’9.25” two times in six attempts to set a new school record.
Freshman Hanna Goranson opened up her career with an 8.93 effort in the 60m hurdles, the 5th fastest time in Duke track and field history while Curtis Beach dropped his personal best time to 8.36 dropping the 4th fastest time in Duke history by three hundredths of a second. The highlight of Friday’s track events was the women’s 4x800m. The 8:42.54 time run by seniors Devotia Moore and Kate Van Buskirk and juniors Esther Vermeer and Cydney Ross beat the previous school record by seven seconds, a record that was set by a team that included current assistant coach and All-American Liz Wort and Olympian and NCAA champion Shannon Rowbury. Van Buskirk led the team with a 2:04.15 split.
Saturday’s session continued to build momentum for the Devils. After running her incredible leg in the 4×800, Van Buskirk made history in the 1000m setting a new collegiate record with a time of 2:41.00. “In 20 years I’ve never seen a Duke athlete set a collegiate record,” said Director of Track and Field Norm Olgilvie. “It just goes to show how strong our program has become.” The previous record of 2:41.56 was set in 1989 by Teena Colebrook of Cal Poly.
Senior Amy Fryt’s vault of 13’2.25” was the top colligate vault of the meet and the strongest opening mark in her four years with the Duke. Also in the field, freshman Tanner Anderson became the first Blue Devil to clear seven feet in the high jump, notching a mark of 7’0.25”, finishing second to former NCAA Division II high jump champion Joe Kindred. Freshman Michael Krone followed closely behind with a mark of 6’8.25” tying the 4th best mark recorded by a Blue Devil.
On the track, the women’s 4x400m team of Sophia Treakle, Brittany Whitehead, More and Ross closed out the meet and ran the second fastest time at Duke with a time of 3:48.19.
While most Blue Devils will rest up and prepare to compete at Carolina Classic next week, Beach will be competing against some of the world’s best decathletes at the Milrose Multi Challenge in Madison Square Garden.