Duke finishes third in D-II national shot put

River High School graduate D.J. Duke has had his fair show of struggles at national competitions during his career at Ashland.

Saturday afternoon at the Division II Indoor National Championships held in Winston-Salem wasn’t an afternoon like he’d experienced previously.

For the second time in his illustrious career, Duke earned all-American honors.

A two-time Ohio Division III state champion, Duke finished third in the shot put with a mark of 19 meters, which is 62-ft-4. He was third most of the competition. Entering the finals, Duke has thrown 18.88 meters (61-11 1/2) and then threw his best two marks of the meet in the finals. His best throw came on his final attempt.

The winning mark of 63-ft-11 3/4 was posted by Adams State’s Wesley Long during the preliminary round. It was the only throw of the competition on which Long didn’t foul. Christopher Reed, who was seeded first coming into the meet, finished second with a throw of 62-ft-11 1/2.

Duke will begin outdoor competition in a few weeks with his sights set on the outdoor national championship meet.