Duke Takes Historic Win Over ACC Rival UNC


  • Results
  • Saturday, January 28th
  • Hosted by UNC
  • 25 yards
  • Dual meet format


  • WOMEN- Duke 163, UNC 137
  • MEN- Duke 173, UNC 126

The Duke Blue Devils made program history when they travelled to North Carolina for a dual meet on Saturday. Duke’s women defeated the Tarheels for the first time ever, while the men took down UNC for the first time since 1939.

On the women’s side, Leah Goldman and Verity Abel each pulled off a successful double to help them to victory. Abel swept the distance races, clocking a 9:56.56 in the 1000 free and a 4:53.62 in the 500 free. Goldman, on the other hand, took on a pair of middle distance races. She got the ball rolling in the 200 free, clocking a 1:49.81 to outpace UNC’s Catherine Hulsey (1:50.12). Goldman and Hulsey battled again in the 200 IM, with Goldman dominating in 2:01.63 to Hulsey’s 2:04.05.

Duke’s Max St George was one of the top performers on the men’s side as he swept the backstroke events. In the 100 back, he was the only swimmer to post a sub-49 time, winning in a quick 48.33. St George then went on to race UNC’s Michael Meyer in the 200 back, using his front half speed to take the early lead en route to a 1:46.65 victory. Meyer put up a strong back half, touching in 1:48.34 to take 2nd by a nail ahead of Duke’s Alex Pena (1:48.39).


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Duke swimming and diving teams turned in historic performances at North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium Saturday, with the women defeating the Tar Heels for the first time in program history and the men for the first time since 1939.

The Blue Devil men earned a 173-126 victory over their Tobacco Road rivals to move to 6-2 overall and 1-2 against ACC competition, while the 22nd-ranked women downed North Carolina by a 163-137 margin to improve to 6-2 on the season and 2-2 in league action.

“Outstanding,” said head coach Dan Colella. “We couldn’t be more proud. Four years ago when we recruited these seniors, we talked about being a team that could contend in the ACC and beat the likes of a UNC. [North Carolina is] coming off a big meet last night against NC State and they raced really hard today … We’re excited, especially for our seniors, to finish up their dual meet career here at Duke with a win over UNC.”

The Blue Devils jumped out to a quick start with victories in both 200-yard medley relays. The women’s quartet of sophomore Maddie Hess, senior Ashleigh Shanley, freshman Alyssa Marsh and senior Maddie Rusch clocked the fifth-fastest mark in program history at 1:39.62, and senior Kaz Takabayashi, senior Peter Kropp, senior Michael Miller and sophomore Yusuke Legard earned a win for the men (1:28.34).

Duke’s distance swimmers followed suit, with junior Verity Abel posting a season-best 1,000 freestyle mark of 9:56.56 in a first-place showing. Freshman Roger Kriegl led the way for the men in third, racing to fifth on the program’s all-time performance list at 9:21.66. Junior Leah Goldman then added a win in the women’s 200 freestyle (1:49.81) while sophomore Hunter Aitchison (1:51.50) was third.

North Carolina claimed the top spots in the men’s 200 freestyle and women’s 100 backstroke before the Blue Devils countered with three straight victories in the pool. Sophomore Max St. George keyed the first of his two individual wins on the day by taking the men’s 100 backstroke (48.33) while Shanley (1:02.90) and senior Dylan Payne (54.20) turned in top times in the 100 breaststroke events. Payne and Kropp (54.62) both came in under the NCAA provisional standard in the event, with Kropp finishing third.

The women displayed their depth in the 200 butterfly, led by senior Brittany Friese in second (2:00.08). Junior Isabella Paez (2:01.39) and freshman Kylie Jordan (2:01.79) were third and fourth, respectively, while Miller won the men’s race at 1:48.09. Duke added points with a Michael Seaberg win in the men’s 50 freestyle (20.50) and a two-three performance on the women’s side to lead both meet scores heading into the first break.

The Blue Devil men featured a couple of career-best performances in the 1-meter springboard competition, as sophomore Evan Moretti garnered the second-highest award all-time at Duke (380.85) in a first-place finish and freshman Nathaniel Hernandez turned in the seventh-highest score in program history (353.65) to take second. Senior Kirby Quinn paced the women on the 3-meter board with a season-best award of 327.75.

