Duke Announces Class of 2017 Swimmers for 2013-2014 Season

by Kelsey Zimcosky 5

June 12th, 2013 College, News

Dan Colella, the swimming and diving head coach at Duke University, announced their 24 student-athlete additions for the upcoming 2013-2014 season.

The future class of 2017 includes swimmers from multiple states and a diverse range of countries, the most diverse group belonging to the men’s team, including Evrim Ersu, Rahul Chokshi, and Adriaan Venter coming from Turkey, India, and South Africa, respectively.

The women’s team is bringing in women from all across the country, with swimmers like Liza Bragg from Connecticut, Brittany Friese from New York, and Colleen Wixted from Colorado, just to name a few.

Both the men’s and the women’s team will be gaining phenomenal swimmers, most of whom have competed at both National and International level meets.

Peter Kropp, from Los Angeles, California, will prove to be a strong breaststroke addition to the team, along with many other members of the 2017 class. Kropp’s personal bests in the 100 and 200 breaststroke are 54.64  and 2:01.58. Mike Seaberg and Dylan Payne will also play major roles in the strong breaststroke field for Duke. Other than diving, the Blue Devils have had their most recent success in the breaststroke group, where Piotr Safronczyk placed 15th at the 2012 NCAA Championships in the 100.

Michael Miller is another strong swimmer that Duke will be gaining. From Houston, Texas, Miller earned many titles, including All-Greater Houston Swimmer of the Year. is the state record holder in the 200 IM, and is a 2012 U.S Olympic Trials qualifier (400 IM) and a two-time U.S Open qualifier. His strength in the butterfly and the IMs will be beneficial to the team.

The women’s team will be very strong in their stroke diversity, but will be especially strong in their freestyle. Maddie Rusch from New Canaan, Connecticut is a three-time NISCA All-American, and is also a state record holder in the 50-yard freestyle. In the 50, she pulls a 22.78, and in the 100 and 200, brings a 50.33 and 1:51.50 respectively. Lindsay Schlichte and Colleen Wixted will also bring Duke a strong freestyle run.

Below is the full press release from today’s announcement. Congrats to the newest members of Duke University swimming and diving, and good luck! 

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University swimming and diving head coach Dan Colella announced Wednesday, June 12 the addition of 24 student-athletes to the program for the 2013-14 season. The class of 2017 includes swimmers and divers hailing from 10 states, as well as the countries of Bermuda, Canada, Great Britain, India, South Africa and Turkey.  

Jack Carey (Tappan, N.Y.), Rahul Chokshi (Ahmedabad, India), Bradley Cline (San Francisco, Calif.), Evrim Ersu (Ankara, Turkey), Kevin Fraser (Westmount, Quebec, Canada), Peter Kropp (Los Angeles, Calif.), Joey Maginnis (Flourtown, Pa.), Michael Miller (Houston, Texas), Benedict Parfit (Paget, Bermuda), Dylan Payne (Laguna Beach, Calif.), James Peek (Forest Row, Sussex, England), Cole Plambeck (Palo Alto, Calif.), Mike Seaberg (Gambrills, Md.), Sam Sherman (New York, N.Y.), Kaz Takabayashi (Glastonbury, Conn.) and Adriaan Venter (Johannesburg, South Africa) will all join the Duke men’s swimming and diving program for the 2013-14 campaign.

Liza Bragg (Darien, Conn.), Brittany Friese (Newburgh, N.Y.), Kirby Quinn (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Maddie Rusch (New Canaan, Conn.), Lindsay Schlichte (Garden City, N.Y.), Ashleigh Shanley (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Jessie Sutherland (Winnetka, Ill.) and Colleen Wixted (Greenwood Village, Colo.) will join the Duke women’s swimming and diving program for the upcoming season.

“This is our largest incoming freshman class since I’ve been at Duke,” Colella said. “With every new recruiting cycle, the caliber of athlete just continues to get better and better. We have a very talented group coming in – the most talented group that we’ve ever had – so we’re very excited to see what they’re going to contribute to the program. Duke swimming and diving has done some great things over the past several years and made some real progress, and a class like this will help push us into the upper echelon of the ACC.”

The 24 incoming freshmen will join 16 returning letterwinners on the men’s side and 18 returning letterwinners on the women’s side from last season, including three-time NCAA platform diving champion Nick McCrory and All-ACC performers Hunter Knight, Lauren Weaver and Christine Wixted. The 2012-13 campaign saw both Blue Devil squads finish seventh at the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, with the women breaking 14 program records and the men four at the championship meet.

