Duke Men and Women Earn Narrow Victories Over UNC



  • Duke Women 151, North Carolina Women 149
  • Duke Men 157.5, North Carolina Men 142.5

Duke got the wins over UNC on both sides yesterday on their Senior Day, with the women’s meet ending up as a two-point matchup.

On the women’s side, things went back and forth all meet. Duke edged out the Tar Heels in the opening medley relay, 1:40.68 to 1:40.77, then Verity Abel broke ten minutes to win the 1000 (9:59.56) for the Blue Devils. Abel would also win the 500 free (4:52.94) later in the meet. Zhada Fields of UNC powered to a 1:48.99 to win the 200 free, and the two teams flip-flopped winners into the first break after the 50 free.

Caroline Baldwin was consistent as usual for the Tar Heels, notching wins in the 50 free (22.51) and 100 free (49.52). UNC took both breaststrokes as well, as Brooke Perrotta won the 100 (1:02.77) and Caroline Hauder won the 200 (2:15.46). Both Perrotta and Hauder are freshmen.

Duke picked up some key victories late in the meet, however, to push them to the team win. Kylie Jordan (54.49) and Isa Paez (54.71) earned a clutch 1-2 finish in the 100 fly, and then Leah Goldman snagged the 200 IM (2:00.40). Although UNC won the 400 free relay, Duke stood atop at the meet’s conclusion, 151-149.

The Duke men secured the win as well, ending up on top with a more comfortable margin of fifteen points.

Yusuke Legard was an important player for Duke, coming through with sprint free victories in the 50 (20.03) and 100 (44.53). After Legard’s 100 free win, UNC did take the remaining five individual events. Overall, Alvin Jiang was a double winner for the Tar Heels, taking the 100 back (47.69) and 100 fly (48.21), while Valdas Abaliksta swept the 100 (54.84) and 200 breast (2:01.12).


CHAPEL HILL, N.C.– The University of North Carolina men’s and women’s swimming and diving team lost a hard-fought battle Saturday afternoon to Duke University, one that came down to the last event at the Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion.

This was the last dual meet of the regular season for the Tar Heels.

The Carolina men’s team lost to Duke 157.5-142.5 to move to 3-6 overall and 1-3 in the ACC. Duke’s men earned their first win of the year, improving to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the ACC. The 20th-ranked Carolina women’s team fell just short of a comeback to Duke with a final score of 151-149 to change their record to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in the ACC. Duke women are now 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the ACC.

Carolina’s Top Performers:

On the men’s side, UNC won eight events. Freshmen Valdas Abaliksta and Alvin Jiang as well as senior Henry Campbell led the Tar Heels with two individual wins each. Abaliksta beat everyone to the wall in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke with times of 54.84 seconds and 2:01.12, respectively. Jiang won the 100-yard backstroke in 47.69 and the 100-yard butterfly in 48.21. Campbell took advantage of his last dual meet by winning the 500-yard freestyle in 4:28.91 and the 200-yard individual medley in 1:50.52. Other Tar Heels that sported individual wins were junior Tom Bilden who clocked a 1:49.81 in the 200-yard butterfly, and freshman Chris Thames who finished the 200-yard backstroke in 1:46.45.

On the women’s side, senior Caroline Baldwin and junior Maria Lohman led the Tar Heels, each earning two individual wins. Baldwin topped the 100-yard freestyle in 49.52 and the 50-yard freestyle at 22.51, a record time at the Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion. Lohman took the top spot on both boards with scores of 304.95 on the one-meter and 341.10 on the three-meter. Three other Tar Heels earned single individual event wins on the women’s side.  Winners were junior Zhada Fields in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:48.99, freshman Brooke Perrotta in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:02.77 and freshman Caroline Hauder in the 200-yard breaststroke at 1:58.91. The Tar Heels’ 400-yard freestyle relay featuring Baldwin, senior Katie Ford, junior Robyn Dryer and sophomore Brooke Bauerwon the event in a time of 3:22.94, another pool record at the Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion.



Head Coach Rich DeSelm

“Despite not winning either meet, our staff is very proud of our team’s effort and how they fought. It was a fun college dual meet. We didn’t like coming out on the losing end of it, but both the men’s and women’s meet came down to the last relay. We put up a good fight but couldn’t quite get enough points.”

Diving Coach Abel Sanchez

“I thought the women did well again. Maria Lohman showed up. She did some good stuff. She wasn’t ‘on-on’ but she did a really good job. Proud of her. The men looked a little flat today. Duke looked really good and sharp. They are pretty darn good.”

UP NEXT:  The Tar Heels will participate in the Janis Hape Dowd Nike Invitational in Chapel Hill February 2 and 4 and in Durham February 3.

