Jan. 10, 2009


Courtesy of Duke

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Duke men’s and women’s track and field teams opened the 2009 indoor slate at Saturday’s Tar Heel Invitational on the campus of the University of North Carolina, where the women placed second and the men third in what was a battle of the Triangle region. Duke joined UNC, N.C. State, N.C. Central, and St. Augustine’s as all of the area’s Division I programs battled it out on the flat 200-meter indoor track at the Eddie Smith Fieldhouse.

Several student-athletes opened their indoor campaigns by breaking into the Duke all-time lists and recording IC4A/ECAC qualifying marks in just the first week of competition.

Overall, the men captured three events – the distance medley relay, the mile, and the 3000, and the women won the mile and the 3000 as Duke’s distance corps stood out. The Blue Devil women were second as a team with their score of 88.5 in the scoring meet, behind just the Tar Heels (242.5), while the men trailed St. Augstine’s (131) and UNC (123) with their overall score of 108.

“Both teams had good meets and did as well as we could have hoped,” said Director of Track & Field Norm Ogilvie. “The important thing is that we competed well. It was a very good start.”

The men were highlighted by freshman Michael Barbas’ performance in the shot put, as he turned in Duke’s furthest throw in the event since 1966 with a toss of 52 feet, 11 inches. That mark is third all-time indoors in just his first collegiate meet. Barbas, whose mark was also an IC4A qualifier, was followed by Mike Schallmo in 49-11 ¾ as the duo went 2-3 in the shot put.

Barbas and Schallmo then teamed up with David Piccirilli in the weight throw as they went 3-4-5 to pick up 12 points for the Blue Devils.

Tyler Clark moved into third place all-time in the indoor 60-meter hurdles as he clocked an 8.48 in the event. Clark doubled in the men’s high jump with a leap of 6-6 ¼ to place fourth. Fifth-year senior Jade Ellis turned in a solid outing as he eclipsed the all-time list at Duke, recording the third-best indoor long jump performance with a 23-11 ¾ jump to take first and qualify for IC4As in come-from-behind fashion after trailing entering the final jump. It was the first time Ellis had competed in the event in two years after redshirting last year.

Sophomore Ryan McDermott was Duke’s only double winner of the day as he won the men’s 3000 meters in 8:29.57 and ran the 800 leg in the Blue Devils’ winning DMR after taking the stick 10 meters back and clocking a 1:55.9 to bring Duke back for the victory. McDermott’s first-place finish in the 3000 paced the Blue Devils’ as they took 1-3-4-5-6 in the event for 23 total points and proved their depth in the distance races. Also on the distance side, sophomore Bo Waggoner anchored the DMR in a mile split of 4:15.9, while Cory Nanni and Ken Sullivan went 1-3 for 16 points in the mile.

The women saw some equally strong performances in the season-opener, highlighted by senior Anna Farias-Eisner’s victory in the mile as she turned in a 4:54.17 effort and led three other Blue Devils in the event’s top-five. Molly Lehman came through in the 3000, though normally a miler, getting the win in her first-ever attempt at the distance and clocking a 9:54.87. Lehman was followed by freshman Suejin Ahn in second place (10:02.72).

The women’s pole vaulters posted 18 points in a strong showing, paced by Cassie Ludwig’s 11-11 ¾ performance which is Duke’s fifth-best mark all-time and qualified her for the ECAC Championships. The women’s DMR, as well as the 4x400 meter relay, took third place.

Karolina Haraldsdottir showed why she is a multi-event athlete as she doubled in the unusual combination of the shot put (sixth place) and high jump (fourth), and freshman Cydney Ross made her debut in the 800 meters with a third-place time of 2:15.86.

The Blue Devils will look to build on the first week as the next compete at the Terrier Classic Jan. 23-24 in Boston, Mass.