Leah Smith Downs 3 Pool Records as Virginia Beats Duke


  • Results
  • Hosted by Duke
  • Friday, January 20th
  • 25 yards
  • Dual meet format


  • MEN- Virginia 164, Duke 135
  • WOMEN- Virginia 175, Duke 125

The Virginia Cavaliers broke 5 Pool Records en route to their dual meet victory over Duke on the road, 3 of which were broken at the hands of Leah Smith. Her first record came in the 1000 free, which she dominated by 26 seconds to win in 9:34.77. She completed the distance sweep with another Pool Record in the 500 free, posting a 4:43.28. Her final record came in the 400 IM, where she used her freestyle speed to break away from teammate Kaitlyn Jones, setting the mark at 4:14.44. Jones (4:19.66) finished 2nd, also clearing 4:20.

Virginia’s Jenn Marrkand and Brendan Casey joined Smith in setting Pool Records. Marrkand set the bar in the 200 fly, which she won in 1:57.13 ahead of teammate Jones (1:58.03). She also won the 200 back, touching nearly 2 seconds ahead of the field with her 1:58.24.

Casey, on the other hand, downed the Pool Record in the men’s 200 back. He battled closeley with teammate Joe Clark (1:46.97) through the front half of the race, but made his big move on the final 50 to win it in 1:46.00. Casey then went on to win the 400 IM, again showing off his backstroke speed to break ahead of the field. He won the race by nearly 3 seconds, clocking in at 3:55.87.


DURHAM, N.C.—The Virginia swimming and diving teams broke five pool records on the way to sweeping Duke Friday evening (Jan. 20) at the Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion in Durham, N.C.

The No. 5 Virginia women (5-0) defeated No. 22 Duke, 175-125, and the No. 13 Cavalier men (4-1) were victorious, 164-135. Virginia won 19 events overall.

“I am happy for the teams to get the win tonight, but there are many things we need to improve upon,” UVA head coach Augie Busch said. “Our overall focus and attention to good warm-up and warm-down was subpar and needs to be way tomorrow (at North Carolina). Our energy and support for one another needs to improve as well. Tomorrow offers a much stiffer challenge with UNC. After pointing these shortcomings out to the team after tonight, I’m confident we will be improved in those key areas tomorrow. Our men and women can’t wait to race the Tar Heels.”

Senior Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) broke three pool records, capturing the women’s 1,000-yard freestyle in 9:34.77, the 500 free in 4:43.28 and the 400 IM in 4:14.44. Junior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford, Mass.) set a new pool record in the women’s 200 butterfly in 1:57.13, while redshirt sophomore Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif.) set a new pool mark in the men’s 200 backstroke in 1:46.00.

Marrkand also won the women’s 200 back in 1:58.24 and Casey touched first in the men’s 400 IM in 3:55.87.

Senior Laura Simon (Simmern, Germany) swept the women’s breaststroke events, winning the 100 in 1:01.67 and the 200 in 2:13.76, while freshman Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.) won the 200 free (1:48.97) and the 100 free (50.34).

Other men’s winners included senior John Denning (Chesapeake, Va.) in the 200 fly (1:48.20), senior Austin Quinn (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) in the 200 free (1:39.95), sophomore Dan Golczweski (Bel Air, Md.) in the 500 free (4:30.23), sophomore Bryce Keblish (Fairfield, Conn.) in the 100 fly (48.58) and sophomore Sam Magnan (Bethlehem, Pa.) in the 1,000 free (9:18.31). Freshman Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain) won the 100 back in 48.63 and fellow freshman John Whiteside (Fairfield, Conn.) captured the 100 free in 45.10.

The women’s 200 free relay of Hill, senior Ellen Thomas (Guildford, United Kingdom), junior Caitlin Cooper (Atlanta, Ga.) and sophomore Eryn Eddy (Loveland, Colo.) won in a time of 1:31.31.

In diving, freshman Bryce Shelton (Vienna, Va.) placed second in men’s 3-meter (342.30) and platform (346.28), while sophomore Kylie Towbin (New Canaan, Conn.) was third on women’s 3-meter (287.33).

