In a very good day for the Duquesne Dukes in the first day of the indoor track Atlantic 10 championships in Kingston. Louise Prevoteau, the favorite to win the pentathlon after transferring from Elon, held true to form and won her first A-10 title while winning the 800m pentathlon run and coming in top 10 in all 5 events. The distance medley relay (DMR) of Hailey Pisarek, Shannon Abraham, Elise Farris, and Amber Valimont won the Atlantic 10 title with a solid time of 11:35. Taylor Yarshen, not predicted in the top 8, placed third in the long jump.
The Dukes also got good news as far as qualifiers for tomorrow’s events. I was not expecting Shannon Abraham to qualify for the finals of the 400m dash, but Abraham did, placing 8th and will earn at least one point for the Dukes tomorrow. Nor was I expecting Anna Simone to make the finals in the hurdles, but she did also. Abby O’Connell did what she was supposed to do in the 500 and made it to day 2 along with Anna Simone. The same happened in the 800, with both Elise Farris and Shelby Haitz qualifying. Pisarek made the 1k final like was projected also.
The only downsides were the long jump of Brittney Edwards (who was borderline top 8 and placed 13th, but teammate Yarshen picked her up) and the 5k where I thought Meghan Bartitot could contend for top 8 but placed 19th. Chelsea Zahn placing 9th is disappointing, but it’s a season-best throw for her (and not even close!) in the shot and one she should be proud of even if it left her slightly out of placing.
It’s a rare day that both of the two expected wins (DMR and pentathlon) happen, everyone that was expected to place did, and a team gets more individuals to advance to finals than was expected. Yet, that is exactly what happened today for the Dukes. UMass also had a very good day one, as Duquesne and UMass are the two that are performing better than I thought. Some of that has come at the expense of George Mason, who hasn’t performed to my expectations in their first year even though they are still the favorites to win it all tomorrow. I figured they’d be right there with Dayton and not seven points back after day one and be more dominant.
It was a well-done team effort day one for the Dukes however. Best of luck day two!