Legard (45.43) and freshman Miles Williams (45.45) led the way in first and second in the men’s 100 freestyle and Hess (1:59.67) headlined a two-three-four showing by Duke in the women’s 200 backstroke. St. George completed his sweep of the men’s backstroke events in the 200-yard event, recording a time of 1:46.65. Junior Alex Peña touched in a season-best 1:48.39 for third.

Tar Heel swimmers were first to the wall in both 200 breaststroke events but the Blue Devils answered with an emphatic showing in the women’s 500 freestyle. Abel cruised to her second win (4:53.62), followed by Friese in second (4:57.17) and freshman Brittany Kampfer in fourth (5:00.28). Duke went two-four and two-three-four in the women’s and men’s 100 butterfly races to maintain the advantage over North Carolina entering the final intermission.

The men’s 3-meter diving event provided another highlight for the Blue Devils, as Hernandez placed first at 399.30 and Moretti second at 386.77. Both divers’ scores moved them up on the program’s all-time performance list. Quinn once again led the women’s divers in the 1-meter competition, taking third (286.13).

“Today was really a lot of fun,” said head diving coach Nunzio Esposto. “The work that we’ve done this year, the drills, the work that we do on their takeoffs and all of those things we do pertaining to their technique really showed themselves today. I was really proud of all the divers. On both the men’s and women’s side they did a great job.”

Goldman netted her second individual win in the women’s 200 IM (2:01.63) with junior Lizzie Devittclosing strong for third (2:04.07). Duke then swept the 400 freestyle relays to secure the dual meet victories. Hess, Rusch, Aitchison and Marsh out-touched the Tar Heels at the wall while clocking the fifth-fastest mark in school history at 3:21.31. Sophomore Sean Tate, Miller, Williams and Legard closed out the meet with a winning time of 3:00.29.

“We knew it was going to be a huge team effort,” Colella said. “It wasn’t just about a select few. It wasn’t just about winning events but about the seconds, third, fourths, fifths. The fifth places in some of those swims people had – Lindsay Schlichte, Sheldon Boboff, there were a number of people that closed incredibly well to put their hand on the wall before a Tar Heel. And that’s what it’s all about.”

With the dual meet portion of the season in the books, the Blue Devils return to competition next weekend at the Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup Invitational in Chapel Hill and Durham.

Team Scores:
Duke Women 163, North Carolina Women 137
Duke Men 173, North Carolina Men 126

Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay:
Maddie Hess, Ashleigh Shanley, Alyssa Marsh, Maddie Rusch (1st), 1:39.62
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Kaz Takabayashi, Peter Kropp, Michael Miller, Yusuke Legard (1st), 1:28.34

Women’s 1,000-Yard Freestyle: Verity Abel (1st), 9:56.56
Men’s 1,000-Yard Freestyle: Roger Kriegl (3rd), 9:21.66

Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Leah Goldman (1st), 1:49.81
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Sean Tate (2nd), 1:39.57

Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Maddie Hess (2nd), 53.81
Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Max St. George (1st), 48.33

Women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Ashleigh Shanley (1st), 1:02.90
Men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Dylan Payne (1st), 54.20

Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Brittany Friese (2nd), 2:00.08
Men’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Michael Miller (1st), 1:48.09

Women’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Alyssa Marsh (2nd), 22.84
Men’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Michael Seaberg (1st), 20.50

Women’s 1-Meter Diving: Kirby Quinn (3rd), 286.13)
Men’s 1-Meter Diving: Evan Moretti (1st), 380.85

Women’s 100-Yard Freestyle:  Leah Goldman (2nd), 50.67
Men’s 100-Yard Freestyle: Yusuke Legard (1st), 45.43

Women’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Maddie Hess (2nd), 1:59.67
Men’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Max St. George (1st), 1:46.65

Women’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Ashleigh Shanley (2nd), 2:18.37
Men’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Peter Kropp (3rd), 2:01.99

Women’s 500-Yard Freestyle: Verity Abel (1st), 4:53.62
Men’s 500-Yard Freestyle: Roger Kriegl (4th), 4:31.49

Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Alyssa Marsh (2nd), 53.42
Men’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Michael Miller (2nd), 48.81