MEN’S TEAM SCORE:  Duke University 157.5, NORTH CAROLINA 142.5


200-Yard Medley Relay:  2nd place, Alvin JiangValdas AbalikstaNick LoomisJ.T. Casey, 1:28.46

1000-Yard Freestyle: Dimitrios Dimitriou, 3rd Place, 9:26.03

200-Yard Freestyle:  Hans Schroeder, 3rd Place, 1:41.99

100-Yard Backstroke: Alvin Jiang, 1st Place, 47.69

100-Yard Breaststroke: Valdas Abaliksta, 1st Place, 54.84

200-Yard Butterfly: Tom Bilden, 1st Place, 1:49.81

50-Yard Freestyle:  J.T. Casey, 2nd Place, 20.60

Three-Meter Diving: Greg Duncan, 5th Place, 357.83

100-Yard Freestyle: J.T. Casey, 2nd Place, 45.82

200-Yard Backstroke:  Chris Thames, 1st Place, 1:46.45

200-Yard Breaststroke: Valdas Abaliksta, 1st Place, 2:01.12

500-Yard Freestyle: Henry Campbell, 1st Place, 4:28.91

100-Yard Butterfly: Alvin Jiang, 1st Place, 48.21

One-Meter Diving: Sean Burston, 2nd Place, 340.13

200-Yard Individual Medley: Henry Campbell, 1st Place, 1:50.52

400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  2nd Place, Jack MessengerValdas AbalikstaGreg BrocatoJ.T. Casey, 3:00.92

Records: DUKE UNIVERSITY 1-6, ACC  1-4;  North Carolina, 3-6, ACC 1-3



200-Yard Medley Relay:  2nd Place, Caroline BaldwinCaroline HauderEmma ColeBrooke Bauer, 1:40.77

1000-Yard Freestyle:  Robyn Dryer, 2nd Place, 10:06.40

200-Yard Freestyle: Zhada Fields, 1st Place, 1:48.99

100-Yard Backstroke: Caroline Hauder, 2nd Place, 54.73

100-Yard Breaststroke: Brooke Perrotta, 1st Place, 1:02.77

200-Yard Butterfly: Bryanna Cameron, 2nd Place, 2:00.50

50-Yard Freestyle:  Caroline Baldwin, 1st Place, 22.51

Three-Meter Diving:  Maria Lohman, 1st Place, 341.10

100-Yard Freestyle:  Caroline Baldwin, 1st Place, 49.52

200-Yard Backstroke:  Susanna LaRochelle, 3rd Place, 2:01.25

200-Yard Breaststroke: Caroline Hauder, 1st Place, 2:15.46

500-Yard Freestyle: Erica Wirth, 2nd Place, 4:56.60

100-Yard Butterfly: Emma Cole, 3rd Place, 54.79

One-Meter Diving: Maria Lohman, 1st Place, 304.95

200-Yard Individual Medley: Caroline Hauder, 2nd Place, 2:01.37

400-Yard Freestyle Relay:  1st Place, Caroline Baldwin, Kathryn Ford, Robyn DryerBrooke Bauer, 3:22.94

Records:  DUKE UNIVERSITY 4-3, ACC  2-3;  North Carolina 4-5, ACC 1-3


DURHAM, N.C. – Dual meet season came to a close on a high note Saturday in Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion, as the Duke men and women defeated rival North Carolina for the second consecutive season. The Blue Devil women took down the 20th-ranked Tar Heel women by a 151-149 margin after a back-and-forth battle and the Duke men emerged with a 157.5-142.5 victory.

Saturday’s action marked the final meet in Taishoff for Duke’s 11 seniors – Verity AbelNick BigotLizzie DevittLeah GoldmanMatt JohnsonCatie MillerIsabella PaezAlex PeñaAnna QuinnMariaSheridan and MaryEllen Targonski.

“What a way to send the seniors out today,” said head coach Dan Colella. “As we prepped for the meet, as coaches, you run all kinds of scenarios and scores. No matter what we did in terms of our lineup, we always came up with it was going to probably be a two to five-point swing … [North Carolina head] coach [Rich] DeSelm does a really terrific job and it’s fun to compete against a team like UNC. Always really nice to come away with a win.”

After celebrating the program’s senior class, the Blue Devils fed off the energy on the pool deck, coming away with a pair of victories in the 200-yard medley relays. Junior Maddie Hess, freshman Connie Dean, sophomore Alyssa Marsh and Goldman were first to the wall in the women’s race (1:40.68) and junior Max St. George, junior Sean Tate, sophomore Miles Williams and junior Yusuke Legard followed by out touching the Tar Heels as well (1:28.21).

Duke’s distance lane kept the momentum rolling, as Abel (9:59.56) claimed the women’s 1,000 freestyle and freshman Zach Washart (9:25.12) and Johnson (9:25.91) finished one-two in the same event on the men’s side. Williams, Hess and Paez all added individual victories in the men’s 200 freestyle, women’s 100 backstroke and women’s 200 butterfly, respectively, before Legard closed out the first portion of the meet by taking first in the men’s 50 freestyle (20.03).

“Coming in this year, seeing the team’s atmosphere and everything, it got me really hyped up and excited to be here and do that for my team,” Washart said of his victory in the 1,000 freestyle. “Towards the end of the meet, when we were watching every single swim and every single dive so intently, it was awesome.”

