CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Graduate student Juliet Bottorff added to her ACC Championship accolades Thursday evening, winning the 10,000 meter final in a time of 32:53.72, on day one of the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Duke women’s track and field team finished day one with 10 points, while the Duke men’s track and field team concluded the first day of competition with three points.
“It’s relieving,” Bottorff said. “It’s a lot of pressure. You haven’t won it until you’ve won. It feels really good to get it done and complete the triple-crown, winning my third ACC Championship. It just means a lot. I’m really excited about it.”
Bottorff, who did not compete during the outdoor season prior to Thursday’s 10,000, placed herself in the lead pack early in the race and maintained her position as the race unfolded. Florida State’s Hannah Walker led for a majority of the race, pacing Bottorff as the two consistently hit splits of 79 seconds per lap for a significant portion of the distance.
“The competition was really good,” Bottoff said. “It was never in the bag, which makes it sweeter, because I really had to work for it.”
As the lead pack dwindled in the later stages of the race, Bottorff and Walker found themselves holding a significant lead over the rest of the field with 800 meters remaining. A decisive move 600 meters from the finish allowed Bottorff to pull away from Walker en route to the first women’s 10,000m ACC title in Duke history.
“I was expecting the race to be a little slower,” Bottorff said. “If it had been slow, I was going to make a move a lot earlier, but since it was going pretty fast, I was waiting until only a lap or two to go, when I knew I could drop the hammer in the homestretch. More power to Hannah Walker. She ran a great race and really did a lot of the work.”
In the men’s 10,000, senior Brian Atkinson contributed two points to the men’s team score, placing seventh in the event with a time of 29:37.46. Although the field was bunched together early in the race, Andrew Colley of NC State took the lead at the 5,000m mark and increased the pace from 73 second laps to 68 second laps, causing the field to string out. Atkinson responded to the change in pace and fell into the lead pack of eight runners. As the pack continued to hit 68 seconds per lap, the number of runners in the front continued to diminish, creating a pack of four. Atkinson attempted to work back to the lead pack throughout the remainder of the race, putting in a valiant effort before crossing the line for a seventh-place finish.
Sophomore Michael Foley opened the scoring for Duke on the men’s side, placing eighth in the hammer throw with a distance of 179-6.00 (54.73) earlier in the day. Foley’s eighth-place effort came on his fourth attempt. The Paradise Valley, Ariz., native reached the finals after posting a distance of 178-7.00 (54.43) on his second attempt.
All four of Duke’s decathletes found themselves among the top-eight through day one of the men’s decathlon, with sophomore Robert Rohner leading the way with 3,930 points, redshirt senior Curtis Beach in second place with 3,784 points, junior Ian Rock in seventh place with 3,584 points and freshman Chaz Hawkins, competing in his first collegiate decathlon, in eighth place with 3,410 points.
Rohner started the day strong with a first-place finish in the 100, clocking a time of 10.73. Beach earned a third-place finish with a time of 11.02, while Hawkins placed fourth with a time of 11.11. Rock rounded out the Duke contingent in the first event with a personal-best time of 11.34.
In the second event of the day, the long jump, Beach asserted himself, getting out to 23-10.75 (7.28) to take first in the event. Rohner placed second with a personal-best jump of 22-5.25 (6.84), while Rock also saw a top-five performance, placing fourth with a mark of 22-3.50 (6.79).
Rohner saw his third top-three performance of the day come in the shot put, as the Sumter, S.C., native sent the shot 41-7.75 (12.69), placing him third. Rock (38-0.25 (11.59)) and Beach (36-4.75 (11.09)) also saw top-10 performances, placing sixth and ninth, respectively.
In the penultimate event of the day, the high jump, Rohner continued the theme of top-three finishes, clearing 6-2.25 (1.89) to place third. Rohner remained perfect on his first four attempts before his first miss of the day at 6-3.50 (1.92). Rohner was unable to clear the height on second and third attempts, but because of fewer misses, placed ahead of two other competitors who cleared the same height.
The four Blue Devil decathletes concluded day one of the competition with a strong showing in the 400. Only the four Duke competitors broke 50 seconds for the distance, with Rohner finishing first in a time of 48.62, Beach placing second in a time of 49.38, Hawkins crossing the line in third with a time of 49.60 and Rock covering the distance in a time of 49.77 to finish fourth.
In the women’s heptathlon redshirt sophomore Karli Johonnot headlines the Duke trio of multi-event competitors, sitting in third place with 3,166 points after day one. Joining Johonnot among the top-eight is fellow redshirt sophomore Teddi Maslowski, who is in sixth place with 3,116 points. Senior Miray Seward concluded day one in ninth place after amassing 2,933 points.
Maslowski opened strong, winning the first event of the day, the 100m hurdles, in a school record and personal-best time of 13.91. Johonnot and Seward opened their days with a ninth and 11th-place finish, respectively. Johonnot finished in a time of 14.80 and Seward crossed the line in a time of 14.89.
In the second event of the day, the high jump, Johonnot led the Blue Devil trio with a fifth-place finish, clearing 5-5.75 (1.67). Seward finished second for Duke and ninth overall with a height of 5-3.25 (1.61) and Maslowski posted a mark of 5-2.25 (1.58), placing her 11th.
In the first throwing event of the heptathlon, the shot put, Johonnot posted a third-place performance with a mark of 38-9.50 (11.82). The Las Vegas, Nev., native’s mark came on her first attempt of the event. Seward moved into fifth-place on her third and final attempt after sending the shot 38-1.50 (11.62).
In perfect symmetry, Maslowski finished day one of competition in the same way she started the day, with a victory. The Burgettstown, Pa., native took first-place in the 200m dash, covering the distance in a time of 24.62.
Junior Elizabeth Kerpon, Duke’s school record holder in the 200, qualified for the finals of the 200m dash after placing second in her heat and running the fifth-fastest time in the prelims with a time of 23.77. The 200 final is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Freshman Haley Meier looked like a veteran running Thursday in the preliminary round of the 1,500, winning her heat in a time of 4:24.54 after making a strong move with 300m remaining. Meier, who positioned herself in the front of the field early in the race, remained composed and responded to a change in pace at the bell. At the 300m mark, Meier stayed clear of trouble, increasing her pace and pulling away from the field to earn a spot in the final, set for Saturday at 4:20 p.m.
In the men’s 1,500 prelim, junior Nate McClafferty secured a spot in the finals after placing second in the first heat with a time of 3:46.66 to automatically qualify. McClafferty looked smooth throughout the race, including in the final 400 meters when the Wernersville, Pa., native closed in a time of 56.09.
Competition resumes Friday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. with the women’s javelin. Live coverage of the day’s competition will be available on ESPN3 beginning at 4:30 p.m.