DURHAM, N.C. – Seven Blue Devil swimmers received invitations to the 2018 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships March 14-17 in Columbus, Ohio, as announced by the NCAA Wednesday. In addition to the individual qualifiers, Duke also qualified three relays to the NCAA meet.
Senior Leah Goldman was selected to the NCAA field for the fourth consecutive season and classmate Isabella Paez and junior Maddie Hess for the third time in their respective careers. Senior Verity Abel and sophomore Alyssa Marsh earned their second NCAA invitations while senior Lizzie Devitt and sophomore Kylie Jordan were both first-time qualifiers.
Goldman received her fourth-straight NCAA selection in the 100-yard butterfly, an event in which she garnered All-ACC honors for a third time this year at the ACC Championships. In Greensboro, she went 51.46 to break her own program record and touch second overall. That time ranks her 13th on the NCAA official psych sheet. Goldman finished 18th in the event at last year’s NCAA Championships.
A native of Burlingame, Calif., Goldman was also invited to NCAAs with a mark of 1:55.67 in the 200 individual medley, clocked at the ACC Championships. That performance saw her capture the ACC title from lane one and break her own school record in the process. Goldman will head to Columbus ranked 19th in that event. She is also eligible to compete in the 100 freestyle with an NCAA ‘B’ cut of 49.59.
Goldman will be joined in the 100 butterfly by teammates Jordan (52.03) and Marsh (52.10), who rank 25th and 28th, respectively, on the psych sheet. Jordan was fourth and Marsh tied for 11th in the event at ACCs. This season, Jordan has notched additional ‘B’ cuts in the 200 butterfly (1:57.50) and the 200 individual medley (1:59.95), as has Marsh in the 50 (22.35) and 100 (48.63) freestyle.
Paez received an invitation in her marquee event, the 200 butterfly. The Blue Devil senior took fourth in the ACC championship final after breaking the program record in the event earlier this month at the Janis Hape Dowd Carolina College Nike Invitational. Her 1:54.93 mark in that showing seeds Paez 19th in the country. She also ranks 45th in the 100 butterfly with a ‘B’ cut of 52.79.
Abel is seeded 21st in the 1,650 freestyle with a time of 16:04.66, recorded last weekend at the Liberty Last Chance Invitational. She has also collected ‘B’ cuts this season in the 200 (1:45.94) and 500 (4:43.08) freestyle.
Hess qualified for NCAAs as an individual after representing the Blue Devils on relays at each of the past two national meets. She is coming off of a pair of championship finals appearances in the 100 and 200 backstroke at ACCs and reset the school record in the 100 backstroke last weekend with a 52.38 clocking that seeds her 30th. The junior from Brandon, Fla., is also eligible to compete in the 50 freestyle (22.45) and the 200 backstroke (1:54.24).
Devitt secured her trip to Columbus with a mark of 4:09.58 in the 400 individual medley at the conference championship. That placed her fifth in the ACC and ranks her 35th heading into NCAAs. Devitt has also recorded ‘B’ cuts in the 200 backstroke (1:58.18) and the 200 individual medley (1:58.30) this year.
Duke qualified its 400 freestyle (3:16.50) and 200 (1:37.31) and 400 (3:33.81) medley relays to nationals.
Additionally, freshman Connie Dean is listed as the fifth alternate for the NCAA Championships with a ‘B’ cut of 4:09.79 in the 400 individual medley. Duke will also await the results of next week’s NCAA Zone B Diving Championships to round out the potential NCAA roster.