GREENSBORO, N.C. – Blue Devil senior Leah Goldman earned a spot on the podium for the second straight evening at the ACC Championships, taking second in the 100-yard butterfly championship final Friday evening at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The Duke women placed four swimmers and one diver in championship finals to move up one spot to fifth in the team standings (539.5 points) entering the final day of competition. The Blue Devils also featured six program record-breaking performances and had 10 total student-athletes qualify for Friday evening’s finals session.
“This may have been one of our best evenings," said head coach Dan Colella. "It started with the 100 fly, to have four people back in finals and to see Leah back on the podium again this year was awesome. It was the fuel that just really ignited everybody swimming the way they did. The 400 IMers, to make the drops that they did – Connie Dean, Lizzie Devitt – those were huge drops for them. 100 breaststroke, Susan Hynes, to win the ‘C’ final from lane eight. That again just pumped everyone up. Just a really fun, exciting night to be a Duke swimmer or diver.”
A day after claiming the conference title in the 200 individual medley, Goldman collected All-ACC honors in the 100 butterfly for the third time in her career after previously doing so as a freshman and junior. Her 51.46 finals clocking reset her own school record of 51.62. Goldman became just the second swimmer in women’s program history to garner all-conference accolades three or more times in the same event, joining 2011 graduate Ashley Twichell, who did so four times in the 1,650 freestyle.
Sophomore Kylie Jordan also represented the Blue Devils in the 100 butterfly championship final, coming in fourth at 52.61 to match her career-best performance from preliminaries. Sophomore Alyssa Marsh and senior Isabella Paez rounded out a strong showing for Duke in the 100 butterfly finals, tying for 11th at 52.79.
The Blue Devils saw the school record in the 400 individual medley fall three times Friday, with senior Lizzie Devitt first lowering the previous benchmark with a 4:10.39 showing in preliminaries. Freshman Connie Dean broke the record again in the event consolation final, finishing second in the heat and 10th overall at 4:09.79. Devitt then reclaimed the program record in the championship final, tapping the wall at 4:09.58 for fifth overall – a career-best finish for the senior from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Verity Abel then continued the impressive conference championship performance by Duke’s senior class, posting a pair of career-best swims in the 200 freestyle. Abel went 1:46.17 in preliminaries to secure a spot in the event consolation final before breaking the school record during the evening session at 1:45.94. That placed her 14th in the field.
Junior Susan Hynes kept the momentum rolling in the 100 breaststroke finals, shaving time off her preliminaries swim to win the bonus final. Her time of 1:01.34 was good for the second-fastest in program history and an NCAA 'B' cut.
In the 100 backstroke, junior Maddie Hess advanced to the championship final where she placed seventh overall at 53.00.
The women’s three-meter springboard diving event saw junior Mackenzie Willborn garner her second top-eight finish of the week. She rounded out her finals list with an award of 274.00 to come in eighth overall. Junior Lizzie Fitzpatrick (281.15), sophomore Jaina Gaudette (242.95) and freshman Ellie Winslow (237.95) also added to the Blue Devils’ point total by placing ninth, 21st and 22nd, respectively, in preliminaries.
In the final event of the evening, Marsh, Hynes, Jordan and Goldman combined for a ninth-place finish in the 400 medley relay, breaking the school record with a time of 3:35.64.
The Women’s ACC Championships reach their conclusion Saturday in Greensboro, with the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, men’s and women’s platform diving and the 400 freestyle relay all on tap. The finals session will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra and live results will also be available.
1) Virginia 866.5 2) Louisville 774.5 3) North Carolina 677 4) NC State 570 5) Duke 539.5 6) Notre Dame 519.5 7) Virginia Tech 473.5 8) Florida State 412.5 9) Pitt 346 10) Miami 255 11) Georgia Tech 235 12) Boston College 90
Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s Three-Meter Diving: Mackenzie Willborn (8th), 274.00
Women’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Leah Goldman (2nd), 51.46
Women’s 400-Yard Individual Medley: Lizzie Devitt (5th), 4:09.58
Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Verity Abel (14th), 1:45.94
Women’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Susan Hynes (17th), 1:01.34
Women’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Maddie Hess (7th), 53.00