“We had a solid evening,” UVA head diving coach Jason Glorius said. “We hit some dives we don’t usually hit and got some more new dives off in competition. We just need to keep working hard and do a better job of carrying over our practice performance into meets.”

The Cavaliers return to action Saturday (Jan. 21) at noon.


DURHAM, N.C. – The Blue Devil swimming and diving teams took on a pair of nationally-ranked Virginia squads Friday evening on Senior Night in Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion.

The 22nd-ranked Duke women (5-2, 1-2 ACC) suffered a 175-125 setback to the fifth-ranked Cavalier women, while on the men’s side the Blue Devils (5-2, 0-2 ACC) were unable to hold off 15th-ranked Virginia, falling 164-135.

Despite the dual meet losses, Duke featured several highlights on the night, including a facility record by senior Maddie Rusch in the 50-yard freestyle, two breaststroke wins by senior Peter Kropp and victories in three of the four relay events. The program also received a boost in diving, with Blue Devils earning first-place finishes in all four events.

“It’s Senior Day, it’s their last home meet,” said head coach Dan Colella. “They always seem to find another gear. We knew coming in that Virginia, on paper, they were the better team, and they came out the victors tonight. However, we’re as a staff incredibly proud of how we raced. This is what we wanted to do – we wanted to stand up and really give these guys a battle this evening. I really think they did that.”

The Blue Devil divers kicked off the afternoon with a strong showing on the platform. Freshman Jaina Gaudette (251.78), redshirt senior Jaimee Gundry and sophomore Mackenzie Willborn swept the top three spots on the women’s side, with each surpassing the NCAA Zones standard in the event. Freshman Nathaniel Hernandez was just as impressive for the Duke men, winning the competition with an award of 371.70 – good for the second-highest in program history.

After honoring 18 Blue Devil seniors and friends of the program Max and Mia Elston, Duke kept the momentum rolling in the 200-yard medley relays. The quartet of sophomore Maddie Hess, senior Ashleigh Shanley, freshman Alyssa Marsh and Rusch (1:40.23) raced to a first-place finish ahead of the Cavaliers, as did senior Kaz Takabayashi, Kropp, senior Michael Miller and sophomore Yusuke Legard(1:27.83) on the men’s side.

After Virginia claimed the top spots in the 1,000 and 200 freestyle events, Duke responded with a win in the women’s 100 backstroke. Hess was first to the wall at 54.82 for an NCAA ‘B’ cut while classmate Mickayla Hinkle took third (56.30). Takabayashi (48.73) and sophomore Max St. George (48.94) were second and third, respectively, in the same event for the Blue Devil men. The men’s team then surged past the Cavaliers with a one-two-three performance in the 100 breaststroke, as Kropp (53.54), senior Dylan Payne (54.41) and sophomore Judd Howard (56.35) combined for the sweep.

Duke’s sprint group shined heading into the first intermission, with Rusch breaking a Taishoff record at 22.68 in the women’s 50 freestyle and Legard claiming the men’s 50-yard race (20.60). Legard also took second at the 100-yard distance (45.38), as did junior Leah Goldman (50.57) for the women.

Hess (2:00.04) and senior Liza Bragg (2:01.85) finished second and third, respectively, in the women’s 200 backstroke before Kropp (2:02.27) and senior Michael Seaberg (2:02.42) went one-two in the men’s 200 breaststroke. Marsh returned to the water to post a win in the women’s 100 butterfly (53.88), while Goldman (54.12) was third. The men’s 100 butterfly saw Payne clock a career-best 48.92 in a third-place finish.

Willborn (304.73) and senior Kirby Quinn (294.98) took the top two spots in women’s 3-meter diving and sophomore Evan Moretti won the men’s competition at 351.45.

In the final event of the evening, the men’s 200 freestyle relay of Legard, Payne, Seaberg and freshman Miles Williams cruised to a win at 1:20.68.

Friday evening’s competition marked the final meet in Taishoff for Duke’s 18 seniors – Bragg, Rahul Chokshi, Bradley Cline, Kevin Fraser, Brittany Friese, Gundry, Kropp, Joey Maginnis, Miller, Payne, Quinn, Rusch, Lindsay Schlichte, Seaberg, Shanley, Jessie Sutherland, Takabayashi and Colleen Wixted.

