MADISON, Wis. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Duke women's cross country team had an impressive day of competition Friday with the squad splitting for races in Madison, Wis., and Charlotte, N.C.
Senior Juliet Bottorff led a group of Blue Devils to a top-10 showing among an elite field at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Bottorff broke the 20-minute barrier for the first time in her career, clocking 19:55 in the women's 6K race on the Thomas Zimmer Cross Country Course to come in eighth overall out of 327 total runners.
As a team, Duke finished seventh in the field of 48 schools with a score of 364 points. Fifth-ranked Iowa State claimed the team title with a total of 109 points, while No. 7 Stanford (181), No. 2 Arizona (242), No. 3 Washington (252), No. 9 Cornell (264) and No. 28 Providence (265) rounded out the top six.
The Blue Devils, listed fifth in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Southeast Region rankings, edged 15 nationally-ranked squads - No. 10 Michigan State, No. 12 Vanderbilt, No. 13 Weber State, No. 14 Penn State, No. 15 Toledo, No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 19 New Mexico, No. 20 San Francisco, No. 21 Boston College, No. 23 Columbia, No. 26 NC State, No. 27 Minnesota, No. 28 Providence, No. 29 Wisconsin and No. 30 Yale. Duke also finished ahead of four Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, including the Eagles, Wolfpack, North Carolina and Virginia.
In addition to Bottorff, three other Blue Devils broke into the top-100 individually, with sophomore Kelsey Lakowske placing 50th with a time of 20:27 in the first 6K race of her collegiate career. Senior Madeline Morgan took 64th at 20:37, followed by graduate student Suejin Ahn in 66th (20:38). Fellow graduate student Megan Deakins crossed the line at 21:13 to come in 176th, while sophomore Jessie Rubin recorded a time of 21:45 in a 253rd-place finish.
Duke also had one representative in the women's open 6K, as sophomore Carolyn Baskir came in first overall at 20:59.
"It was a really positive day for us," said head coach Kevin Jermyn. "Our first four runners ran at a really high level, especially for at this point in the season."
Another group of Blue Devil runners had similar success at the Queens Royals Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte, earning a first-place finish in the women's 5K competition with a score of 56 points.
Senior Ashley Brasovan paced the group with a fifth-place showing, notching a time of 17:54.1 on Queens University of Charlotte's course at McAlpine Creek Park. In her performance, Brasovan shaved nearly a minute off of her previous 5K personal best and broke 18 minutes for the first time in her collegiate career.
Also competing in Charlotte were freshman Olivia Anderson, who took 10th at 18:05.0 for a new season best, and junior Dana Morin, who posted a time of 18:06.0 to place 11th. Junior Ashley Berry followed just behind in 12th place at 18:09.5 for a 5K personal best, and senior Adrianne Soo also earned a personal record at 18:16.6 to come in 18th. Junior Brianna Welch ( 28th) and sophomore Abby Farley (40th) rounded out the Duke contingent, while freshman Anima Banks and sophomore Lindsey Olivere ran unattached.
"We had some great things happen in Charlotte as well," Jermyn said. "Ashley Brasovan had a really strong race there. All in all, a lot of great positives."
Following Friday's action, the Blue Devil women own a season record of 68-14 and a 7-0 ledger against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.
,The women's squad will compete next at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Blacksburg, Va. Meanwhile, the Blue Devil men race Saturday, Oct. 13 at the NCAA Pre-Nationals meet in Louisville, Ky.
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