CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Duke men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams each suffered setbacks Sunday afternoon in a road dual meet at ACC rival Virginia’s Aquatic & Fitness Center. Both UVA squads are nationally ranked, with the Cavalier women tabbed 11th and the men 13th in the Collegeswimming.com poll, and each are the defending ACC champions.
The Duke women fell 163-123 to drop to 7-2 (3-1 ACC) while the men were outscored 169-126 and are now 5-2 (1-2 ACC) on the season. Virginia improved to 7-1 on the women’s side and 7-2 on the men’s with the double victory. Both UVA squads are now atop the conference standings heading into the final weekend of dual meet action.
Despite the losses, the Blue Devils watched two school records fall, in addition to over 20 season-best times and several lifetime best swims set on the day. There was also an NCAA 'B' standard set in Charlottesville.
“We knew going into the weekend that anytime you swim against ranked programs like these, your hopes are to swim them tough so that it brings out the best in you,” said head coach Dan Colella. “We definitely had some individuals who stepped up and did a great job today.”
The highlight of the afternoon for the Blue Devils was the school-record setting performance of freshman Nathan French, whose 1650 time of 15:40.34 broke Duke’s 11-year-old record in the event. French was first overall, besting UVA’s top finisher by nearly eight seconds. He also broke the Duke record in the 1000 free on his way, splitting 9:25.51 to break the old school record of 9:29.19 set last season.
It was also a strong day for the Blue Devil divers, as the women went 1-2-3-4 in both the one- and three-meter events and the men took first-place in both as well. Freshman Abby Johnston won both events with a pair of NCAA Zone qualifying marks as she scored 313.57 on the one-meter and 314.32 on the three-meter board. Cody Kolodziejzyk won the men’s one-meter with an NCAA qualifying 320.40 and Shawn Hoffman took first in the three-meter with a 313.88, a season-best.
Next up for the Blue Devils will be a pair of ACC dual meets next weekend as Duke travels down the road to face ranked North Carolina on Friday evening, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m., before returning home to host Clemson at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31 at Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion. The meets will round out Duke’s dual meet schedule as Saturday will serve as senior day for the program’s nine seniors.
“We are looking forward to next weekend’s final dual meets,” said Colella. “They should be exciting ones against our rivals UNC and Clemson.”
The ACC Championships will be held Feb. 18-21 for the women and Feb. 25-28 for the men.