A fast look at Duke’s report guide reveals a current wave of change within the sprints and jumps on the women’s aspect.
The faculty report in each operating occasion as much as 400 meters has modified arms within the final 4 years, in addition to this system highs within the lengthy bounce and pole vault. For a program that prided itself on distance operating within the mid-2000s and produced a world-class 1,500-meter runner in Shannon Rowbury, the Blue Devils’ model has seen a definite shift.
“Sometimes it’s just a function of who you’re recruiting and who you get to commit. You don’t order them at the department store. You don’t say, ‘I’ll take a miler and a 200-meter girl and a pole vaulter.’ You have to fight for every position you get,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie stated. “Sometimes, the Duke basketball team has more guards and is a strong perimeter team, and this year they’re an inside team. It’s a function of recruiting.”
Duke is more likely to get a large chunk of its factors in women’s meets this spring from the pole vault and the 200 meters, the place it has a mixture of veteran leaders and robust newcomers. Ogilvie stated 5 women’s pole vaulters will compete this weekend on the ACC indoor championships in Clemson, S.C., together with All-ACC returners Madison Heath, Laura Marty, Nati Sheppard and Chesney Ward.
“Kudos to Coach [Shawn] Wilbourn for developing a really strong brand as a multi-event program and a pole vault program. We’ve been good consistently over the years, and that makes it very attractive for recruits,” Ogilvie stated. “We had established a brand as a distance team in the early 2000s, when we were extremely good in the distances, and sometimes you have a little downswing. Right now, we’re on the way back up in the women’s distances.”
In the 200 meters, senior Maddy Price and freshman Kethlin Campbell have each taken turns breaking the varsity indoor document this winter, and junior Sydnei Murphy additionally claims a number of program data within the brief sprints and the lengthy leap. Junior Domonique Panton additionally offers depth within the sprints and beat this system greatest within the triple bounce this winter.
Campbell and Price are each anticipated to compete for factors this weekend on the ACC indoor championships and all through the spring, although the convention is deep within the sprints.
“We’ve got a great one-two punch, no doubt about it, the strongest one-two we’ve ever had in the 200 meters,” Ogilvie stated. “But it’s not going to be easy. It’s a humbling, elite conference and lots of quality…. Everybody’s clumped very close together. It’s who does it on the day is what matters.”
On the lads’s aspect, Duke will even possible be best in comparable occasions, with excessive jumper Rivers Ridout, pole vaulter Esteban Suarez and 400-meter former Olympian Steven Solomon main the best way.
Solomon arrived in Durham this season as a graduate switch from Stanford, the place he was a two-time All-American after he certified for the finals within the 400 meters on the 2012 London Olympics. Ogilvie stated Solomon will depart Duke briefly to compete within the Commonwealth Games for Australia in April and has spent a lot of the winter making an attempt to construct up endurance within the center distances in preparation for operating the 400 meters there.
Solomon has been answerable for the 800-meter leg of the Blue Devils’ distance medley relay throughout indoor season and has additionally run the 600 meters, breaking the varsity report with a time of 1:17.49 in that occasion three weeks in the past on the Power Five Invite in Ann Arbor, Mich. This weekend’s ACC championships would be the first time he has run a 400-meter race all season.
“He’ll get a quick reminder of how to do it in the first round, but he should advance,” Ogilvie stated. “Once he’s in the final, I think all the guys in the ACC better watch out, so if they’re not aware of how good he is, they’ll find out this weekend, but we have real high hopes for Steven.”
Duke’s males’s hopes as a staff took successful on the gridiron within the fall when Blue Devil soccer security Jeremy McDuffie, who doubled as an All-ACC hurdler final spring, tore his ACL, which can hold him out for all of track season.
But Ogilvie consider the women are one in every of about eight groups with a sensible probability to win the ACC championships this weekend and make some noise within the spring as properly.
“We’re asking a lot of our athletes, but they’re ready to give a lot, too. Whenever you have at least a chance at the title, it’s exciting,” Ogilvie stated. “I think Duke will be back in a place where we can get points in the distances again very soon, and when that happens, watch out. We’re not going to be one of eight teams trying to win. We’re going to be one of two or three with a chance to win.”