CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Blue Devil swimmers returned to action for the first time in 2018 Friday evening, taking on the reigning NCAA Division II national champions in Queens University of Charlotte. The Duke teams split action with the Royals, as the women came away with a 158-103 victory and the men were defeated by a narrow 139-123 margin.
“This was one of the closest meets we’ve swum in quite some time on the men’s side,” said head coach Dan Colella. “We’re really proud of the way the guys stood up and raced. Our congratulations to Queens on a meet really well swum. We saw some really great performances from both teams. Just a really exciting meet from start to finish. It went down to the last relay and the score hung within a few points throughout the evening. The energy on the sidelines was an all-time high. It was a great way to kick off the semester.”
Dean swept the breaststroke events, taking the 100-yard race at 1:04.00 for a season-best mark and followed up that performance with a 2:18.85 clocking in the 200 breaststroke. Abel claimed the 500 (4:59.27) and 1,000 freestyle (10:06.53) and Goldman led the way for Duke in the 100 freestyle (50.60) and 100 butterfly (54.87). Devitt added first-places finishes in the 200 backstroke (2:00.81) and the 200 individual medley (2:02.73).
Junior Maddie Hess, Dean, senior Isabella Paez and Goldman teamed up to take the opening event of the meet, going 1:43.15 in the 200 medley relay. Hess went on to finish first in the 100 backstroke (55.58), as did Paez in the 200 butterfly (2:00.27).
“The women came in and did some great racing,” Colella said. “Coming off of two weeks of holiday training, we are really pleased with the way they competed. We had a number of season-best dual meet swims.”
The Blue Devil men received contributions from a variety of swimmers, beginning with senior Matt Johnson, who won the 1,000 freestyle in 9:27.82 to kick off the individual events. Sophomores Miles Williams and Sheldon Boboff went one-two in the 200 freestyle before junior Yusuke Legard was first to the wall in the 50 freestyle (20.48).
Duke’s swimmers and divers return to competition in two weeks when the program hosts North Carolina Saturday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. in Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion. The Blue Devils will honor the team’s senior class prior to the start of the dual meet.
Duke Women 158, Queens University of Charlotte Women 103
Queens University of Charlotte Men 139, Duke Men 123
Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Maddie Hess, Connie Dean, Isabella Paez, Leah Goldman (1st), 1:43.15
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Max St. George, Judd Howard, Miles Williams, Alex Peña (2nd), 1:29.66