CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Senior Christine Wixted broke her own school record in the 200-yard individual medley and classmate Nick McCrory led the field in the men’s 3-meter springboard diving competition as Duke opened action at the 2013 Nike Cup Invitational Thursday at North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium.
The Blue Devil women stand second out of seven teams after one day at the three-day meet with 213 points while the men’s squad is fifth of six teams with a total score of 139.
After surpassing the NCAA provisional time standard during Thursday morning’s 200 IM preliminaries with a 2:00.08 swim, Wixted dropped time in the evening session, tapping the wall at 1:58.60. That performance earned her a first-place finish and a new program record. Freshman Bradley Cline (1:50.42) and senior Hunter Knight (1:50.78) scored for the Duke men in the same event, placing sixth and eighth, respectively.
The women’s 50 freestyle ‘A’ final saw a pair of Blue Devils surpass the NCAA provisional standard in the event as senior Lauren Weaver took third in 22.91 and rookie Maddie Rusch was fourth in 22.92. In the 500 freestyle, freshman Brittany Friese scored in 11th place (4:54.43), as did sophomore Kiera Molloy in 16th (4:59.81), and freshman Kaz Takabayashi paced the men with a 17th-place finish (4:33.50).
McCrory recorded his third win of the season in 3-meter diving, collecting an NCAA Zone Diving Championships qualifying mark and season-best score of 477.65. Freshman Cole Plambeck came in fourth at 353.10 and sophomore Deon Reid took fifth with an award of 350.25. Meanwhile in the women’s 1-meter competition freshman Kirby Quinn surpassed the Zones standard at 268.30 and sophomore Kendall McClenney finished right behind her in fifth at 267.00.
The women’s 200 freestyle relay of Weaver, Rusch, sophomore Chelsea Ye and Wixted placed third at the beginning of the evening with a season-best time of 1:32.18. The Blue Devil men were sixth in the same event, while the women’s 400 medley relay rounded out the night with a third-place performance (3:42.78).
The Nike Cup Invitational continues Friday with preliminaries getting underway at 10 a.m. and finals at 7 p.m. Men’s 1-meter diving and women’s 3-meter diving will take place during the afternoon in Chapel Hill.