Duke Men and Women Rocket to Day 1 Leads at Nike Cup

Karl Ortegon
by Karl Ortegon 13

November 19th, 2015 College, News



The Duke women were hot right off the bat, winning the first two events to start.

In the 200 free relay, they were the only team under 1:31, posting a 1:29.75. The only split that came through on the results, though, was Maddie Hess‘s 22.79 lead off for Duke’s relay. UNC was second in 1:31.05 with Yale (1:31.17) and NC State (1:31.56) not far behind.

Sophomore Blue Devil Verity Abel took control of the 500 free, winning it in a new lifetime best of 4:47.52, topping open water specialist Eva Fabian of Yale (4:48.66). Abel took nearly a full second off of her previous best, set at last year’s ACC Championships.

NC State hit back next with two straight wins, as Alexia Zevnik dismantled her morning time of 1:58.01 in the 200 IM (she tied her own school record in prelims) to go 1:56.53. Zevnik was the only swimmer under 2 minutes, and she was followed by her teammate Kayla Brumbaum at 2:01.39. Riki Bonnema, meanwhile, muscled out the win in the 50 free (22.05). The defending ACC Champion edged out Duke’s Maddie Rusch (22.14) at the wall.

Yale put together a strong 400 medley relay, topping the field at 3:37.77. That time was enough to push them ahead of Duke, who settled for 2nd at 3:38.20. They were the only teams under 3:40 tonight. Meanwhile, in 3 meter diving, UNC’s Elissa Dawson gave the Tar Heels their lone win with a score of 348.25


The Blue Devil men were dominant tonight, winning both relays and picking up a victory in the 200 IM.

Their 200 free relay was propelled by James Peek‘s 19.02 anchor, as Duke’s 1:18.57 marked the only sub-1:20 team in the field.

Bradley Cline grabbed the W in the 200 IM, his 1:46.97 topping the field. He touched out NC State’s Soeren Dahl (1:47.84), while Duke frosh Judd Howard squeaked ahead of NC State senior Christian McCurdy by a single hundredth. Howard finished third at 1:48.78.

Again, NC State picked up the most individual swims on the night. Anton Ipsen crushed the 500 free, his 4:26 in prelims proving to be just a warm up for finals. He blasted a 4:16.27, finishing almost six seconds ahead of Navy All-American Thomas Duvall (4:26.26).

Sophomore Ryan Held managed to hold off a tight field in the 50 free finals. After Held, Peek, and NC State’s Joe Bonk touched 1-2-3 in prelims at 19.78, 19.79, 19.82, Held crowned himself victor with a 19.87 final. Peek and Bonk again finished very closely behind him, at 19.91 and 19.93, respectively. Notably, it doesn’t look like would-be favorite Simonas Bilis competed at all today.

Duke came back and wrecked the 400 medley relay. They finished at 3:09.20, well ahead of UNC (3:13.66) and NC State (3:14.04). While Peek’s 43.38 anchor was very impressive, Peter Kropp took the cake with a 51.13 breaststroke split. In the wake of Kevin Cordes‘ departure from the NCAA, Kropp is making a case for himself to fill the void as he looks to take the national crown in the 100 in March.

Like the women, UNC’s sole win came in diving. Jack Nyquist took the 1 meter event with a score of 368.75.



Duke 555
UNC 480
Yale 472
NC State 402.5
Marshall 234.5


Duke 562
NC State 472
Navy 384
UNC 350
East Carolina 320

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5 years ago

Very impressive swims by the blue devils. I’m excited to see what they’ll do in the 200 Medley, 1:24?

Reply to  Karl Ortegon
5 years ago

That would be a 1.24.4

5 years ago

Bilis didn’t compete today at all, prelims or finals.

Gary Hall, III
5 years ago

Any word on why Bilis missed out today?

NC State seems to be cooling off a little since last year surge.

Gary Hall, III
Reply to  Karl Ortegon
5 years ago

“Season’s just started….”

Dude it’s halfway over.

Gary Hall, III
Reply to  Karl Ortegon
5 years ago

Also, a little let down that no one who posts here has any intel on Bilis. Are we thinking he’s being kept out by health concerns, drug issues, general conduct, or academics?

The collegeswimming.com forum was so much more resourceful in its prime.

Reply to  Gary Hall, III
5 years ago

More likely that NCState is just less rested than Duke right now. NCState has bigger goals now — and they are in March, not November. If memory serves, Kropp went super fast during first semester last year, and then fizzled at NCAAs. I think it’s premature to be crowning him as the heir apparent to Cordes until he proves himself at NCAAs.

ct swim fan
Reply to  Gary Hall, III
5 years ago

Bilis swam only the 400 free relay in finals tonight. Split 41 + and NC State hit an A cut in the relay at 250.94. Some of their team was rested, some not. They seemed to not care about the score of the meet as multiple qualifiers were scratched from finals and their earlier relays were not entered full strength. Their women’s 400 free relay also had an A cut tonight at 3:14.39 and a few other men and women missed A cuts by narrow margins.They are doing just fine. Take a look at the results for the Nike Cup. Duke also looked good.


About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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