The Blue Devil swimming and diving squads welcome a pair of top-20 Virginia teams Friday for the program’s regular season home finale in Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion. Duke will honor its 18-member senior class prior to the start of the 5 p.m. dual meet.
Last Time Out
Last Saturday saw the Blue Devils kick off the spring portion of their season with a pair of victories over SEC foe South Carolina. The women’s team came away with a 167-133 win and the men topped the Gamecocks, 160.5-139.5, in a dual that came down to the final event of the meet. The victories moved both Duke squads to 5-1 on the season entering Friday’s competition.
Individually, the Blue Devils featured a trio of double-event winners against South Carolina, with junior Verity Abel taking both women’s distance events, senior Maddie Rusch the women’s sprint races and sophomore Max St. George the men’s backstroke events. Freshman Nathaniel Hernandez headlined a one-two-three finish by the Duke divers in the men’s 3-meter springboard competition and Blue Devil swimmers also claimed three of the four relays on the day.
Rusch Collects RMHC Weekly Honors
Rusch was selected the Ronald McDonald House Charities Duke Student-Athlete of the Week Wednesday for her performance in the win over the Gamecocks. The senior captain started off the meet by anchoring Duke’s 200-yard medley relay to a first-place finish and Taishoff record. She then swept the women’s sprint freestyle events, coming in under the NCAA provisional standard in the 50 freestyle at 22.88.
Duke Women Move Up in CSCAA Poll
Following the dual meet victory over South Carolina, the Blue Devil women jumped one spot to No. 22 in Wednesday’s national rankings, released by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).
The women’s team was one of six from the ACC to appear in the latest poll, with Virginia leading the way at No. 5. NC State (9), Louisville (10), Virginia Tech (t-22) and Florida State (t-25) were also represented from the conference.
Blue Devils to Honor 18 Seniors
Prior to the start of Friday’s dual meet, the Duke program will honor the 18 members of its senior class. The class includes Liza Bragg, Rahul Chokshi, Bradley Cline, Kevin Fraser, Brittany Friese, Jaimee Gundry, Peter Kropp, Joey Maginnis, Michael Miller, Dylan Payne, Kirby Quinn, Rusch, Lindsay Schlichte, Michael Seaberg, Ashleigh Shanley, Jessie Sutherland, Kaz Takabayashi and Colleen Wixted.
Scouting the Cavaliers
The Virginia women enter the weekend undefeated at 4-0 (2-0 ACC) while the 13th-ranked men’s team boasts a mark of 3-1 (2-0 ACC). Both Cavalier squads swept Virginia Tech last weekend in Charlottesville.
2016 Olympic medalist Leah Smith of the Virginia women’s team owns the ACC’s top times to date in the 500 (4:32.52) and 1,000-yard (9:21.54) freestyle while teammates Laura Simon (2:06.94) and Kaitlyn Jones have turned in the fastest marks in the 200 breaststroke and 100 (51.58) and 200 (1:52.93) butterfly, respectively. Jones is also the conference leader in the 200 (1:54.05) and 400 (4:06.33) IM. The Cavalier women feature the ACC’s best time in the 400 medley relay at 3:29.92.
On the men’s side, Zach Fong tops the ACC rankings in the 200 butterfly (1:43.64).
News courtesy of Duke Athletics.