DURHAM, N.C. – Duke swimmers kicked off the postseason Friday with the first of three days of competition at the Janis Hape Dowd Carolina College Nike Invitational. Several Blue Devils shined individually and the women’s team earned a first-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay to highlight the first day of action.
Friday’s evening’s events were moved from Chapel Hill to Duke’s Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion following a water emergency that affected much of Orange County. Saturday’s preliminaries and finals will continue at Taishoff as previously scheduled, while Sunday’s events have also been moved from Chapel Hill to Durham as a result of the emergency.
In the first event Friday evening, the women’s and men’s 200 freestyle relays each raced to second-place showings. The men’s quartet of freshman Sheldon Boboff, junior Nick Bigot, senior Kevin Fraser and freshman Noah Stevens posted the Blue Devils’ fourth-fastest mark of the season at 1:21.83 while freshman Kira Page, senior Jessie Sutherland, junior Maria Sheridan and freshman Suzanne Dolan stopped the clock at 1:34.95 in the women’s race.
Sophomore Riley Hickman improved upon his career-best time in the men’s 500 freestyle, going 4:29.96 in an 11th-place finish. On the women’s side, sophomore Brittany Kahn dropped nearly four seconds from her morning swim for ninth overall (5:06.89).
The women’s 200 individual medley saw junior Anna Quinn lead the way in fifth overall (2:05.57) and Susan Hynes (2:06.34) and Colleen Wixted (2:06.80) finish one-two in the consolation final. In the same event on the men’s side, Boboff took fifth in the evening finals after going 1:49.11 in preliminaries for the seventh-fastest mark in program history. The morning session also saw junior Alex Peña come in right behind Boboff for the eighth-fastest time on Duke’s performance list at 1:49.12.
The Blue Devils placed two swimmers in both the women’s and men’s 50 freestyle ‘A’ finals, with Peña taking second overall in a 20.22 performance. That clocking ranked him eighth on the program’s all-time performance list. Bigot was sixth (20.73), as was Sutherland for the women at 23.68. Page came in seventh after notching a season-best 23.49 during preliminaries.
Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Kira Page, Jessie Sutherland, Maria Sheridan, Suzanne Dolan (2nd), 1:34.95
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle Relay: Sheldon Boboff, Nick Bigot, Kevin Fraser, Noah Stevens (2nd), 1:21.83