Courtesy: Duke Athletics
DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke swimming and diving program hosts SEC powerhouse Georgia in its annual Pink Meet Saturday at Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion. Diving events begin at 10 a.m. before swimming events start at 11 a.m.
“We are excited to host Georgia and are looking forward to a great contest,” Duke head coach Dan Colella said. “Having a team of this caliber coming to town will only help our athletes get accustomed to competing against some of the best and better prepare us for the coming meets and championships.”
GOOD TO BE BACK
The Blue Devils return to the pool two weeks after their season opener. After months of training in Taishoff, Duke will compete at home for the first time in the 2019-20 season on Saturday. This meet is one of two meets that Duke will host throughout the year, the other being Senior Day on Feb. 1 against North Carolina at 12 noon.
Saturday’s meet against the Bulldogs is the programs annual Pink Meet, where the program honors those fighting and survivors breast cancer. At the meet, the Duke Cancer Institute will be in attendance talking with fans about the research they are doing to help those affected by cancer.
Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase pink Duke swimming and diving t-shirts in the lobby.
LAST TIME OUT
In the opener, Duke traveled to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on the Florida State Seminoles. The Blue Devils split the meet with the host.
Duke’s women topped the Seminoles, 177-123, behind impressive showings from senior Alyssa Marsh and sophomore Melissa Pish who each had three individual first-place finishes. Sophomores Cabell Ann Whitlow, Maddi Pullinger and Easop Lee and freshman Emma Shuppert all added individual wins to add to the Blue Devil’s tally.
On the men’s side, Duke came up just short of the win, falling 147-153 to the 15th-ranked hosts. The men led for the majority of the meet, but the Seminoles came out victorious in the last event of the day. Senior Miles Williams led Duke with two individual victories. Juniors Nathaniel Hartley and Zach Washart, sophomore Cole Reznick and freshman Brendan Driscoll all secured individual first place finishes as well.
In the meet, Duke swept the 200 medley relay to kickoff action. The women’s tandem of Shuppert, junior Halle Morris, Marsh and junior Quinn Scannell finished first, touching in 1:40.24 while the men’s team of Hartley, sophomore Colson Zucker, freshman Charlie Gingrich and Williams placed first in 1:29.59.
GET TO KNOW THE OPPONENT
The Georgia Bulldogs, hailing from the SEC, are well-respected in the swimming community. They enter the meet ranked 15th on the men’s side and 12th in the women’s poll.
The Bulldogs are coming off a season opening sweep of Alabama, in which the women won 163.5-136.5 and the men won 157-143. SEC Men’s Swimmer of the Week Camden Murphy and SEC Women’s Swimmer of the week Courtney Harnish paced the Bulldogs with 18 and 19.5 points in the meet, respectively.
Duke last met Georgia in the pool for a dual meet in January of 1981 as the Bulldogs swept the Blue Devils, 59-50, on the men’s side and 50-90 when the women met that year. The men’s meet was a tri-meet at Virginia Tech. The women’s meet that year, a tri-meet with Virginia, was the two teams’ first ever meeting.
Following this weekend at home, Duke heads back on the road the weekend of Nov. 8-9. On Friday, the Blue Devils take on UConn and Dartmouth at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The meet begins at 3 p.m. The next day, the Blue Devils travel to Cambridge, Mass., for a meet at 10 a.m. against Harvard. The Texas A&M men’s team will be competing at the meet.