Men’s Swimming and Diving Class of 2017

Jack Carey
Sprints/Back/IM – Tappan, N.Y.
High School/Coach: Tappan Zee/Daniel Rafferty
Club Team: New York Sharks
Prior to Duke: Five-time NISCA All-American … five-time New York state champion individually … guided his team to a pair of state titles in 2011 and 2012 … New York state record holder in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Personal Bests: 50 Free 21.01, 100 Free 45.71, 100 Back 51.96, 200 IM 1:54.66

Rahul Chokshi
Fly/IM/Back – Ahmedabad, India
High School/Coach: Ahmedabad International School/Kamlesh Nanavati, Nihar Ameen
Prior to Duke: Silver medalist in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the 2011 Malaysian Open Swimming Championships … won six silver medals and one bronze at the 2011 Junior National Aquatic Championships … broke national meet records in the 200 and 400 IM … medalist at the National School Games each of his four years … represented India at the 2012 FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Personal Bests: 100 Fly LCM 58.18, 200 Fly LCM 2:12.50, 200 IM LCM 2:13.03, 400 IM LCM 4:53.43

Bradley Cline
Mid-Free/IM/Back – San Francisco, Calif.
High School/Coach: The Peddie School [N.J.]/Greg Wriede
Club Team: North Bay Aquatics
Prior to Duke: Lettered two seasons at Saint Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco before completing a post-graduate year at The Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J. … finished ninth in the 500 freestyle at the Central Coast Section Championships his sophomore season … broke Saint Ignatius program records in the 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and the 200 IM … at Peddie, won the 200 IM at the Eastern Interscholastic Championships … also a member of the third high school 400 freestyle relay to break 3:00.
Personal Bests: 200 Free 1:38.47, 100 Back 49.71, 200 Back 1:47.44, 200 IM 1:48.31, 400 IM 3:55.48

Evrim Ersu
Back/Free – Ankara, Turkey
High School/Coach: TED Ankara College Foundation/Gokhan Denizli, Alpan Cinemre
Prior to Duke: Selected to represent Turkey at the 2011 European Youth Olympics … collected top-five finishes for his age group at the Turkish National Championships all four years, including a second-place showing in the 50-meter backstroke in 2011.
Personal Bests: 100 Free SCM 53.72, 100 Back SCM 58.15

Kevin Fraser
Sprints/Breast – Westmount, Quebec, Canada
High School/Coach: Lower Canada College/Michel Tremblay, Christin Sadler
Prior to Duke: Bronze medalist in the 50-meter breaststroke at the 2011 Eastern Canadian Championships … took gold in the 50m butterfly, 200m freestyle relay and the 200m medley relay at the 2011 Quebec Swimming Championships … collected three gold medals and one silver at the 2010 Quebec Games while also posting three Quebec Games records … provincial record holder in the 200m medley relay.
Personal Bests: 50 Free SCM 23.21, 100 Free SCM 51.54, 100 Breast SCM 1:03.25

Peter Kropp
Breast/IM – Los Angeles, Calif.
High School/Coach: Loyola/Kevin Mann
Club Team: Rattler Swim Club
Prior to Duke: 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in the 200-yard breaststroke … CIF-SS division finalist in the 100 breaststroke, 200 IM, 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay as a senior … set a section record as a member of the 200 medley relay squad … also owns school records in the 100 breaststroke, 200 IM and the 200 medley relay … captured a division title in the 100 breaststroke as a sophomore while taking second in the 200 IM.
Personal Bests: 100 Breast 54.64, 200 Breast 2:01.58, 200 IM 1:50.83

Joey Maginnis
Fly/Back/Sprints – Flourtown, Pa.
High School/Coach: La Salle College H.S./Frank Lichtner
Club Team: Penn Charter Aquatic Club
Prior to Duke: Four-time NISCA All-American in the 100-yard butterfly while also earning All-America honors in the 100 backstroke as a senior … all-state and all-league selection in each of his four seasons … broke a league record in the 100 backstroke as a senior … twice set a state record as a member of the medley relay team.
Personal Bests: 100 Back 49.87, 100 Fly 49.14

Michael Miller
Fly/IM – Houston, Texas
High School/Coach: Stratford/Mike Hoskovec
Club Team: Dads Swim Club
Prior to Duke: NISCA All-American in the 100-yard butterfly, 200 IM and the 400 freestyle relay his final year … captured state titles in three events, regional titles in four events and district titles in four events as a senior … named the Texas Swimmer of the Year, All-Greater Houston Swimmer of the Year, Region 7-4A Swimmer of the Year and 4A State Swimmer of the Year as a senior … member of the winning 200 medley relay at the state championships his junior season … state record holder in the 200 IM and as a member of the 400 freestyle relay … 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in the 400 IM … two-time U.S. Open qualifier.
Personal Bests: 100 Fly 48.98, 200 Fly 1:47.73, 200 IM 1:48.97, 400 IM 3:53.04

