Alyssa Marsh Splits 22.8 Fly as Duke Downs UNC For 3rd Year in a Row

Duke vs UNC (Men’s & Women’s Dual)

  • Saturday, February 2nd
  • Koury Natatorium, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Short Course Yards
  • Results



  1. Duke – 165.5
  2. North Carolina – 134.5


  1. Duke – 155
  2. North Carolina – 145

ACC rivals UNC and Duke faced off at UNC on Saturday, February 2nd, with the Blue Devils downing the Tarheels for the 3rd straight year. Both teams had their share of quick times, as we approach the ACC Championships in just a matter of weeks, but it was Duke that held the upper hand, winning the women’s meet 165.5-134.5, and the men’s meet 155-145.

Alyssa Marsh wasted no time getting off to a fast start, posting a stunningly fast 22.84 fly split to help lead the women’s 200 medley relay to victory. Marsh was helped by backstroker Maddie Hess (24.99), breaststroker Halle Morris (28.30), and freestyler Hunter Aitchison (22.50), for a final time of 1:38.63. UNC breastsroker Caroline Hauder threw down an impressive 27.71 split to help the Tarheels to a close finish (1:38.98). The men’s medley relay was actually even closer, with breaststroker Sterling Smith giving UNC the biggest advantage over Duke with his 23.99 split. Duke flyer Miles Williams made up a big chunk of that deficit with his 20.98 split. UNC ultimately beat out Duke, 1:27.41 to 1:27.67.

Duke earned a 1-2 punch in the women’s 200 free, where Melissa Pish, a freshman and the school record-holder, took the race in 1:46.89. Fellow freshman Easop Lee came in 2nd, posting a 1:48.21. Miles Williams was back in action in the men’s 200 free, taking the event with a 1:37.97. Duke also grabbed a 1-2 finish here, with Sheldon Boboff coming in 2nd with a 1:38.53.

UNC had a handle on the breastroke events, taking all 4 of the men’s and women’s breast races. Hauder won the women’s 100 breast with a 1:02.14, while teammate Lilly Higgs came in 2nd with a 1:02.57, and Allie Reiter was 3rd in 1:03.17. Those places shuffled in the 200 breast, where Higgs won (2:16.58), Reiter was 2nd (2:17.64), and Hauder was 3rd (2:19.01). Valdas Abaliksta took the men’s 100 breast and 200 breast. In the 100, Abaliksta swam a 53.71, while teammate Sterling Smith came in 2nd with a 54.17. Abaliksta then won the 200 breast with a 2:00.39.

Alyssa Marsh went on to win the 50 free by a large margin, posting a 22.45 to be the only swimmer under 23 seconds. Marsh also split 49.18 on the winning 400 free relay, where Duke posted a speedy 3:18.55. Pish led off that relay in 49.71, with 3rd and 4th splits by Aitchison (50.38) and Hess (49.28), respectively. Kylie Jordan took the women’s 100 fly for Duke, swimming a speedy 52.82.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – In a back and forth battle that came down to the final relays, the Duke men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams came away with a pair of victories over North Carolina to cap the regular season in style Saturday at Koury Natatorium.

With both the men’s and women’s team scores tight at the final diving break, the Blue Devils received a boost from the boards and closed strong over the last few swimming events to defeat their Tobacco Road rivals for a third straight season. The 21st-ranked Duke women came away with a 165.5-134.5 victory while the Blue Devil men prevailed over the Tar Heels by a 155-145 score.

“To come here two years ago and win for the first time was huge,” said head coach Dan Colella. “We know how big a rivalry this is, and to now be in a position where we’re winning is enormous. For the last meet of the season, it’s a tremendous boost for the team. The performances today were just outstanding across the board. We told them it was going to take an absolute team effort, that every single point mattered and there’s no question that, swimming and diving, everybody stood up and did what they needed to do. Hats off to the UNC crew. They swam really tough today and it was a battle down to the last relay.”

Senior Evan Moretti and junior Nathaniel Hernandez finished one-two in both of the men’s springboard diving events and sophomore Spencer LaFata turned in a pair of exhilarating performances in the men’s 500 and 1,000-yard freestyle races, while senior Maddie Hess and freshman Cabell Ann Whitlow were both double event winners for the women’s squad. Duke claimed three of the four relay events on the day, including the crucial 400 freestyle relay races to close out the meet.

