Peter Kropp rattled his lifetime-best in the 100 breast in Duke’s season-opening dual against Pittsburgh, going 52.13 for a dominating win.
That’s the second-best time of Kropp’s career, behind only his 52.02 from last year’s Nike Cup. The next major step for Kropp is repeating his times from the fall semester in the NCAA’s postseason. Kropp was 52.18 at ACCs last year, then fell off to 52.76 at NCAAs and just missed scoring what would have been Duke’s only points of the NCAA meet.
He’s on a great track so far this season, leading the NCAA in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes after this win over Pitt. Kropp was also 1:59.01 to win the 200 breast, the first man under two minutes this season. He added a 24.02 split on the breastroke leg of the 200 medley relay opening up the meet.
On the women’s side, sophomore Isa Paez had a great day for Duke, winning both butterfly races in times that will rank inside the NCAA’s top 5 for the season. Paez was 54.96 to win the 100 fly, plus 2:00.45 for the 200 fly win.
Pitt’s women were led by sophomore Amanda Richey, who swept the distances races. Richey was 10:05.35 in the 1000 and 4:56.51 in the 500. David Sweeney won the lone event for the Pitt men, going 1:41.89 in the 200 free.
Other individual winners:
- Junior James Peek won both the 50 free (20.20) and 100 free (45.76) in solid times for the Duke men. Peek was also 19.55 anchoring the winning 200 medley relay.
- Another junior Blue Devil, Kaz Takabayashi, dropped 48s in both the 100 fly and back. Takabayashi went 48.88 for the 100 back win and 48.62 to win the 100 fly.
- Freshman Riley Hickman was the other double winner for Duke, taking the 1000 free in 9:26.92 and the 500 free in 4:39.28.
- Duke also swept the 200 fly and back, with Kenny Ng winning the fly in 1:53.29 and Bradley Cline the back in 1:51.33. Cline would take the 200 IM in 1:53.62, though the event was exhibitioned.
- On the women’s side, freshman Mickayla Hinkle had a nice debut for Duke, sweeping the backstrokes in 54.55 and 2:00.29.
- Pitt answered with a breaststroke sweep behind Polish junior Kinga Cichowska. Cichowska was 1:03.25 in the 100 and 2:18.12 in the 200. She would also win the 200 IM in 2:06.36.
- Despite Richey’s dominance of the distances, Duke swept the shorter freestyle races with three different swimmers. Freshman Lexy Aitchison took the 200 free (1:51.95), freshman Maddie Hess the 100 (51.20) and junior Maddie Rusch the 50 (23.21).
Duke won 178-115 on the women’s side and 193-101 for the men.