GREENSBORO, N.C. – Senior Nick McCrory claimed the third ACC 3-meter springboard diving title of his career and sprints specialist Lauren Weaver earned All-ACC honors in the 50-yard freestyle for the second-straight year to pace Duke on the second day of the 2014 ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Thursday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
On the day, the Blue Devils earned two podium finishes, broke one conference and three school records, clocked four NCAA provisional-qualifying times and posted two NCAA Zone Diving Championships qualifying marks.
Weaver, freshman Maddie Rusch, sophomore Kathryn Eckhart and sophomore Chelsea Ye started off the evening in record-setting fashion, breaking the previous program mark in the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:30.01 clocking to finish fifth. The performance was good for an NCAA ‘B’ cut and gave the Duke women their third school record in a relay in as many swims.
McCrory, who led the field with a score of 493.90 in the men’s 3-meter preliminary round, smashed his own conference and school record with a dominant outing in the final. He was second halfway through his finals list but closed out with three dives of 3.4 difficulty or higher to capture the ACC title in the event for the second consecutive year and third time in his career. A product of Chapel Hill, N.C., McCrory earned three 9.5’s in the fourth round on a reverse 3 ½ somersault in the tuck position to propel him to an overall award of 531.00. Already the most decorated diver – male or female – in the history of the ACC, he now has eight ACC diving crowns for his career.
“For Nick to come in and destroy his records again and once again win the 3-meter, it just speaks volumes,” said head coach Dan Colella. “He’s one of those really special athletes that everybody’s watching. He put on a show tonight.”
The 500 freestyle saw freshman Lindsay Schlichte drop time from her morning swim to touch at 4:52.49 in the bonus final. The Garden City, N.Y., native placed 20th overall in the event while notching a season-best time. Senior Christine Wixted followed with a 20th-place finish in the 200 IM, collecting an NCAA ‘B’ cut at 2:00.54.
The Blue Devil women placed four swimmers in the finals of the 50 freestyle, led by Weaver in the championship final. Seeded fourth after the preliminaries, Weaver tapped the wall third to collect the second All-ACC honors of her career and break her own school record in the process with a 22.19 showing. Both Weaver and Rusch, who came in 14th in a personal-best 22.70, also registered NCAA ‘B’ cuts. Ye and Eckhart grabbed a pair of personal bests in the preliminary heats before scoring for Duke in 23rd (23.33) and 24th (23.46), respectively, in the bonus final.
“It was a goal going in that Lauren wanted to be back on the podium,” Colella said. “In the 50 free, if one little thing is off, whether it’s the start, the turn or the finish, it can be the difference between gold, silver and bronze … For her to repeat as the bronze medalist and to be faster and break the school record was a proud moment for Duke swimming.”
In the women’s 1-meter springboard preliminaries Thursday afternoon, freshman Kirby Quinn placed 21st with a score of 252.15 in her ACC Championship debut. Sophomore Jaimee Gundry was 24th with 250.65 points and classmate Kendall McClenney totaled 245.30 points to come in 28th.
“We’re really excited about today’s performances and the exciting news is that the next two days we have a lot more opportunities,” Colella said. “I think our better events are in the next two days, so it should be great.”
The Duke women are seventh out of 12 teams after two days of competition in Greensboro with a total of 202 points. Virginia continues to lead the field with 516 points while NC State (362) is in second and Florida State (357) third.
The ACC Championship continues Friday in Greensboro with the preliminaries and finals of the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke as well as women’s 3-meter and men’s 1-meter diving. Live results will be available for preliminaries at 11 a.m. and finals at 7 p.m., while live video will be streamed for Friday night’s action.
ACC Women's Championship - Team Standings Through Day Two
|2. NC State||362|
|3. Florida State||357|
|4. North Carolina||346|
|5. Virginia Tech||273|
|6. Notre Dame||264.5|
|10. Georgia Tech||174.5|
|11. Boston College||98|