The women’s 200 medley relay of Hess, sophomore Halle Morris, junior Alyssa Marsh and senior Hunter Aitchison dropped a season-best time of 1:38.63 to kick off the afternoon with a victory. LaFata then touched first in a thrilling men’s 1,000 freestyle race, turning in the fourth-fastest mark in program history at 9:16.84.

The top two spots in the women’s and men’s 200 freestyle went to Blue Devils as freshmen Melissa Pish(1:46.89) and Easop Lee (1:48.21) went one-two for the women and juniors Miles Williams (1:37.97) and Sheldon Boboff (1:38.53) did the same for the men. Hess and Marsh added first-place finishes in the women’s 100 backstroke (53.51) and 50 freestyle (22.45), respectively, and Duke also excelled in the women’s and men’s 200 butterfly. Whitlow clocked the second-fastest time in school history (1:56.78) to take first on the women’s side, with junior Kylie Jordan following in second (1:57.67). Another Blue Devil rookie, Matthew Whelan, was first in the men’s race (1:49.74).

Duke kept the momentum rolling after the first swimming break, as Hess (49.83), Pish (50.27) and Aitchison (50.96) swept the top three places in the women’s 100 freestyle and senior Yusuke Legard(44.61) brought home a win in the same event on the men’s side.

In the meantime, the Blue Devil divers bolstered the team scores with strong performances at the other end of the pool. Moretti (371.03) and Hernandez (364.80) placed first and second in the men’s one-meter competition and later repeated that order of finish on the three-meter board. Senior Lizzie Fitzpatrick led the Duke women on the three-meter board in second (308.33) and was third behind a Maddi Pullinger first-place showing at the one-meter height (323.33).

After senior Max St. George recorded a victory in the men’s 200 backstroke (1:47.32), Duke’s distance swimmers made another statement. Lee claimed the women’s 500 freestyle (4:50.07) and LaFata finished strong once again for first in the men’s race (4:33.78).

“In that 500 free, Spencer and Riley [Hickman] and Zach [Washart] – that was one of the events we knew was going to be really, really tight,” Colella said. “We weren’t really sure which was it was going to go. Spencer today just really stood up and did a magnificent job, both in the 1,000 and the 500. He’s just one of many who really shined today.”

Team scores in both meets remained tight through the final break, but the Blue Devils capitalized in the women’s one-meter and men’s three-meter diving competitions, as well as in the 200 individual medley. Whitlow (2:01.24) and Jordan (2:01.71) finished one-two in the women’s race and senior Sean Tate(1:50.70) headlined a two-three-four-five showing by Duke on the men’s side. The top 400 freestyle relays of Pish, Marsh, Aitchison and Hess (3:18.55) and Williams, Legard, Nathaniel Hartley and St. George (2:56.70) secured the dual meet victories.

“We didn’t know exactly what was going to happen today,” Hess said. “We knew it was going to be really close. But we knew with our Duke family coming together, we were capable – just like the past two years. There’s always extra excitement for this meet knowing that they’re our biggest rivals, so it was fun to be a part of that again.”

With Saturday’s results, the Duke women closed the regular season with a 4-1 dual meet ledger and a 2-1 mark against ACC opponents while the Blue Devil men finished up at 3-2 (1-2).

The Blue Devils and the Tar Heels will share hosting responsibilities for next weekend’s Janis Hape Dowd Nike Invitational. Preliminaries and finals Friday, Feb. 8 and Sunday, Feb. 10 will take place at North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium and both sessions Saturday, Feb. 9 will be held at Duke’s Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion.