Benedict Parfit
Sprints/Breast – Paget, Bermuda
High School/Coach: Harrow School [London]/Will Stokes
Club Team: Ealing Swimming Club
Prior to Duke: Three-time UK National Youth Championship qualifier … guided his squad’s 200-meter freestyle relay to the English Schools Swimming Association national title in 2011 … member of the Bermuda National Swim Team … selected to the English Talent Squad’s London region in 2011.
Personal Bests: 50 Free SCM 24.47, 100 Free SCM 52.27

Dylan Payne
Breast/Fly/Sprints – Laguna Beach, Calif.
High School/Coach: Mater Dei/Steve Pickell
Club Team: Socal Aquatics Association
Prior to Duke: 2012 NISCA All-American in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200 medley relay …named Trinity League Swimmer of the Year as a junior and senior … section champion in the 100 breaststroke as a senior … Junior National team member … won the 100 breaststroke at the 2012 Winter Junior National Championships.
Personal Bests: 50 Free 21.14, 100 Breast 55.28, 200 Breast 2:04.82, 100 Fly 48.71

James Peek
Sprint Free – Forest Row, Sussex, England
High School/Coach: Millfield School/Jol Fink
Prior to Duke: 2013 World Trials qualifier … British Gas International Open Meet junior champion as a senior … also won a gold medal at the South of England Zonal Championships his final year … county and school record holder … two-time National Youth Championship finalist, capturing a silver medal as a junior.
Personal Bests: 50 Free LCM 23.34, 100 Free LCM 53.73, 100 Back LCM 1:00.92

Cole Plambeck
Diving – Palo Alto, Calif.
High School/Coach: Palo Alto/Danny Dye
Prior to Duke: Three-time NISCA All-American … finished second in the CIF Central Coast section as a senior and third as a junior … won three division diving titles and was named all-league as a freshman, sophomore and junior … eight-time junior national finalist … won the platform title at the 2012 Junior West Nationals … member of the USA Diving Junior Elite Performance Squad … qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials on the platform.

Mike Seaberg
Breast/IM – Gambrills, Md.
High School/Coach: South River/Tom Slear
Club Team: Naval Academy Aquatic Club
Prior to Duke: Four-time Maryland state champion … named Maryland’s Outstanding Long Course Swimmer and the Capital Gazette’s Swimmer of the Year in 2011 … garnered all-county accolades each year … received a national age group award for being nationally ranked in the 100-yard breaststroke as a junior.
Personal Bests: 100 Breast 56.36, 200 Breast 2:04.23, 200 IM 1:53.59

Sam Sherman
Mid-Free/Distance – New York, N.Y.
High School/Coach: Leman Manhattan Preparatory School/Peter DeNoble
Club Team: Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics
Prior to Duke: National Open Water camp invitee as a senior.
Personal Bests: 200 Free 1:43.68, 500 Free 4:33.62, 1,000 Free 9:29.64, 1,650 Free 15:56.87

Kaz Takabayashi
Fly/Back – Glastonbury, Conn.
High School: Glastonbury
Club Team: SoNoCo Swim Club
Prior to Duke: 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier … invited to USA Swimming National Select Camp as a senior.
Personal Bests: 1,000 Free 9:28.09, 100 Back 49.70, 100 Fly 49.35, 200 Fly 1:48.52

Adriaan Venter
Sprint Free/Back – Johannesburg, South Africa
High School/Coach: Helpmekaar Kollege/Peter Williams
Prior to Duke: Earned honors in swimming all four years … named best all-around swimmer as a sophomore and senior.
Personal Bests: 50 Free LCM 24.44, 100 Free LCM 53.56, 100 Back LCM 1:03.3, 200 Back LCM 2:16.7

Women’s Swimming and Diving Class of 2017

Liza Bragg
Back/IM – Darien, Conn.
High School/Coach: Deerfield Academy/Henk Jansen, Sonja O’Donnell
Prior to Duke: NISCA All-American in the 100-yard backstroke, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay as a junior … also garnered All-America accolades as member of relay squads her sophomore and freshman seasons.
Personal Bests: 100 Back 56.20, 200 Back 2:02.10, 200 IM 2:04.58, 400 IM 4:27.98

Brittany Friese
Free/Fly – Newburgh, N.Y.
High School/Coach: Newburgh Free Academy/Patrick Kavanaugh
Club Team: Newburgh Sharks
Prior to Duke: NISCA All-American in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle … co-state champion in the 500 freestyle as a junior … also won state titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle events as a freshman and sophomore … section record holder in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle and the 200 IM.
Personal Bests: 100 Free 51.64, 200 Free 1:49.45, 500 Free 4:52.07, 1,000 Free 10:07.16, 1,650 Free 16:57.77, 200 Fly 2:02.25

Kirby Quinn
Diving – Cherry Hill, N.J.
High School: Bishop Eustace
Club Team: Centennial Diving
Prior to Duke: Program record holder in diving at Bishop Eustace … NISCA All-American … finished second at the state championships as a sophomore … two-time Junior National finalist and a six-time Junior East National qualifier … placed 10th in the women’s synchronized 3-meter springboard competition at the 2010 AT&T National Diving Championships.