Sophomore Nathaniel Hernandez turned in a career-best performance to win the men’s one-meter diving competition earlier in the morning. He totaled an award of 358.80 to move up to sixth on the Blue Devils’ all-time performance list. Freshman Teddy Zeng headlined a one-two-three-four performance by Duke in men’s three-meter diving, while sophomore Mackenzie Willborn and Targonski led two-three-four-five finishes for the women on the one and three-meter boards, respectively.

Legard later completed his sweep of the men’s sprint freestyle events, clocking 44.53 to win the 100-yard race. Hess also collected her second individual win of the meet, taking first in the women’s 200 backstroke (1:58.68) with Devitt coming in second (1:59.98). Abel joined Legard and Hess as double individual event winners, returning to the water to place first in the 500 freestyle (4:52.94).

A one-two showing by sophomore Kylie Jordan (54.49) and Paez (54.71) in the women’s 100 butterfly and a first-place finish by Goldman in the women’s 200 individual medley (2:00.40) helped push the Blue Devil women in front of North Carolina.

“We knew the 200 IM was going to be a big last individual event before the relays to know what we would need to do to secure the win,” Goldman said. “We just needed to win the event and have as many girls touch their hand first before UNC. I knew if I got that win it would amp the relays up … It wasn’t just me – the two other girls [Devitt and Dean] coming in third and fourth, too.”

The women’s 400 freestyle relay then took second to secure a two-point dual meet victory over the Tar Heels before Legard, Williams, Peña and Tate added a final win for the Duke men in the same relay event, clocking 2:59.55.

“We’re really proud of our men and how they performed all year,” Colella said. “We just have come up a little bit short in a lot of meets, so to finish up the dual meet season with a victory over UNC is a great way to close it out, and especially for our senior men. On the women’s side, this is the first meet where we’ve had everybody here. It seems like all season long we’ve been short a few bodies for one reason or another, so it was nice to have everybody on deck today.”

Duke and North Carolina will split hosting duties for next weekend’s Janis Hape Dowd Nike Invitational, with preliminaries and finals Friday, Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 4 to take place in the Tar Heels’ Koury Natatorium. The Blue Devils will host both sessions Saturday, Feb. 3 in Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion.

Team Scores:
Duke Women 151, North Carolina Women 149
Duke Men 157.5, North Carolina Men 142.5

Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s One-Meter Diving: 
Mackenzie Willborn (2nd), 297.08
Men’s One-Meter Diving: 
Nathaniel Hernandez (1st), 358.80

Women’s Three-Meter Diving: MaryEllen Targonski (2nd), 310.95
Men’s Three-Meter Diving: 
Teddy Zeng (1st), 411.08

Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Maddie HessConnie DeanAlyssa MarshLeah Goldman (1st), 1:40.68
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Max St. GeorgeSean TateMiles WilliamsYusuke Legard (1st), 1:28.21

Women’s 1,000-Yard Freestyle: Verity Abel (1st), 9:59.56
Men’s 1,000-Yard Freestyle: Zach Washart (1st), 9:25.12

Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Leah Goldman (2nd), 1:50.00
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Miles Williams (1st), 1:37.91

Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Maddie Hess (1st), 54.07
Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Max St. George (2nd), 48.28

Women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Connie Dean (2nd), 1:03.09
Men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Judd Howard (2nd), 55.43

Women’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Isabella Paez (1st), 1:58.15
Men’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Daichi Matsuda (3rd), 1:52.24

Women’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Alyssa Marsh (2nd), 23.15
Men’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Yusuke Legard (1st), 20.03

Women’s 100-Yard Freestyle: Leah Goldman (2nd), 50.28
Men’s 100-Yard Freestyle: Yusuke Legard (1st), 44.53

Women’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Maddie Hess (1st), 1:58.68
Men’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Max St. George (2nd), 1:47.56

Women’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Connie Dean (2nd), 2:16.75
Men’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Judd Howard (2nd), 2:01.46

Women’s 500-Yard Freestyle: Verity Abel (1st), 4:52.94
Men’s 500-Yard Freestyle: Zach Washart (t2nd), 4:34.32

Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Kylie Jordan (1st), 54.49
Men’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Miles Williams (2nd), 48.52

Women’s 200-Yard Individual Medley: Leah Goldman (1st), 2:00.40
Men’s 200-Yard Individual Medley: Judd Howard (2nd), 1:51.99

Women’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Maddie HessVerity AbelIsabella PaezAlyssa Marsh (2nd), 3:24.01
Men’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Yusuke LegardMiles WilliamsAlex PeñaSean Tate (1st), 2:59.55

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2 years ago

What nice wins for Duke! Congratulations!

2 years ago


Reply to  Kathy
2 years ago

This is the lowest of the low for UNC swimming (ACC meet will be lower)……we used to swim a practice at the same time swimming Duke. Realize they have gotten better…but it is time to rebuild this UNC team. If NC State can do it with their facility…anyone can…. Need new leadership

Reply to  Doh
2 years ago

I mean UNC actually won the “swim” meet. UNC was -22 points on diving and in the final score they were only down 15

2 years ago

It’s sad to see how far UNC has fallen. The used to be a perennial contender for an ACC title. I guess all the scandals, corruption and investigations have taken their toll.

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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