CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The 22nd-ranked Duke women opened the season with an impressive showing, downing the Virginia Tech women by a 172-123 score in ACC dual meet action. The Blue Devil men fell to the Hokies, 178.5-121.5.
The women’s squad picked up wins in all but two individual events Saturday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center and the Blue Devil men and women swept all four relays. Duke’s divers registered first-place finishes in three of the four events for the meet.
“It was a great way to get the season started, with a victory for the women,” said head coach Dan Colella. “They came out and won the 200 medley relay and it just didn’t stop from there. They really established a presence early on and maintained it throughout the meet. Really excited for how our freshmen stood up and raced today in their first collegiate meet.”
Several Blue Devil freshmen turned in strong performances in their collegiate debuts, including Easop Lee, who claimed the women’s 200 (1:50.01) and 500-yard freestyle (4:59.39). Fellow rookie Melissa Pish cracked the program’s all-time performance list with a 10:05.19 swim to take the women’s 1,000 freestyle and joined Lee, senior Maddie Hess and junior Alyssa Marsh on the winning 400 freestyle relay (3:23.99). In diving, Maddi Pullinger was first on the one-meter springboard and third in the three-meter competition, with both of her scores placing her on Duke’s all-time top-10 list. Senior Mackenzie Willborn won the three-meter event (316.50).
Freshman Cabell Ann Whitlow added a first-place finish in the women’s 200 butterfly (2:00.57), leading a one-two-three finish by her, junior Kylie Jordan and Lee in the event. Jordan took the same event at the 100-yard distance, garnering an NCAA provisional time standard with a mark of 53.53.
The Blue Devil men and women excelled in the afternoon’s sprint races, with Marsh sweeping the women’s 50 (22.85) and 100 freestyle (50.48) and junior Miles Williams winning the men’s 50 freestyle (20.25). Williams was also second in the men’s 100 butterfly (47.55) and contributed to both of the men’s relay victories.
Other individual event winners on the men’s side included senior Evan Moretti in three-meter diving (391.65), junior Sheldon Boboff in the 200 freestyle (1:40.17), and senior Max St. George in the 100 backstroke (48.41).
“Today was a great start,” Colella said. “From the first meet of the season there are always things to learn and build on. We’re just excited about where we are for this time of the year … Team energy was great. Everyone was really supportive of one another. We’re looking forward to our meet next weekend. It’s going to be a big challenge with the Wolfpack coming to town, but we’ll just go back to work and look to get better and get ready for that meet.”
Duke hosts its first home meet of the season Saturday, Oct. 20, welcoming NC State to Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion for an 11 a.m. ACC dual.
#22 Duke Women 172, Virginia Tech Women 123
Virginia Tech Men 178.5, Duke Men 121.5
Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Maddie Hess, Connie Dean, Alyssa Marsh, Hunter Aitchison (1st), 1:41.59
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Max St. George, Sean Tate, Miles Williams, Yusuke Legard (1st), 1:29.14
Women’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Maddie Hess, Melissa Pish, Alyssa Marsh, Easop Lee (1st), 3:23.99
Men’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Miles Williams, Sheldon Boboff, Max St. George, Yusuke Legard (1st), 3:00.59