Team Scores:
Duke Women 165.5, North Carolina Women 134.5
Duke Men 155, North Carolina Men 145

Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: 
Maddie HessHalle MorrisAlyssa MarshHunter Aitchison (1st), 1:38.63
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Max St. GeorgeSean TateMiles WilliamsYusuke Legard (2nd), 1:27.67

Women’s 1,000-Yard Freestyle: Lucy Callard (4th), 10:11.58
Men’s 1,000-Yard Freestyle: Spencer LaFata (1st), 9:16.84

Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Melissa Pish (1st), 1:46.89
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Miles Williams (1st), 1:37.97

Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Maddie Hess (1st)¸ 53.51
Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Max St. George (2nd), 47.44

Women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Halle Morris (4th), 1:04.00
Men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Sean Tate (3rd), 55.17

Women’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Cabell Ann Whitlow (1st), 1:56.78
Men’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Matthew Whelan (1st), 1:49.74

Women’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Alyssa Marsh (1st), 22.45
Men’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Yusuke Legard (2nd), 20.37

Women’s One-Meter Diving: Maddi Pullinger (1st), 323.33
Men’s One-Meter Diving: 
Evan Moretti (1st), 371.03

Women’s 100-Yard Freestyle: Maddie Hess (1st)¸ 49.83
Men’s 100-Yard Freestyle: Yusuke Legard (1st), 44.61

Women’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Mickayla Hinkle (2nd)¸ 2:00.54
Men’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Max St. George (1st), 1:47.32

Women’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Zoe Lusk (4th), 2:19.06
Men’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Judd Howard (2nd)¸ 2:02.04

Women’s 500-Yard Freestyle: Easop Lee (1st), 4:50.07
Men’s 500-Yard Freestyle: Spencer LaFata (1st), 4:33.78

Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Kylie Jordan (1st), 52.82
Men’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Miles Williams (2nd)¸47.85

Women’s Three-Meter Diving: Lizzie Fitzpatrick (2nd)¸ 308.33
Men’s Three Meter Diving: 
Evan Moretti (1st), 407.78

Women’s 200-Yard Individual Medley: Cabell Ann Whitlow (1st), 2:01.24
Men’s 200-Yard Individual Medley: Sean Tate (2nd)¸ 1:50.70

Women’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Melissa PishAlyssa MarshHunter AitchisonMaddie Hess (1st), 3:18.55
Men’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Miles WilliamsYusuke LegardNathaniel HartleyMax St. George (1st), 2:56.70



CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The North Carolina Tar Heels swam a hard-fought meet against the Duke Blue Devils in Saturday’s senior meet. The men’s races came down to the final few touches with the Heels falling 145-155 and the women held their own against the No. 21 Duke women, finishing 134.50-165.50.

“We anticipated that it would come down to the last couple events like it has in the past few years and it did,” head coach Rich DeSelm said. “We have to give credit to Duke for putting together a great lineup and a great strategy. There is more of the season left and after today, we have our sights set on the championship season. We have a lot to work for.”

Though North Carolina did not end the season with team wins, the senior meet had plenty of brilliant performances. The Tar Heels set 16 season bests and three new personal records to win 12 individual events and the men’s 200 medley relay against their Duke rivals.

Senior co-captain and Chapel Hill, N.C. native Noah Cairns wrapped up his Koury Natatorium career in the most fitting fashion. Cairns won the men’s 200 IM with a season-best time of 1:50.09, swam a career-best 2:02.10 in the men’s 200 breast and finished the men’s 200 fly in a season-best 1:49.98 for the runner-up finish.

“Cairns is a local product and I could not be happier for him,” DeSelm said. “I coached his dad when he was in high school so I have a long history with his family. He fought hard to get to this point. He wanted to step up for his team today and he did in a big way.”

The Tar Heels gave everything they had for their seniors in their final dual meet of 2019. Sophomores Alvin Jiang and Valdas Abaliksta each won two individual events and they bookended the men’s 200 medley relay with freshmen Sterling Smith and Tucker Burhans to clock UNC’s best time of the season (1:27.41).

Adding to the list of new lifetime bests, sophomore swimmer Nick Palmerand freshman diver Emily Grund both set personal records in one of their respective events. Palmer clocked a career-best 9:24.80 in the men’s 1000 free and Grund won the women’s three-meter board with a new career record of 350.40 points.

