The most anticipated race of the day, the men's 800 meters, proved to be exciting with Mike Rutt from the New Jersey-New York Track Club taking home first place in a time of 1:46.86. The University of Connecticut alumnus pulled off the rare feat of outkicking two-time NCAA Champion Robbie Andrews who finished the distance in a time of 1:47.11. Senior Stephen Clark was the top finisher for Duke with a sixth place finish and a time of 1:50.45. Two-time Olympian Alan Webb finished in eighth with a time of 1:51.05 while Duke decathlete Curtis Beach completed the half mile distance in 1:56.57 which put him in 29th place.
"Today was the most successful Duke Twilight meet for us yet," Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie commented. "It was great for Stephen and Curtis to get to compete with all of those elite guys in the 800 and for Abby Farley to break the freshman record."
Beach's performance was less than he was hoping for but the Albuquerque, N.M. native was able to look past the performance and set his sights on the rest of the season.
"This is just a step along the way for me to practice and get better for my goals later in the season," Beach commented. "At this point in the season I'm supposed to be going really hard and pushing with a lot of hard workouts, and that's what this week has been. So, for as much as I want to run a fast 800 I've still got to keep in mind the end of the season. I think that's part of the reason why I didn't do as well as I wanted to today. The big focus is the Olympic trials in the decathlon, and going for a spot on the team if things go well. All this preparation is good for that."
Duke had several solid performances on the track including freshman Abby Farley earned a huge personal record and the Duke freshman record in the women's 800 meters by running a time of 2:07.69, earning a sixth place finish overall. The women's 4x400 relay, which earned a first place finish in a time of 3:41.19. The quartet of seniors Cydney Ross and Brittany Whitehead and freshmen Lauren Hansson and Elizabeth Kerpon is chasing after a regional qualifying mark which it hopes to earn next weekend. Junior Juliet Bottorff also earned a first place finish the women's 3,000 in 9:39.72.
In the field, Duke swept the pole vault events with Justin Amezquita clearing 16-0.75 (4.90) to take first for the men and senior Amy Fryt clearing 13-5.25 (4.10) to take home the women's crown in her final home meet as a Blue Devil.
Sophomore Erica Brand had the top finish for Duke in the throwing events with a first place finish in the discus. The Shawnee, Kan., native bested the field with a mark of 166-07(50.78). Senior Michael Barbas finished second in the men's shot put with a mark of 56-4.0 (17.17) while sophomore Michelle Anumba also finished second in the women's shot put with a throw of 54-7.25 (16.64).
Next weekend, on May 11-13, the Blue Devils will head to Princeton, N.J., for the IC4A/ECAC Championships. 36 Blue Devils have qualfied for the historic event. Full coverage will be available at www.GoDuke.com.