Women’s 3-Meter Diving: Kirby Quinn (2nd), 327.75
Men’s 3-Meter Diving: Nathaniel Hernandez (1st), 399.30

Women’s 200-Yard Individual Medley: Leah Goldman (1st), 2:01.63
Men’s 200-Yard Individual Medley:
Bradley Cline (3rd), 1:51.87

Women’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Maddie Hess, Maddie Rusch, Hunter Aitchison, Alyssa Marsh (1st), 3:21.31
Men’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Sean Tate, Michael Miller, Miles Williams, Yusuke Legard (1st), 3:00.29


CHAPEL HILL, N.C.  –  Duke’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams spoiled Senior Day for North Carolina, earning dual meet wins over the Tar Heels at the Maurice J. Koury Natatorium.

In the final home dual meet for 19 outstanding UNC seniors, both squads fell short in their efforts to take down the Blue Devils.  The #22-ranked Duke women won 163-137 while the Duke men defeated their counterparts from Carolina 173.5-126.5.

“Well I guess it’s pretty easy to sum up the weekend. We lost meets yesterday and today. It’s never fun to lose,” says UNC head coach Rich DeSelm.  “Right now, we need to find a way to get some wins. But I’ll tell you what, the meet is over and it’s behind us.  We’ve got to learn from it and hopefully our team will be passionate about continuing on and coming in Monday and preparing for whatever the next competition is.”

The Tar Heel women actually won nine of 16 events in the meet but the depth for the Duke women carried the day as they won both relays and accumulated enough second and third place finishes to prevail over Carolina.  Seven of Carolina’s nine individual event wins came from seniors.

Hellen Moffitt was a three-event winner for the Tar Heels as she swept Senior Day wins in the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly.  Sarah Hitchens also won two events for Carolina in the 50 free and 100 free.  Other senior winners were Sarah Koucheki in the 200 fly and Abby Fisherin the 200 breast.  Junior diver Elissa Dawson was her usual brilliant self, taking first place in both diving events, winning by solid margins in both events.

The Tar Heel men were led by Henry Campbell, who took home first place in both the 1000 free and the 500 free.  Senior Christian Caveness in the 100 fly, senior Michael Meyer in the 200 IM, senior Jorden Merrilees in the 200 free and junior Michael McBryan in the 200 breast all nabbed individual wins for the Carolina Blue & White.

“I greatly admire the efforts of the senior class.  They are great kids both in the pool and outside of the pool,” says DeSelm.  “It’s special to see them come in as recruited student-athletes and then see them progress to graduation.”

UNC will return to action when it hosts the Janis Hape Dowd Invitational next weekend.  The meet will have morning and evening sessions at UNC on Friday and Sunday and the middle day of the meet will be held at Duke.



200-Yard Medley Relay –  2nd Place, North Carolina (Caroline Baldwin, Katie Munch, Hellen Moffitt, Sarah Hitchens), 1:41.23
1000-Yd. Freestyle – Macey Arnold, 3rd Place, 10:11.90
200-Yd. Freestyle – Caty Hulsey, 2nd Place, 1:50.12
100-Yd. Backstroke –  Hellen Moffitt, 1st Place, 53.32
100-Yd. Breaststroke –  Abby Fisher, 2nd Place, 1:04.00
200-Yd. Butterfly –  Sarah Koucheki, 1st Place, 1:58.90
50-Yd. Freestyle Sarah Hitchens, 1st Place, 22.76
Three-Meter Diving – Elissa Dawson, 1st Place, 337.65
100-Yd. Freestyle – Sarah Hitchens, 1st Place, 50.23
200-Yd. Backstroke – Hellen Moffiitt, 1st Place, 1:56.77
200-Yd. Breaststroke – Abby Fisher, 1st Place, 2:17.12
500-Yd. Freestyle –  Bryanna Cameron, 3rd Place, 4:58.85
100-Yd. Butterfly – Hellen Moffitt, 1st Place, 53.01
One-Meter Diving –  Elissa Dawson, 1st Place, 309.90
200-Yd. Individual Medley –  Caty Hulsey, 2nd Place, 2:04.05
400-Yd. Freestyle Relay –  2nd Place, North Carolina (Sarah Hitchens, Sarah Koucheki, Brooke Bauer, Caroline Baldwin), 3:21.67
Records:  Duke 6-2, ACC 2-2;  North Carolina 1-6, ACC 0-4



