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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Maddie Hess
Relay Records Fall on Opening Night at ACCs
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/20/2019
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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Blue Devils broke two program records and placed three divers in championship finals on day one at the ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Through the first evening of competition, the Duke women sit fourth in the team standings behind Florida State (174), Virginia (173) and Louisville (156) with 146 points.

Duke started off events in the pool with a statement, moving up two spots from last year’s showing for fifth in the 200-yard medley relay. Senior Maddie Hess, sophomore Halle Morris, junior Alyssa Marsh and senior Hunter Aitchison took down the previous school record with a mark of 1:36.77.

Duke made it two-for-two on school records a little while later in the 800 freestyle relay. Freshman Melissa Pish was just off her school record pace, leading off with a 1:45.48 split. Hess, freshman Easop Lee and junior Kylie Jordan followed as the group went 7:05.52 for another fifth-place finish.

Senior Mackenzie Willborn qualified for the women’s three-meter springboard diving final for a second-straight year after posting the third-highest mark in preliminaries. She went on to take fifth in the championship final for a career-best finish at the conference meet. Adding points for the Blue Devils in the event with top-24 finishes were senior Lizzie Fitzpatrick, freshman Maddi Pullinger and junior Jaina Gaudette.  

Men’s diving events also got underway Wednesday in Greensboro, with a pair of Blue Devils earning spots in the one-meter springboard final. Junior Nathaniel Hernandez came in sixth (337.05) and senior Evan Moretti seventh (308.90). Freshman Harel Anolick also scored with a 19th-place finish (260.10) in his ACC Championships debut.

Thursday features a full day of action in Greensboro beginning with swimming preliminaries at 10 a.m. Diving preliminaries are set for 12 p.m., followed by finals at 6 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.

Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Women’s Three-Meter Diving:
Mackenzie Willborn (5th), 311.55

Women’s 200-Yard Medley Relay: Maddie Hess, Halle Morris, Alyssa Marsh, Hunter Aitchison (5th), 1:36.77

Women’s 800-Yard Freestyle Relay: Melissa Pish, Maddie Hess, Easop Lee, Kylie Jordan (5th), 7:05.52

Men’s One-Meter Diving: Nathaniel Hernandez (6th), 337.05