WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A thrilling two days of competition between the ACC and the Big Ten conferences came to a close Sunday at the inaugural ACC/Big Ten Challenge, held at Purdue’s Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center.
“There’s no question that for our athletes to be selected to be a part of this was something special,” said head coach Dan Colella. “Because of the pride in representing their conference, people really stood up for this early in the season and we saw some incredibly fast swimming on both sides. We were extremely pleased with the way our Blue Devils competed … For both our swimmers and divers here, it was an awesome experience.”
A number of Blue Devils were back in action for the ACC, beginning with the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay. Junior Alyssa Marsh helped propel the conference’s top relay to a second-place showing (1:35.38), splitting 22.58 on the butterfly leg, while classmate Kylie Jordan came in fifth along with the ACC’s ‘C’ relay (1:39.48). Duke seniors Max St. George and Judd Howard competed on the conference’s ‘C’ relay in the men’s event, taking fifth (1:26.75).
St. George earned a top-four finish in the men’s 100 backstroke, racing to fourth in 46.75 to surpass the NCAA provisional time standard in the event. Marsh also collected an NCAA ‘B’ cut individually, clocking 22.62 for fifth in the women’s 50 freestyle.
Other season-best times included a 55.05 by Howard for sixth in the men’s 100 breaststroke, a 1:48.55 by freshman Easop Lee for seventh in the women’s 200 freestyle and a 2:03.39 by Jordan in the women’s 200 individual medley.
In the final event of the meet, the 400 freestyle relay, Marsh was a member of the third-place team (3:18.63) while Lee anchored a group that took seventh (3:23.85). Junior Miles Williams represented the ACC in the men’s race, coming in fourth with the ‘C’ relay (2:56.12).
“Miles swam very well on all four of those relays this weekend,” Colella said. “Alyssa Marsh had some great performances throughout the course of the meet. Max in the 100 backstroke, to be posting sub-47 seconds right now is just a great indicator of what’s coming in the future.”
The Big Ten men just edged the ACC men, 179-174, in the final team standings while the Big Ten women took home a 251-102 victory.
The Duke swimmers and divers return to action Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at the Tennessee Invitational in Knoxville, Tenn.
Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: ACC ‘A’ – Elise Haan, Marlia Astashkina, Alyssa Marsh, Mallory Comerford (2nd), 1:35.38
Men’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: ACC ‘C’ – Max St. George, Judd Howard, Christian Ferraro, Andrej Barna (5th), 1:26.75
Women’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Easop Lee (7th), 1:48.55
Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Max St. George (4th), 46.75
Men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Judd Howard (6th), 55.05
Women’s 50-Yard Freestyle: Alyssa Marsh (5th), 22.62
Women’s 200-Yard Individual Medley: Kylie Jordan (8th), 2:03.39
Men’s Platform Diving: Nathaniel Hernandez (4th), 362.20
Women’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: ACC ‘B’ – Haibing Wang, Elise Haan, Alyssa Marsh, Emma Terebo (3rd), 3:18.63
Men’s 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: ACC ‘C’ – Giovanni Izzo, Aaron Schultz, Miles Williams, Ted Schubert (4th)¸ 2:56.12