Maddie Rusch
Sprint Free/Fly – New Canaan, Conn.
High School/Coach: New Canaan/David Fine
Club Team: New Canaan YMCA Caimans
Prior to Duke: Three-time NISCA All-American … four-time conference champion and state record holder in the 50-yard freestyle … garnered all-state and all-conference recognition each of her four years … school record holder in the 100 butterfly.
Personal Bests: 50 Free 22.78, 100 Free 50.33, 200 Free 1:51.50, 100 Fly 55.36

Lindsay Schlichte
Distance Free – Garden City, N.Y.
High School/Coach: Garden City/Anne Sullivan
Club Team: Long Island Aquatic Club
Prior to Duke: U.S. Open qualifier in the 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyle … NISCA All-American in the 500 freestyle as a junior … co-state champion in the 500 freestyle her junior year … four-time all-conference, all-division and all-county honoree … garnered All-Long Island accolades three times … Senior National qualifier in the 800m and 1,500m while also qualifying for Junior Nationals in the 400m, 800m and the 1,500m.
Personal Bests: 200 Free 1:52.19, 500 Free 4:50.36, 1,000 Free 9:57.41, 1,650 Free 16:44.48

Ashleigh Shanley
Breast/IM – Ann Arbor, Mich.
High School/Coach: Ann Arbor Skyline/Maureen Isaac
Club Team: Plymouth-Canton Cruisers
Prior to Duke: Three-time Michigan state champion at Ann Arbor Skyline … NISCA All-American … garnered all-state accolades each of her four seasons … conference record holder … finalist for the Michigan Athlete of the Year award.
Personal Bests: 100 Breast 1:03.22, 200 Breast 2:20.32, 200 IM 2:03.86, 400 IM 4:31.19

Jessie Sutherland
Back/Fly/Free – Winnetka, Ill.
High School/Coach: New Trier/Bruce Woodbury, Mac Guy
Club Team: New Trier Swim Club
Prior to Duke: NISCA All-American in the 400-yard freestyle and 200 medley relays as a senior … first team all-state in the 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays her final year while also garnering honorable mention all-state recognition in the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly … helped her team win the Illinois state championship for three consecutive seasons … earned All-America distinction in relay events as a junior and sophomore.
Personal Bests: 100 Free 52.36, 100 Back 56.55, 200 Back 2:02.95, 100 Fly 55.90

Colleen Wixted
Mid-Free/Fly – Greenwood Village, Colo.
High School/Coach: Cherry Creek/Eric Craven
Club Team: Colorado Stars
Prior to Duke: State qualifier in each of her four seasons … NISCA All-American in the 200-yard freestyle as a senior … finished top-eight individually at the state meet her final year … member of the 400 freestyle relay that won a state title and garnered All-America accolades as a junior.
Personal Bests: 200 Free 1:51.19, 500 Free 5:02.95, 100 Fly 56.69, 200 Fly 2:02.16

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7 years ago

Colleen Wixted went to Cherry Creek, but swam for the Colorado Stars. Wonder how she felt about Missygate? Peter Kroop’s sister swam for Princeton, but transferred to USC. Duke’s been awesome in diving, but recently lost their coach. Why are they so mediocre in swimming?

Reply to  duckduckgoose
7 years ago

Until renewed commitment to the program, many years of limited funding. Also, facility limitations.

Reply to  duckduckgoose
7 years ago

Limited funding and poor facilities are part of the equation, but they also had poor coaching and leadership (on the swim side) until coach Colella started. He’s done wonders, and this is quite a class they are pulling in, especially on the guys side!

Joel Lin
7 years ago

When you have a fantastic academic school to sell, you always have a chance to be a top 20 D1 program in near time. Duke is that and fits the most important piece of a puzzle: kids and their parents are always listening when there is a Duke education being discussed. They are pointing straight upwards now.

7 years ago

Joel kinda fleshed out what I was thinking-an excellent school with a national reputation who already excels in sports tied to upper-middle class families (golf, tennis, lacrosse) should be much better in swimming.

There are some very good club teams between Atlanta and Baltimore, and Duke could be significantly better if they got their fair share of that talent base.

Northeestern’s been discussed here in the past, but given that Vandy and Rice don’t even have men’s teams, Duke should be a lot better.

About Kelsey Zimcosky

"Once a swimmer, always a swimmer" is the motto that Kelsey Zimcosky lives by.  Though she could not compete after 10 years in the sport due to a shoulder injury, she has been unable to stay away from the water. While it is strange watching the sport from the deck, …

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