DURHAM, N.C. – Following an ACC dual meet Friday evening against nationally-ranked Virginia, the Duke women’s swimming and diving team returned to the pool in strong form Saturday afternoon, defeating the Richmond women by a score of 160-131. With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 4-3 overall heading into next weekend’s regular season finale against North Carolina.
On the day, Duke totaled wins in eight individual events and took first in both relays.
“Credit goes to the ladies on having great energy and determination,” said head coach Dan Colella. “From start to finish, they were just really engaged and did an absolutely great job today … I was very proud of the way they came in and were able to perform this afternoon after swimming the way they did last night.”
Freshman Brittany Friese paced the squad individually with first-place finishes in the 200-yard butterfly (2:04.39) and the 500 freestyle (5:07.76). Fellow rookie Jessie Sutherland led a one-two-three-four finish for the Blue Devils in the 100 backstroke, touching first at 57.13 with sophomore Megan McCarroll taking second (57.85), graduate student Francesca Tocci third (57.92) and sophomore Kathryn Eckhart fourth (58.27).
The Blue Devil sprinters had another impressive outing Saturday, sweeping the top three spots in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Senior Lauren Weaver won the 50-yard race with a 23.46 clocking, followed by sophomore Chelsea Ye (24.21) and senior Kelly Hagerty (24.32). Ye and Hagerty were also second and third, respectively, at the 100-yard distance, with freshman Maddie Rusch taking first at 51.83. Senior Christine added a win in the 200 breaststroke, while graduate student Emily Barber was second in the 100 breaststroke.
In diving, freshman Kirby Quinn collected her second win of the season on the 3-meter springboard, earning a personal-best award of 333.15. Sophomore Kendall McClenney came in second with 275.70 points, and was also second on the 1-meter board at 263.40.
After edging the Cavaliers Friday night in the 200 freestyle relay, the Duke women had more success in the relay events Saturday against the Spiders. The Blue Devils swept the top two places in the 200 medley relay, with Sutherland, Wixted, Rusch and Weaver placing first at 1:43.51 and McCarroll, Barber, sophomore Linsay Cooper and Ye following in second at 1:45.33.
The final event of the day saw the team of Rusch, Ye, Sutherland and Weaver combine for a time of 1:33.80 to win the 400 freestyle relay as well.
“We knew that we had to come in hard for the Spiders,” Ye said. “With all of us combined, it was really easy to get pumped and ready to race.”
The Duke men and women will be back in Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion next weekend, hosting North Carolina in the Blue Devils’ regular season dual meet finale Saturday, Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. The program will honor its senior class prior to the beginning of the meet.