The women’s team even swept three events, including the 100 breast, 200 breast and 1000 free. Freshman Lilly Higgs and sophomores Allie Reiterand Carolina Hauder took the top-three spots in both women’s breaststroke events. Higgs won the 200 breast in 2:16.58 with Reiter (2:17.64) and Hauder (2:19.08) right behind and Hauder took the women’s 100 breast in 1:02.14. Higgs (1:02.57) finished second and Reiter (1:03.17) third.

In the women’s 1000 free, senior Robyn Dryer finished first (9:59.90) in her final dual meet appearance and junior Bryanna Cameron (10:04.41) and Emma Layton (10:06.41) both swam season-best times to secure the sweep.

• Senior Maria Lohman scored a season-high 306.90 points to finish second in the women’s one-meter diving.
• Senior Tom Bilden finished the men’s 200 fly with a season-best time of 1:50.25.
• Sophomore Eli Coan swam a season-best 20.36 to win the men’s 50 free for the second-straight week.
• Sophomore Emma Layton finished second in the women’s 500 free with another season-best time of 4:54.56.
• Sophomore Tyler Hill clocked a season-best 100 free time of 45.12 for the runner-up finish.
• Freshman Thomas Bretzmann swam 9:16.93 for his best 1000 free performance of the season.
• Junior Greg Brocato tied his season-best time in the men’s 50 free, swimming 20.84.

UP NEXT: The Tar Heels and Blue Devils will split hosting responsibilities for the Janis Hape Dowd Nike Invitational from Feb. 8-10. The first (Friday) and last day (Sunday) of the three-day event will be held in North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill, N.C. and day two (Saturday) will be in Duke’s Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion in Durham, N.C.

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Deselm sounds like he knows the game is over


It should be. UCLA and UNC are the 2 schools that have been doing the least with the most talent for a long time. UNC is a beautiful school with top tier academics… it’s sad to see the current state of the team under deselm’s tenure. He’s gotta go if they ever want to restore that program’s prestige.

2 Cents

Top tier academics?? Really? How many other schools do you consider top tier that create and offer fake courses? I agree they had that reputation once, but I think that is pretty hard to defend now.


Literally every set of rankings has unc one of the best public schools in the country. This is coming from someone with zero connections to unc. It is top tier academics


The fake classes were bad but we’re isolated to a very small athletic population.

UNC has been top 5 public university for the past quarter decade by many rankings. Those rankings did not change at all from the athletic scandal because 99% of classes are real and UNCs research money has not changed and in fact increased.

UNC has also been listed as top 3 best deals for college over past 10 yearsgiven its high academics and lower tuition, making partial swimming scholarships more attractive.

Add the great weather, fully endowed scholarships, beautiful campus and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be fighting for the ACC title and top 10 at ncaas every year

2 Cents

Let’s be real. It was all that was exposed, so I am sure there is more of the same going on there. Not to mention how their admin flat out LIED about it to the NCAA. Also, they accept a HUGE majority of their students from in-state, and thus leaving open only 10% or so of their enrollment to out of state students (compare to some states that only accept 70% in state and 30% out of state), which gives the impression that it is harder to get into (which it might be for out of state students, but certainly not for in state). Combine that with the fact that they have buildings and statues on campus that need to… Read more »


#5 as in all the other years it has been too. You must be a state grad (#32).

2 Cents

No, I’m a grad of one of those ranked higher… but if you actually put stock into those, then you are severely misinformed/misguided.


“… must be a state grad” that earns 5-7% more than an UNC grad

Bad Knees

Your a state fan…you remember “ I’m amphibious?”. Also your asstistant coach was in a little investigation where he paid players. And you still sucked… need to talk..:

Bad Knees

Love these state swimming fans…. most successful sport is swimming…. tell me how much $ that is bringing in…..what else is there?

Did you really come to a swimming website to drop the argument that NC State’s swimming team being good doesn’t count because it doesn’t bring in money? I’m not sure that’s a winning argument with NC State or UNC fans on this website.

3 Cents

Gotta love when people feel the need to slander schools online (I bet there are other hobbies out there that are far more fulfilling). Unless you’ve attended UNC and taken one of these “fake classes” for yourself, you have absolutely no business labeling the entire institution’s academics as watered down or fraudulent. Surpassed by NCS in “all aspects”? Give me a break. The few NCS academic programs that are ranked higher than UNC’s are the ones that Chapel Hill doesn’t even offer.


