MINNEAPOLIS – Blue Devil swimmers represented the program in three different events Friday on the second day of action at the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Duke women put a relay on the blocks for the second-straight day in Minneapolis, as freshman Jessie Sutherland, senior Christine Wixted, freshman Maddie Rusch and senior Lauren Weaver opened the day with the 200-yard medley relay trials. The group earned automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship with a program-record breaking time of 1:37.75 at last month’s ACC Championship. Friday morning’s race saw the Blue Devils touch at 1:39.72 to collect the program’s second-fastest mark of the season and place 28th out of 29 relays.
Weaver then returned to the pool for her second individual event of the championship meet, the 100 butterfly. The program record holder in the event with a 53.18 clocking at the ACC Championship, Weaver turned in a time of 54.33 during Friday’s trials to come in 56th.
Wixted rounded out the day with an impressive swim in the 100 breaststroke trials. A two-time All-ACC performer in the event, Wixted tapped the wall at 1:00.20 to finish 18th in the field of 49 swimmers, just missing a spot in Friday evening’s finals. Her 18th-place showing marked a 20-spot jump from last year’s 100 breaststroke preliminaries at NCAAs.
“Christine had a great swim this morning,” said head coach Dan Colella. “It was definitely one of her top morning prelims swims. She was just shy of making it back tonight. Hopefully that will give her the determination to get back tomorrow night. She definitely has an opportunity in the 200 breaststroke.”
The 2014 NCAA Championship concludes Saturday, March 22 with the preliminaries and finals of the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 400 freestyle relay and platform diving. Live results and live video will be available for both sessions, with the evening finals scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Seniors Weaver and Wixted will both have a chance to compete in one more event individually Saturday, as Weaver competes in the 100 freestyle and Wixted in the 200 breaststroke.