The Blue Devils close regular season action next Saturday, Jan. 28 in a 1 p.m. dual meet at North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium in Chapel Hill.

Team Scores:
No. 5 Virginia Women 175, No. 22 Duke Women 125
No. 13 Virginia Men 164, Duke Men 135

Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s Platform Diving:
Jaina Gaudette (1st), 251.78
Men’s Platform Diving:
Nathaniel Hernandez (1st), 371.70

Women’s 3-Meter Diving: Mackenzie Willborn (1st), 304.73
Men’s 3-Meter Diving:
Evan Moretti (1st), 351.45

Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Maddie Hess, Ashleigh Shanley, Alyssa Marsh, Maddie Rusch (1st), 1:40.23
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay:
Kaz Takabayashi, Peter Kropp, Michael Miller, Yusuke Legard (1st), 1:27.83

Women’s 1,000-Yard Freestyle: Verity Abel (2nd), 10:00.90
Men’s 1,000-Yard Freestyle: Roger Kriegl (3rd), 9:29.74

Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Leah Goldman (4th), 1:49.65
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Sean Tate (3rd), 1:40.57

Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Maddie Hess (1st), 54.82
Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Kaz Takabayashi (2nd), 48.73

Women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Ashleigh Shanley (3rd), 1:02.81
Men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke:
Peter Kropp (1st), 53.54

Women’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Isabella Paez (3rd), 1:59.95
Men’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Michael Miller (4th), 1:50.67

Women’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Maddie Rusch (1st),  22.68
Men’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Yusuke Legard (1st), 20.60

Women’s 100-Yard Freestyle: Leah Goldman (2nd), 50.57
Men’s 100-Yard Freestyle:
 Yusuke Legard (2nd), 45.38

Women’s 200-Yard Backstroke: Maddie Hess (2nd), 2:00.04
Men’s 200-Yard Backstroke:
Max St. George (3rd), 1:48.20

Women’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Ashleigh Shanley (4th), 2:18.93
Men’s 200-Yard Breaststroke:
Peter Kropp (1st), 2:02.27

Women’s 500-Yard Freestyle: Brittany Friese (5th), 5:00.96
Men’s 500-Yard Freestyle:
Matt Johnson (5th), 4:39.33

Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Alyssa Marsh (1st), 53.88
Men’s 100-Yard Butterfly:
Dylan Payne (3rd), 48.58

Women’s 400-Yard Individual Medley: Lizzie Devitt (3rd), 4:23.56
Men’s 400-Yard Individual Medley:
Roger Kriegl (5th), 4:03.61

Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Alyssa Marsh, Maddie Hess, Leah Goldman, Maddie Rusch (2nd), 1:31.41
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay:
Yusuke Legard, Dylan Payne, Michael Seaberg, Miles Williams (1st), 1:20.68

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Bill Bell
6 years ago

Leah Smith could become first woman to Homs sub-4:20 500 and a sub-15;00.0 1650 — and NOT win either race!

Gary the Snail
Reply to  Bill Bell
6 years ago

Bill my friend, you are a savage. Hat off to you

Bill Bell
Reply to  Gary the Snail
6 years ago

Not that I’m ragging on her. She’s immensely talented snd S great representative for theCavs. But let’s be realistic: by the tine you know has completed her eligibility just before Tokyo she’ll have put the 200-500-1000-1650 records (and who knows? Maybe the 200 fly or 400 IM?) records into the stratosphere where they’re faster than half the guys on the all-time Top 10 list!’

In fact @ Tokyo she’ll be knocking on the door of Paul Biederman’s wrs if they are still standing.

Oh and I’m STIIL picking Dallas to win the Big Dance too.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Bill Bell
6 years ago


Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

No , its because of the Trump’s electric election ceremony LOL

samuel huntington
Reply to  Bill Bell
6 years ago

yea that’s not happening

Reply to  samuel huntington
6 years ago

You’re right! I forgot Leah was better than ledecky!

Reply to  Bill Bell
6 years ago

At this point Leah should start accepting second place. Ledecky is too good. Well, silver
ain’t so bad if you don’t mind not winning.

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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