BLACKSBURG, Va./ CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Duke started and closed out the second day of competition in style with two first place finishes at the Virginia Tech Invitational Saturday, January 19. Junior Brian Atkinson crossed the line at the head of the pack in the 5,000 meter, starting the day with a personal record time of 14:10.73 to bump him up to third on Duke's all-time list. At the end of the day, Senior James Kostelnik led a Blue Devil sweep in the 3,000 meter, running a personal record 8:09.49, placing him fourth on Duke's all-time list. He was joined by senior Mike Moverman who followed close behind in second with a time of 8:14.03 while sophomore Shaun Thompson rounded out the trio by finishing third in 8:24.32.
"Overall, we are really happy with the weekend, Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie commented. "Brian Atkinson looked great. He ran an even first part of the race and really dropped it down for the last mile. James ran away from everybody and also looked really good."
Other highlights for the men included a second place finish in the men's 800 meter by sophomore Kyle Moran, crossing the line in 1:54.08. He was joined by fellow sophomore Henry Farley who ran a personal record time of 1:54.10 to finish third.
In the men's high jump, junior Tanner Anderson finished third by clearing 6-11.75 (2.16).
"That is the highest he has ever jumped in January so we are pleased with that," Ogilvie commented.
On the women's side, sophomore Elizabeth Kerpon raced to second in the women's 400 meter with a time of 56.35. Fellow Blue Devils Lauren Hansson and Alexis Roper also competed in the race, finishing ninth and tenth respectively.
Junior Dana Morin ran a huge personal record in the women's 3,000 meter run finishing in third with a time of 10:01.85. She was followed closely by senior Ashley Brasovan who finished in fourth with a time of 10:04.84.
Duke also saw three relay team finish second in their respective events. The women's distance medley relay squad consisting of senior Esther Vermeer, freshman Anima Banks, sophomore Carolyn Baskir and senior Juliet Bottorff ran a time of 11:40.08 to finish second while the men's team including sophomore Nate McClafferty, freshman Michal Filipczak, junior Drew Hickey and freshman Blake Udland raced to the same result.
To end the evening, Hansson, Roper, Kerpon and senior Cydney Ross joined up to finish second in the women's 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:46.37.
Several Blue Devils also wrapped up competition at the Dick Taylor Invitational in Chapel Hill N.C. Sophomore Ian Rock had a strong second day in the men's heptathlon, winning two of the three final events giving him enough points to come from behind and claim first place in the two-day event with a personal record 5,145 points.
The Davis, Calif., native claimed first in the pole vault competition and the 1,000 meter run to earn the top spot and place him third on Duke's all-time list for the event.
"It was a great first early season heptathlon for Ian," Associate Head Coach Shawn Wilbourn commented. "To break 5,000 points as a sophomore, number three on Duke's all-time list, it was a very impressive performance. He was consistent all the way through. He came into the vault and was solid and then finished strong with a good 1,000. He competed well and he went for the win. I am fired up that he was able to score that high this early."
The throwers also had strong performances to close out the day. Competing in the shot put, redshirt freshman Stephen Boals and redshirt sophomore Kyler Shumway finishing in second and third with marks of 51-0.25 (15.55) and 50-1.25 (15.27). Junior Erica Brand competed in the same event on the women's side, finishing fourth with her best throw measuring 42-3.25 (12.88).
In the women's pole vault, sophomore Stephanie Skove was the top Blue Devil finisher, clearing a personal-best 12-3.5 (3.75) to finish second while senior Emily Mattoon, sophomore Baily Murphy and freshman Megan Clark finished third, fourth and fifth respectfully.
"Stephanie is getting better every week and I think we are going to see that trend throughout the season," Wilbourn commented. "I think she will get better as she gains confidence. Baily Murphy came back after a pentathlon yesterday and also did very well, especially considering yesterday's competition. Overall, it was a good opening meet. It was great to see where we were and we seem to be on the right track."
The Blue Devils return to action on February 1-2 at the Armory Collegiate in New York, N.Y. More information about the event will be available on www.GoDuke.com closer to the event.