DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke swimming and diving program is set to compete in the highly-touted NC State/GAC Invitational hosted by the Greensboro Aquatics Center in Greensboro, N.C. The five-team meet will run from Thursday-Saturday with preliminaries being in the morning at 9:30 a.m. and finals in the evening at 5 p.m.
“Everyone is really excited about heading to Greensboro,” Duke head swimming and diving coach Dan Colella said. “We are looking forward to some great competition this week. It is very exciting to have teams from around the country and different conferences to come to the NC State/GAC Invite. We hope it brings out the best in our swimmers and divers and are looking forward to some great performances.
The Blue Devils are one of five teams to compete in the invitational. This week’s meet will be a true test for Duke, as each team competing in swimming events appeared in the most recent edition of the CSCAA Poll. The rankings are as follows: No. 7/7 NC State, No. 14/RV Arizona State, No. 15/11 Duke, No. 23/13 Auburn and No. 24/19 Wisconsin.
On the boards, head diving coach Nunzio Esposto and his squad will take on NC State, Wisconsin, George Washington and Louisville.
LAST TIME OUT
Duke’s most recent competition in the pool was a record setting day for the Blue Devils as the 17th-ranked women defeated Harvard 209-91 and the men topped Harvard 172-128 and seventh-ranked Texas A&M 163-137.
The Blue Devils started and closed the meet strong, sweeping the relay events. The women’s team of Emma Shuppert, Halle Morris, Alyssa Marsh and Sarah Snyder took first in the 200 medley relay in 1:38.13, fifth in Duke history. The men followed suit with Nathaniel Hartley, Cole Reznick, Charlie Gingrich, and Miles Williams finishing in 1:28.15 for the top spot.
To close the meet, Duke continued its relay dominance with Melissa Pish, Sarah Snyder, Kylie Jordan and Quinn Scannell taking first in 3:20.65. Williams, Sheldon Boboff, Hartley and Matthew Whelan won the event for the men with a time of 2:57.43 to secure the Blue Devil victory.
The 17th-ranked Duke women’s team strung together nine individual wins throughout the morning. Marsh led the Blue Devils with three wins while Pish followed contributing two. Easop Lee, Shuppert, Connie Dean and Kayle Park all added wins as well.
On the men’s side, Zach Washart led the cause with two individual wins in distance free events. Washart took the 1,000 free in 9:09.28, the second-best time in Duke history, and the 500 free in 4:26.88.
Boboff and Williams also contributed individual wins to the Blue Devils. Boboff won the 200 free with a time of 1:37.69. Williams won the 100 free, finishing in 44.12.
Nathaniel Hernandez continued to impress on the boards as he won the one-meter event with a score of 384.35.
KEEP ON CLIMBING
Both Duke swimming and diving teams reached their highest rankings in program history in the most recent College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) national poll released on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The women’s team were placed at No. 11 and the men’s side are ranked No. 15.
After a dominating weekend in Massachusetts which featured the Blue Devils going undefeated against Boston College, Dartmouth, UConn, Harvard and the Texas A&M men’s side, the women jumped four spots since the Oct. 23 poll while the men enter the poll for the first time this season.
The women’s national ranking of No. 11 is the highest in program history after finishing last season at No. 12 in the final CSCAA rankings. The men’s No. 15 ranking is the first time the Blue Devil men have been ranked since Nov. 23, 2016 when the Duke men checked in at No. 22.
THREE BLUE DEVILS RECEIVE ACC AWARDS
Seniors Nathaniel Hernandez, Alyssa Marsh and Miles Williams earned weekly swimming and diving awards given by the Atlantic Coast Conference for their performances in the pool this weekend in Massachusetts.
Hernandez was named ACC Men’s Diver of the Week for his work on the boards during the weekend in Boston. Through the weekend, the Southlake, Texas, native swept the one-meter competition with scores of 351.00 and a season-high 384.35, topping 21 competitors between the two meets. In the three-meter event, Hernandez posted scores of 390.65 and 392.85 to finish first and second, respectively. It was his third consecutive meet posting 390+ on the three-meter board.
Marsh continued to be stellar in the pool for the Blue Devils on her way to being named ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Week. The senior out of Davidson, N.C., remains unbeaten in her events and helped Duke reach 5-1 (2-0 ACC) on the women’s side. In the meet at Boston College, Marsh swam in the 100 back and 200 back for the first time this season and placed first in both events with times of 54.85 and 2:00.92, respectively.
The meet at Harvard brought more wins for the senior, marking 14 on the season. To open the meet in the 200 medley relay, Marsh swam a 22.58 third leg, .96 seconds faster than any other third leg in the event. Individually, she placed first in the 50 and 100 freestyle in times of 22.54 and 48.79, respectively. Her 52.25 time in the 100 butterfly put her ahead of the side.
Williams swam in just one event in Chestnut Hill, Mass. In that one event, his 1:39.28 placed first in the 200 freestyle in a field of 15 swimmers. At Harvard, the freestyle specialist swam alone in two events and contributed to Duke’s two relays. In the 50 and 100 freestyle, Williams finished second and first in times of 20.14 and 44.12, respectively. In the relays, the Hong Kong native swam a 19.38 anchor leg in the 200 medley relay to secure the victory for the Blue Devils with a time of 1:28.15. Williams closed out the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay (2:57.43) to secure the upset over seventh-ranked Texas A&M.
BLUE DEVIL RELAY
With four meets in the books, the Blue Devils have started each meet on the right foot by sweeping the 200 medley relay events. Duke set season-best times in the event in the meet at Harvard.
The team of Emma Shuppert, Halle Morris, Alyssa Marsh and Sarah Snyder recorded a time of 1:38.13 in the event, placing fifth in the Blue Devils’ record books. That mark also put the group sixth in Division I this season and third in the ACC.
Nathaniel Hartley, Cole Reznick, Charlie Gingrich and Miles Williams set the season-best time of 1:28.15 for the men, placing them 14th in Division I this season and third in the ACC.
MARSH REMAINS UNBEATEN
Senior Alyssa Marsh continues to be unbeaten in the pool this season with four meets behind her. The Davidson, N.C., native has won all 14 events that she has competed in this season, 11 individual and three relays. In individual events, she has finished before the side in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly.
Marsh leads the Blue Devils with NCAA B Standard times in three events so far this season in the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. In the 50 and 100 freestyle, the senior holds 22.54 (third in the ACC) and 48.79 (second in the ACC) marks. Her 52.25 time in the 100 butterfly is third in the ACC.
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