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WXC: Duke women victorious at Virginia Duals

Posted August 30

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— The Duke women’s cross country team posted a strong performance in its 2014 season opener, taking the first four places and earning victories over all five opponents at the Virginia Duals Friday, Aug. 29, in Charlottesville, Va. With the competition scored dual-meet style, Duke defeated Virginia (15-40), Florida State (19-36), Liberty (15-40), James Madison (15-40) and Norfolk State (15-40) at Panorama Farms.

“What we wanted to get out of today was to get in a race-like setting and get back into a competitive type of mode, especially considering we’re going to go four weeks before our next competition,” said head women’s cross country coach Christine Engel. “We just wanted to test our fitness a little and use [the race] as an up-tempo type of workout.”

Freshman Wesley Frazier earned the first win of her college career, leading the Blue Devils and the rest of the field with a time of 14:01 over the 4-kilometer course. Duke’s depth was showcased, as the Blue Devils positioned sophomore Hannah Meier (14:13), graduate student Jessie Rubin (14:18) and junior Anima Banks (14:24) in second, third and fourth, respectively, before the first finisher not wearing a Duke singlet crossed the line. All five scoring Blue Devils finished in the top ten as Duke’s fifth runner, sophomore Haley Meier, placed ninth with a time of 14:45.

Both of Duke’s freshmen toed the line Friday, with Callie Wynn placing 16th overall in a time of 14:58 and Paige Rice finishing 25th after clocking a time of 15:30. Junior Olivia Anderson and senior Julianna Miller both crossed the line in the top 20, placing 12th and 17th overall, with times of 14:51 and 15:03.

Senior Colleen Schmidt and sophomore Grace Chang finished 23rd and 24th, respectively, while running times of 15:22 and 15:30, and junior Allison Sturges and sophomore Gina Daniel rounded out the Duke contingent, placing 32nd and 42nd and posting times of 15:59 and 16:37.

The Blue Devils return to competition Friday, Sept. 26, in Boston, Mass., for the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown.

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