CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The Blue Devils rounded out a two-day quad meet against Virginia Tech, West Virginia and William & Mary Saturday, with the women’s team going 3-0 against the field and the men notching victories against the Mountaineers and the Tribe but falling to the host Hokies.
“We felt pretty good about the fact that with a good night’s rest we could come in and get the job done,” said head coach Dan Colella of the women’s team. “They absolutely did a great job of breaking up some of their top swimmers and I think were able to win some events that maybe Virginia Tech thought they would win. It was just a really great overall team effort. Probably one of the better meets we’ve had in some time, just from top to bottom.”
After taking the top two spots in the 400-yard medley relay last night, the Duke men picked up right where they left off Saturday morning, doing so again in the 200 medley relay. Sophomore Max St. George, senior Peter Kropp, senior Michael Miller and sophomore Yusuke Legard turned in the winning time at 1:29.05, while the quartet of sophomore Maddie Hess, senior Ashleigh Shanley, freshman Alyssa Marsh and senior Maddie Rusch won the same event on the women’s side (1:40.70).
Sophomore Verity Abel and freshman Brittany Kampfer maintained the strong start with a two-three finish in the women’s 1,650 freestyle. Abel tapped the wall at 16:42.66, while Kampfer’s 16:48.55 clocking broke her into the top 10 on the Blue Devils’ all-time performance list. Junior Matt Johnson was the top Duke performer in the men’s mile (15:54.10).
Despite trailing the Hokie women coming into the day, the Blue Devil women continued to make up ground with a sweep in the 50 freestyle. Rusch led the way with an NCAA ‘B’ cut at 22.87, followed by Marsh (23.30) and junior Leah Goldman (23.45). Shanley added a win in the 200 breaststroke (2:17.61), and Goldman returned to the water to headline a two-three-four showing by Duke in the 200 freestyle. Goldman raced to the finish in 1:50.69, with sophomore Hunter Aitchison (1:50.70) and senior Brittany Friese (1:50.99) close behind.
Rusch added to her impressive weekend with a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly, earning another ‘B’ cut at 54.21. Marsh took second (54.57) and junior Isabella Paez third (54.89). Junior Lizzie Devittpaced the squad in the 400 IM (4:25.68), placing second, before senior Kirby Quinn won the 1-meter springboard diving event for the first time in her career. Quinn surpassed the NCAA Zones qualification standard with a career-best award of 283.80.
“Kirby, as a senior, her first time winning the 1-meter in a dual meet competition, couldn’t come at a better time,” Colella said. “That was really critical for us.”
Rusch, Marsh, Aitchison and Goldman teamed up to take first in the 400 freestyle relay (3:22.91), helping to secure three victories for the Blue Devil women.
For the men, St. George claimed the 100 backstroke (48.91) and Legard took second in the 50 freestyle (20.45), as did senior Dylan Payne in the 100 butterfly (49.70). After winning the men’s 1-meter diving event Friday evening, freshman Nathaniel Hernandez had another solid performance, placing second on the 3-meter board (367.30).
Legard, Payne, freshman Miles Williams and Miller were second behind Virginia Tech in the men’s 400 freestyle relay, combining for a time of 3:02.24.
“Very proud of the men and the way they performed,” Colella said. “We had a lot of great swims both sessions. To win that 400 medley relay last night and open up winning the 200 medley relay, we’re kind of picking up where we left off last year with those events. I think one of the things that was really exciting for a lot of the athletes was the fact that they had faster times this early in the season than they did at any point in-season last year.”
Duke hosts its home opener at Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion Saturday, Oct. 29, welcoming the NC State women and Northwestern men for an 11 a.m. tri meet. The event also marks Alumni Weekend for the Blue Devil program.
Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Maddie Hess, Ashleigh Shanley, Alyssa Marsh, Maddie Rusch (1st), 1:40.70
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Max St. George, Peter Kropp, Michael Miller, Yusuke Legard (1st), 1:29.05
Women’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Maddie Rusch, Alyssa Marsh, Hunter Aitchison, Leah Goldman (1st), 3:22.91
Men’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Yusuke Legard, Dylan Payne, Miles Williams, Michael Miller (2nd), 3:02.24
WEST VIRGINIA PRESS RELEASE
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University swimming and diving team earned seven top-six individual finishes to lead the way on the final day of a two-day quad meet in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Racing for the third consecutive weekend to open the season, the Mountaineers faced off against Virginia Tech, Duke and William & Mary at Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Senior Emma Skelley, sophomore Merwane El Meriniand sophomore Emma Harris all finished in the top four on Saturday to pace WVU.
“We had a very solid day today,” coach Vic Riggs said. “I thought both the men’s and women’s teams’ relays continued to get better, and we improved on some of our little things that we discussed last night. With this being our third weekend in a row of racing, the teams fought hard. On the women’s side I’m really proud of their effort today. Being the third meet that we haven’t had a full squad because injuries, for the ladies to battle back to have it come down to the last relay shows their fight.
“Now we have four weeks to get ready for NC State.”
The WVU women were edged by William & Mary (176-164), Duke (281-71) and Virginia Tech (286-66). The men fell to William & Mary (223-123), Duke (288-64) and Virginia Tech (277-69).
Saturday began with the 200 medley relay, where the men earned a sixth-place finish in 1:33.76 and the women placed eighth in their race with a 1:46.33.
The first individual event was the 1,650 freestyle. Skelley backed up her WVU Natatorium-record swim a week ago with a 17:07.16 to finish fourth overall. In the men’s race, junior James Koval led the Mountaineers, touching the wall in 16:10.41 to finish sixth.
Next up was the 50 freestyle. El Merini, the reigning Big 12 Swimmer of the Week, posted a 20.64, good for a third-place finish by 0.16 seconds. Junior Celia Martinez De La Torre led the women with a 25.05 to finish 13th
West Virginia notched a pair of eighth-place finishes in the 100 backstroke. Freshman Julia Miranda led the Mountaineer women, touching the wall in 57.33, leading a tight pack of four swimmers that finished within 0.15 seconds. Sophomore Maggie Miller’s 57.43 was also good for a top-10 finish, in 10th
For the men, it was freshman Luke Hene in eighth with a 52.15, just ahead of El Merini, in ninth with a 52.26.
Harris notched WVU’s second third-place finish thanks to a 2:20.83 in the 200 breaststroke. Freshman Jack Portmann’s 2:08.79 to place 10th led the men
Freshman Ryan Kelly posted a 1:41.75 to finish seventh overall in the 200 freestyle, while he was joined in the top 10 by junior Chris McMahon’s 1:43.82 to place 10th. Skelley added another top-10 finish in the 200 freestyle, touching the wall in ninth with a 1:54.73.
The Mountaineers earned a pair of top-six finishes in the women’s 100 butterfly. Freshman Julia Miranda led the way in fifth with a 56.38, while freshman Morgan Bullock’s 56.48 was good for sixth. For the men, freshman Gabe Swardson led the way with a 51.33 to place 10th.
The final individual swimming event was the 400 individual medley. Freshman Alex Pampalone’s 4:33.85 was sixth, and sophomore Morgan Carr placed ninth with a 4:34.92. For the men, Hene notched his second top-10 finish with a 4:13.34 to place 10th overall.
The two-day event concluded with the 400 freestyle relay. The WVU women notched a sixth-place finish in 3:30.72, while the men came in seventh in their race, in 3:06.00
On springboard on Friday, junior Logan McHenry placed seventh overall on the men’s 1-meter with a 297.00 to lead WVU, while sophomores Julia Calcutt and Madelyn Woods earned top-10 finishes on women’s 3-meter, with a 225.05 and a 215.15 to finish ninth and 10th, respectively.
Saturday, Calcutt added a seventh-place finish on 1-meter with a 239.80, while Woods was 10th with a 227.25. Junior Michael Proietto led the men on 3-meter with 301.00 to finish ninth, while McHenry was 10th with a 298.20.
WVU has a month off of competition before traveling to the three-day N.C. State Invitational in Greensboro, North Carolina, on November 17-19.