GREENSBORO, N.C. – In the first event of the NCAA East First Round in Greensboro, N.C., redshirt junior Austin Gamble qualified for the NCAA Championships in the men’s discus by finishing seventh overall Thursday, May 23. The Weston, Fla., native earned his best mark of the day on his first throw, measuring 184-5 (56.22) to give him the qualifying mark.
“Congratulations to Austin Gamble on qualifying to the NCAA Championships,” said Duke's Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie at the conclusion of the day. “He has had a very consistent season and he put two throws out today beyond 56 meters, more than enough to get the job done. We are real excited to see what he can do in Eugene.”
Later in the 800 meters, redshirt senior Cydney Ross made setting a new personal record look easy by clocking 2:04.53, finishing second in her heat and qualifying for Friday’s final. Freshman Anima Banks also set a new personal record by running a time of 2:06.82 in the event, which was good enough to slide her into the 24th and final qualifying slot to join Ross. The two qualifying times also place the women second and fifth on Duke’s all-time list.
“One of the best looking athletes in the entire meet was Cydney Ross in the 800. She looked phenomenal. She was right behind the number one girl in the country and I don’t think she should be afraid of anybody. Also, congratulations to freshman Anima Banks on advancing to the next round as well. Both of those girls ran season-bests by over a second. It was a real good showing in the women’s 800 and men’s discus.”
Banks was one of several Blue Devils who made their NCAA East First Round debut Thursday. Redshirt freshman Stephen Boals competed in the discus and finished 19th overall, ten slots ahead of his ranking, with his best throw of the day measuring 169-11(51.80). The Loomis Calif., native will return to action tomorrow in the men’s shot put. On the track, sophomore Elizabeth Kerpon ran the 400 meters in 54.58 to finish 36th overall, five slots ahead of her initial ranking. She will also have another shot at an NCAA Championship berth in the women’s 4x400 relay.
After one day of competition at the regional qualifier, Duke’s NCAA Championship qualifying count totals two competitors, Beach in the decathlon and Gamble in the discus.
The Blue Devils will return to action Friday with day two of the NCAA East First Round competition. A complete recap will be available at www.GoDuke.com.