GREENSBORO, N.C. – Blue Devil senior Max St. George took down the program record in the 100-yard backstroke twice and was joined in qualifying for an event championship final by fellow senior Judd Howard Friday at the ACC Championships.
Howard and St. George were two of seven Blue Devils to earn individual finals swims, highlighting a busy third day of competition at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Duke heads into the final day of action seventh in the team standings with 450 points.
“Another great evening of swims by the Blue Devils,” said head coach Dan Colella. “Sheldon Boboff got the evening off to a great start, winning his heat from lane one. We challenge the guys to really trust themselves and push the envelope more than this morning and they did that with great results. Max capped off the evening leading off the 400 medley relay with another school record.”
After junior Sheldon Boboff kicked off the evening session in exciting fashion by winning the 200 freestyle bonus final (1:35.12), fellow junior Miles Williams raced to a third-place showing in the consolation final (1:34.89). Both Blue Devils dropped time from their morning performances, with Boboff moving up to second on the program’s all-time performance list in the event behind only Williams.
Duke placed a swimmer in each of the 100 breaststroke finals, led by Howard in the event championship final. The senior from Irvine, Calif., earned a career-best finish in fifth (52.79) after clocking 52.70 during preliminaries for the third-fastest mark in school history. Senior Sean Tate was second in the consolation final (53.24) and sophomore Adam Zimmer third in the bonus final (54.13) with both Blue Devils also improving on their career-best times during the course of the day.
St. George reached the 100 backstroke championship final for the first time in his career, coming in seventh (46.28). Sophomore Nathaniel Hartley checked in with a 19th-place finish and a best time of 47.35, and was also the Blue Devils’ top performer in the 100 butterfly preliminaries.
Following a record-breaking performance in the 100 backstroke preliminaries, St. George lowered his own program record in the event again Friday evening as the leadoff swimmer on Duke’s 400 medley relay. The Wheaton, Ill., native turned in a split of 45.76 and was followed by relay teammates Howard, Hartley and senior Yusuke Legard in a sixth-place showing for the group (3:08.93).
The 400 individual medley preliminaries saw freshman Everett Werner notch the second-fastest mark in school history at 3:52.65, good for 29th in the field.
The ACC Championships reach their conclusion Saturday in Greensboro with the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and the 400 freestyle relay. Preliminaries kick off at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.
1) NC State 919.5 2) Louisville 784 3) Virginia 695 4) Florida State 572.5 5) Virginia Tech 545.5 6) Notre Dame 473 7) Duke 450 8) Pitt 371 9) Georgia Tech 360 10) North Carolina 282. 5 11) Boston College 111 12) Miami 101
Top Duke Finishers by Event:
Men’s 100-Yard Butterfly: Nathaniel Hartley (32nd), 48.08
Men’s 400-Yard Individual Medley: Everett Werner (29th), 3:52.65
Men’s 200-Yard Freestyle: Miles Williams (11th), 1:34.89
Men’s 100-Yard Breaststroke: Judd Howard (5th), 52.79
Men’s 100-Yard Backstroke: Max St. George (7th), 46.28