Duke University is a part of the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) with 26 different sports representing the university. This year, we were proud to have 8 varsity athletes in the MMS program: Dan DiMaria on lacrosse, Peter Terrezza on wrestling, Austin Carpenter on track and field, and James Kostelnik, Cydney Ross, Leslie Morrison, Megan Deakins, and I on the cross country and track team. As a one-year program, MMS gives varsity athletes the opportunity to compete for one more year while getting a master’s degree. It’s a win-win situation.

Learn more about this year’s talented student-athletes:

I had some time to catch up with a couple of my fellow track athletes about their schedules and how their seasons went. It seems that everyone got off to a great start …

James Kostelnik:

Last year, James felt that he had unfinished business on the track, so he took advantage of his remaining fifth year of athletic eligibility. “As a student athlete in the MMS program, my schedule has been pretty busy to say the least. During the fall, I was running 90 miles per week, traveling biweekly to races, interviewing for jobs, working as a TA for an undergraduate finance course, and working diligently on my MMS coursework.”

Oh, WOW, sounds impressive! Let’s take a look at a typical day for James:

7:00 am – 8:40 am: Wake up, go for morning run, stretch, shower, eat, drive to Fuqua

9:00 am – 11:15 am: Marketing class

11:15 am – 12:15 pm: Lunch

12:15 pm – 2:30 pm: Economics class

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Practice

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Shower, eat dinner, prepare material for class

6:45 pm – 8:15 pm: TA undergraduate finance course

8:30 pm – 10:00 pm: Team meeting at Fuqua

10:00 pm – 11:00 pm: Work on homework

Although it appears that James has been unbelievably busy, he says that “it was manageable and I viewed it as great preparation for the real world.” His cross-country season went well as his team returned to the NCAA Championships after a one-year hiatus. His indoor track was also successful as he ran several personal bests in the 3,000 meters and anchored Duke’s Distance Medley Relay to a third place finish at the ACC Championships.

Cydney Ross:

Cydney’s sentiments about being an athlete in the MMS program are similar to James’. She also had a busy schedule, balancing athletics and school while being an Admissions Ambassador for the program. But she wouldn’t trade the opportunity to compete for one more year for anything else. Cydney had her best indoor track season thus far, contributing to the third place finish at the ACC Indoor Championships and winning her first ever ACC individual title in the 800 meter race.

She claims that, “Duke track has been kicking butt and taking names. With a third place finish, we had the highest finish in school history at the ACC indoor track and field championships and have rewritten the record books across several events.” More recently, Cydney placed sixth in the 800 meters at NCAA indoor nationals garnering her third All-American title. She has also played an integral part of the distance medley relay (DMR) that represented Duke at nationals as well.

Clearly, these student-athletes are looking to finish out their careers with a bang!