Duke Back In Action at Royals Challenge Cross Country Challenge
(Sporting Alert) – Duke University is expected to be at full strength when the women’s team return to Charlotte, N.C., to compete in the Royal Cross Country Challenge on Friday (Oct. 11).
The Blue Devils, racing without a number of their regulars who were out sick, was heavily beaten at Notre Dame Invitational last time out, where they placed 10th, but head coach Kevin Jermyn is expected to have them back as he looks to ‘gauge the fitness levels.’
“We’re running a few kids that haven’t raced yet, so it’s the first glimpse of seeing where they are on race day,” Jermyn said.
“I’m excited to see where people are on race day. You see different things sometimes in a race as you do in practice.”
Duke clinched the team crown at last year’s competition, placing all five of the squad’s scoring runners in the top 20 and is another strong favourite to do so again, with front runner Juliet Bottorff, the individual 5K winner at Notre Dame last week, well set to lead the way again.
Jermyn expects a good showing from his team, but he is more keen on taking a look at how each runner handles their own race.
“Teamwise, I’m looking at this weekend more just seeing where each person is and seeing what we need to do to help them,” Jermyn said.
“The goal will be more about getting a race in and challenging [the individual runners]. Hopefully they all get enough competition that it’s not all our girls racing one another.
“That would be one of my biggest goals. I would like to see them get as much competition as possible, so that way, they get a realistic simulation of what a high-level meet would be.”
The women’s gold 5,000m race is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start.