DURHAM, N.C. – Less than 24 hours after opening ACC competition against NC State and the Miami women, the Duke swimmers returned to the water to host William & Mary in a dual meet Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion. The Blue Devil women (3-1, 1-1 ACC) earned a 162-100 victory over the Tribe while the Duke men (2-1, 0-1 ACC) topped their opponent by a 144-118 score in the 2013-14 home opener.
“When we have the opportunity to have competitions back-to-back like that, it’s really simulating what we’re going to do when we get to the conference championship,” said head coach Dan Colella. “They’re going to have to swim incredibly hard for four days, so when we’re presented with an opportunity like this to race on a Friday night and turn around Saturday morning and do it again, it’s something that they’ll learn from.”
The Blue Devils started the morning with a strong statement, winning the men’s and women’s 200-yard medley relay events with a pair of season-best times. In the women’s race, junior Megan McCarroll, senior Christine Wixted, senior Lauren Weaver and freshman Maddie Rusch clocked 1:42.83 while the men’s team of freshman Joey Maginnis, senior Hunter Knight, freshman Dylan Payne and freshman James Peek combined for a mark of 1:31.71.
Individually, Hunter Knight paced the men’s squad with three first-place finishes. The Richmond, Va., native broke his own pool record in the 100 breaststroke with a 55.42 swim and took the 200-yard race with a 2:04.28 clocking. Knight also won the 200 IM later in the meet, tapping the wall at 1:53.05.
A trio of Blue Devils swept the top three places in the women’s breaststroke events, as Christine Wixted was first, graduate student Emily Barber second and freshman Ashleigh Shanley third in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Shanley also was third in the 200 IM (2:09.61) behind teammates Kiera Molloy (2:08.06) and Liza Bragg (2:09.57).
Duke’s distance swimmers had a solid outing against the Tribe, led by Lindsay Schlichte’s win in the 1,000 freestyle in a season-best 10:28.73. The freshman from Garden City, N.Y., took second in the 500 freestyle (5:07.42) while fellow rookie Brittany Friese was first at 5:06.55. On the men’s side, freshman Bradley Cline notched a season-best mark of 4:40.04 to claim first in the 500 freestyle and added a first-place performance in the 200 freestyle at 1:40.40.
Other double winners on the day included freshman Kaz Takabayashi in the 100 and 200 butterfly and Rusch in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly. McCarroll also earned a first-place finish in the 100 backstroke at 56.70. Rusch, sophomore Chelsea Ye, senior Kelly Hagerty and Weaver solidified the win at the end of the meet with a first-place performance in the 400 freestyle relay (3:27.16).
“We challenged the men and women to raise the bar and they did just that,” Colella said. “It was just a really great effort last night, and we knew going into this morning that William & Mary was going to be ready to race and they absolutely brought their ‘A’ game today. It turned out to be an incredible meet.”
The Blue Devil swimmers and divers wrap up the fall portion of their slate Nov. 21-23 at the Nike Cup Invitational in nearby Chapel Hill, N.C.