LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senior Juliet Bottorff led the Blue Devil women to a ninth-place showing against a number of nationally-ranked squads Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic on the cross country course at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park - the site of the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Bottorff was Duke's top finisher for the second time this season, placing fifth with a personal best time of 16:58.94 among a field of over 250 runners in the women's 5K gold race. Fellow senior Madeline Morgan was the next Blue Devil runner to cross the line, taking 36th with a time of 17:29.05, while graduate student Megan Deakins came in 46th at 17:34.92 in the first cross country race of her career. Rounding out the top five for the Blue Devils were junior Gabby Levac, who clocked a personal-best time of 17:48.07 in a 70th-place finish, and junior Jessie Rubin, who came in 105th at 18:03.21.
"I thought Juliet had her best cross country finish she's ever had in her career," said head coach Kevin Jermyn. "She ran against some really high-level competition and that's the best place she's had against a high level of competition. We also had a strong performance again by Madeline Morgan. She's been a real consistent performer."
Elvin Kibet of Arizona won the 5K race, notching a time of 16:51.71 to guide the 12th-ranked Wildcats to a first-place finish in the team standings with 71 points. Washington placed second with 80 points, followed by No. 14 Michigan State and Arkansas in third (135), No. 17 Penn State in fifth (161) and No. 8 Vanderbilt in sixth (178). The Blue Devils totaled 257 points in a ninth-place finish to bring their season ledger to 27-8. Duke also edged Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Georgia Tech to remain unbeaten in the conference at 3-0.
"Overall, we thought the team had a fair to good day," Jermyn said. "We're hoping that we can do a little bit better once we race a little more frequently and have a little deeper lineup."
The Duke women will send runners to the Hagan Stone XC Classic next weekend in Greensboro, N.C., before racing a full squad again on Oct. 12 at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis.
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