Disclaimer: I’m a contracted coach at UNC and Duke. UNC is a top-tier public academic institution and my athletes are extremely smart. The “fake” classes aren’t a great representation of the opportunities for the other 20K+ students who aren’t entering the NBA draft.

2 Cents

The problem was also football, and more so there from what I remember. ie Julius Peppers…. the guy who had to always call building maintenance every time a light bulb burned out because he didn’t know how to change it which might explain how he got an D in “Drama: Stagecraft” while at unc. If you want, just type “Julius Pepper’s transcript” into any search engine and it will show up. Stellar. This was run-of-the mill there. Also, let me reiterate, I am NOT an NCS grad/fan/whatever… But no one was calling NCS a top tier university that I saw.


Hats off to Dan Colella- a great coach and great guy!

Ramsies lost horn

Why the hate on Colella?


Many, myself included, think he’s done a decent job but now that Duke women are fully funded and have had several classes, they really have underperformed consistently at accs and ncaas

At this point, a fully funded Duke program should be competing for acc titles and top 15 at ncaas but they’re not even close.

Beating UNC in their state should be an afterthought for the Duke women at this point given how bad UNC is but they still focus on small time wins like that instead of the big picture.

Almost any Duke success would be better than what they used to be, but with full scholarships, they should be at the top like all the other Duke sports

Get real. It takes time

Duke needs to start investing in a new facility if they want to be the best. A short course pool in a dungeon like building is difficult to convince top recruits to train in, especially if they are long course swimmers.

I would guess that Duke’s first priority is fully funding the maximum allowable scholarships for men. That would probably be the quickest way for them to get better.


The city of Durham and DU have developed plans for a joint 50m facility.


Really? Are those plans for a new pool published anywhere? Yes, they need men’s scholarships but that dungeon of a pool really is a massive turn-off for recruits (and their parents). Kids want an outdoor pool option as well like State is planning. With Duke’s endowment, build one with a retractable dome and use it open most days like today’s 75 degrees in Feb. Until then beating UNC will likely remain the year’s highlight until Carolina replaces DeSelm and reestablishes themselves which they will (football is the only sport they stay consistently mediocre in). Don’t think anything will change 2 Cents’s hater perspective but the 44,000 high performing kids who applied to UNC this year and the top-tier employers like… Read more »

2 Cents

You’re right. What should change my perspective?? Why aren’t they better? It’s because they are inept from the top down. If you have the resources to do better, but you dont, how does that make you top tier? HOW??? Top tier resources + piss poor performances does not = top tier university, period. If you continually under perform in several areas, you need to tear down starting from the top. And I dont see them ever doing that.

2 Cents

Do you really think Duke, of all places Duke… would consider upgrading or building new facilities? I love the school but c’mon. Look at Cameron Indoor. If there was ever a place that needed an upgrade, it is Cameron Indoor… but you know they wont touch that. Plus the pool is right next door , so imagine all that construction right next door to their most cherished building?? Also, with all that success in a building like that for basketball, why would they think that they need better to have the same level of success? Not to mention NCS down the road is not exactly a state of the art swimming facility.


Duke (and I’m a Dook hater) has invested significantly in their facilities. Beautiful new track; great addition to Klockner soccer/lacrosse stadium, massive upgrades to Wallace Wade, very nice new softball and field hockey. They’ve made significant improvements in and around Cameron as well. No reason to replace Cameron because they couldn’t recreate that home court advantage in a new place and they really would only need significantly more seats for a few games a year. They wouldn’t sell 15-20k seats typically as most of fan base is in New Jersey. State is building a 50m outdoor pool with 10m diving tower to improve facilities. 25y pool is dumpy but it has arguably best dual meet atmosphere in NCAA.

Ramsies lost horn

NCS 25 yard pool is a joke. Yes the stadium seating is fun, but the pool has no gutters and waves bounce off the pediments that the blocks are mounted to. It’s a slow pool.

Gator debater

It’s almost as if you don’t perform at the end of the season when you taper for dual meets 😉


Can’t spell #DeSelmed without ‘DeSelm’

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