Molly Donlan and Blake Johnson Claim Double Individual Wins As Duke Sweeps Queens

by Sean Griffin 1

February 03rd, 2024 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps

Duke vs. Queens 

  • February 2, 2024
  • Taishoff Aquatic Center
    • Durham, North Carolina
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • PDF Results
  • Results also available on Meet Mobile: “Duke vs Queens”
  • Team Scores
    • Women: Duke 171.5 – Queens 63.5
    • Men: Duke 127 – Queens 109

Duke and Queens faced off for a condensed dual meet on Friday, with the Blue Devils coming away victorious for both the men and women. The dual meet featured the typical two relays and one IM event, but only featured the 100s of each non-freestyle stroke. All freestyle distances, 50 through 1000, were contested on Friday.

Queens was a member of Division II until the 2022-2023 season, when they made the move to Division I. This is year two of their transition, after winning the Division II national title each year from 2015 – 2022.

Women’s Recap

The Duke women opened the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay for the Blue Devils. The winning foursome of Emily Lenihan (25.80), Sally Foley (27.56), Aleyna Ozkan (22.95), and Kyanh Truong (22.14) hit the touchpad in a time of 1:38.45, winning by over a second. Queens posted a sub-1:40 effort of 1:39.73 for runner-up status.

The 1000 freestyle showcased a dominant performance from Queens senior Sophie Lange. She won the race by 8 seconds, stopping the clock as the lone swimmer under the elusive 10-minute barrier (9:59.66). Yi Xuan Chang (10:07.97) of Duke grabbed 2nd place, while her teammate Emily Gjertsen (10:11.25) snagged 3rd. Chang would later win the 500 freestyle, touching in 4:52.81 for the win there.

Duke freshman Molly Donlan was a double individual event winner on the day, with her first win coming in the 200 free. She stopped the clock in 1:49.33 for the win, leading a 1-2 finish for the Blue Devils with teammate Martina Peroni (1:49.64). The time from Donlan checks-in as a new best time in the event.

She later added her second win in the 100 back, posting a swift 53.61 to lead a 1-2-3 Blue Devil sweep. It was a near best time, just off the 53.25 she produced at the NC State Invite in December. Teammates Emily Lenihan (54.99) and Tatum Wall (55.08) registered 2nd and 3rd place performances.

Wall was victorious in the 50 free on the day, touching in a very swift dual meet time of 22.35. It was another sweep for Duke in the event, with freshman teammate Ali Pfaff taking second in a sub-23 effort of 22.99. Senior Sally Foley touched in 23.08.

The 100 fly and 100 breast saw additional Duke victories, with Aleyna Ozkan (52.67) taking the 100 fly and Catherine Belyakov (1:01.18) winning the 100 breast.

Ozkan owns a best time of 51.82 in the 100 fly, which she posted at the NC State Invite in November, so she looks to be in contention for an A-final appearance at the upcoming ACC Championships.

Other Event Winners:

Men’s Recap

The men from Queens opened the day with a victorious 200 medley relay performance, recording a final time of 1:28.41. Andreas Marz (22.53), Balazs Berecz (24.65), Conner Wang (21.91), and Matej Dusa (19.32) were the swimmers on the winning relay, touching out Duke (1:28.79) by about four tenths.

Duke would bounce back in the first individual event, with sophomore JC Castrillon (9:24.73) securing victory in the 1000 free. Teammate Blake Johnson would then win the next event, the 200 free, in 1:37.03. Johnson and Castrillon would go 1-2 in the 500 free later in the meet, with Johnson (4:30.81) grabbing the win over his teammate (4:33.78).

Queens senior Matej Dusa showcased his 50 speed throughout the day, appearing on both of the relays in addition to the individual 50 free. He won the individual event in 19.57, winning by over a full second.

After placing 2nd in the 200 free earlier in the day, Queens sophomore Daniel Meszaros touched in 44.80 for a victory in the 100 free. It was a 1-2 finish for Queens in the event, with freshman Nien Levy touching just behind in 45.07.

Queens grabbed another victory in the 100 back, where Caden Fritz and Michael Jiang had a great battle the whole way. Duke’s Jiang took the race out strongest, splitting 23.03 on the opening 50 to the 23.16 produced by Fritz of Queens. Fritz had the better closing speed over the final 25 though, touching in 48.04 to Jiang’s 48.19.

In his only individual event of the day, Balazs Berecz took full advantage of the opportunity. The Queens senior touched in 54.87 to win the 100 breast, touching out freshman teammate Filip Urbanski by 0.05.

Queens closed out the day with another relay victory, as the foursome of Matej Dusa (19.97), Daniel Meszaros (20.07), Nien Levy (20.02), and Caden Fritz (20.19) combined to post a time of 1:20.25, finishing 0.75 ahead of Duke.

Other Event Winners:

  • Duke freshman Kalen Anbar touched in 3:54.73 to win the 400 IM.
  • David Chang, a senior at Duke, recorded a time of 48.23 en route to victory in the 100 fly.

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Queens
4 months ago

A highly competitive meet. Good swims and momentum for conference season 🦁🥇👍🏼💪🏼💙Go Royals