200-Yard Medley Relay – 3rd Place, North Carolina (Michael Meyer, Craig Emslie, Christian Caveness, Graham Weaver), 1:29.75
1000-Yd. Freestyle –  Henry Campbell, 1st Place, 9:15.00
200-Yd. Freestyle –  Jorden Merrilees, 1st Place, 1:38.15
100-Yd. Backstroke – Christian Caveness, 2nd Place, 49.05
100-Yd. Breaststroke –  Craig Emslie, 2nd Place, 54.57
200-Yd. Butterfly – Matt Conway, 2nd Place, 1:48.74
50-Yd. Freestyle Lucas Popp, 3rd Place, 21.04
Three-Meter Diving – Jack Nyquist, 3rd Place, 373.95
100-Yd. Freestyle – Jorden Merrilees, 3rd Place, 45.56
200-Yd. Backstroke – Michael Meyer, 2nd Place, 1:48.34
200-Yd. Breaststroke – Michael McBryan, 1st Place, 1:59.89
500-Yd. Freestyle – Henry Campbell, 1st Place, 4:27.02
100-Yd. Butterfly –  Christian Caveness, 1st Place, 48.52
One-Meter Diving – Jack Nyquist, Tied 2nd Place, 353.63
200-Yd. Individual Medley – Michael Meyer, 1st Place, 1:50.38
400-Yd. Freestyle Relay –  2nd Place, North Carolina (Christian Caveness, Lucas Popp, Henry Campbell, Jorden Merrilees), 3:01.08
Records:  Duke 6-2, ACC 1-2;  North Carolina 1-6, ACC 0-4



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So….who will be the new coach in Chapel Hill next year?



While the draw for Yuri as an alumni is not hard to figure out, I wonder if that job is ‘big enough’ for him anymore. He could be on the short list for jobs like Texas, Stanford, Auburn, Florida, etc. if/when they open up. Whether UNC can pull him away could depend on how long Yuri believes he’s going to have to wait for one of those supreme jobs.

The cost of living is very different, but the gross pay gap from Cal assistant (including bonuses) to UNC head coach are not as different as one might think.


As a former Tar Heel swimmer and one of the program’s closest followers and biggest fans, I would argue that Yuri is not “big enough” for a head coaching job. I don’t think he should be in the top 5 for UNC’s soon to be vacant coaching position, let alone real swimming schools. As a 25 year old, he coached a high school phenom who, more than likely, could have been coached by any entry level USS coach. She had, and has more natural talent and drive than MP, and I would argue that Yuri didn’t contribute a tremendous amount to her early success. He then makes a great career choice and rides that wave to an assistant coaching position… Read more »

Captain Ahab

They should take a close look at David Marsh.


I totally agree. They need a David Marsh or Sam Freas character to kick start that sucka!

Super swim fan

Yeahhhh no. I don’t think he would do that to his daughter who literally swims on Duke.


Catherine Vogt at USC

Mustard stain on my trousers

How pathetic unc. I mean at this point just don’t even swim the rest of the season. Take a few years off even. You’re graduating your whole team this year, bringing in no one, and half the swimmers on your team openly want to quit


Will not be ranked in the top 50 for the foreseeable future. Really a shame honestly. Hope something changes there

What the fox

Just out of curiosity, if it is so “open” who are the swimmers you are referring to that want to quit? Otherwise this comment just made me realize just how low anonymous poster will stoop.

Rubber ducky in my bubble bath

Good to see Campbell was really able to dig in and pull out a solid 46.9 for his team on the A relay. What a team player!

Bubble burst

Considering he swam a 9:15 1000, 4:27 500, and then 1:50 200 IM 5 minutes before the relay. That takes heart. I’d take a kid like that on my team any day.


It’s about heart man, you’re not gonna get better if you roll over and give up just because you’re losing. Seems like unc really lost their edge and are up the creek without a paddle with not bringing in a lot of talent. I mean can you blame henry for rolling over, he’s coached by rich.

Raised by wolves

His chin beard is sick go pack

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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