DURHAM- Duke Athletics has increased its 2022 class to 15 members as Director of Athletics and Cross Country Shawn Wilbourn announced transfer additions Sara Absten and Tyler Hrbek in the program. Both athletes are expected to join the Blue Devils in the fall of 2022.
Absten, a multi-sport athlete, comes to Durham after three seasons at San Diego State University. The Mount Vernon, Wash., native was crowned the 2022 Mountain West Indoor Pentathlon Champion after finishing with 4,039 points — a mark that ranks third all-time in program lore. Most recently, Absten scored 5,503 points — No. 7 in SDSU — to finish as the heptathlon runner-up in the outdoor conference meet.
“I’m extremely excited to work with Sara,” said Wilbourn. “I think she has untapped potential and I expect big improvements for her next season. She will play an important role in the success of our team, both inside and out.”
Hrbek joins the Duke squad after finishing his junior season at the University of Connecticut. The Northvale, NJ native has had success in the pole vault in the 2021-22 campaign, starting with a personal best 5.20m (17-0.75ft) in the first meeting of the season. Hrbek earned first-team All-BIG EAST honors after a second-place finish at 5.05m (16–6.75ft) at the BIG EAST Championships. He made his second NCAA East Region appearance in the pole vault last weekend, improving on his 2021 performance to finish 33rd overall.
“Tyler is an experienced pole vaulter with regional experience in the NCAA,” Wilbourn said of the addition of Hrbek. “I see him taking over where Eric Duffy and Michael Fairbanks leave behind. Our men’s pole vault group is in good hands.”
Absten and Hrbek join freshmen Nick Falk, Dalia Frias, Julia Jackson, Jeremy Kain, Gianna Locci, Amina Maatoug, Allison Neiders, Falcon Lancer and Lawrence Tolbert, as well as graduate transfers Robbie Otal, Ashlyn Ramos, Emily Sloan and Ilhame Tamrouti.
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