GREENSBORO, N.C. - Junior Nick McCrory matched an Atlantic Coast Conference record by winning the sixth diving title of his career and junior Christine Wixted earned All-ACC honors for the second consecutive season on the third day of competition at the 2013 ACC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. The Blue Devils closed out Friday's action at the Greensboro Aquatic Center with six new program records, one conference record and a number of personal-best performances.
McCrory made history Friday evening in the men's 3-meter springboard diving finals, winning his sixth ACC diving title to become the most decorated male diver in the history of the conference. He broke his own conference and school record in the event with a total score of 498.60, capturing the ACC title on the 3-meter board for the second time in his career. McCrory is now tied with NC State's Allyson Reid (1979-81) for the most individual championships by a diver in ACC history and will have an opportunity to take sole possession of the record Saturday when he competes on the 10-meter platform.
"Tonight, I just had a great time," McCrory said. "I was getting some pressure put on by [Virginia Tech's] Logan [Shinholser] again, so it was a fun competition. I'm just glad to be representing Duke."
Senior Jordan Long joined McCrory in the 3-meter final, totaling 355.95 points to place eighth. Freshman Deon Reid (10th) and sophomore Clay Pinckney (12th) also scored for Duke with their performances in the preliminary round, while freshman Kendall McClenney earned points for the Blue Devil women after taking 14th in the preliminary round of the women's 1-meter springboard competition.
"All four of our men scored and our upperclassmen, Nick and Jordan, got into the final and their experience really showed," said diving coach Drew Johansen. "The freshman girls did great as well. We're really looking forward to platform tomorrow."
Program records also continued to fall in the pool, as the 400-yard medley relay team of sophomore Megan McCarroll, junior Emily Barber, sophomore Ali Horn and junior Lauren Weaver recorded a time of 3:40.54 in the first event of the evening session. That mark bested the record set at last year's ACC Championships and earned the relay a seventh-place finish. The Duke women have set a new school record in every relay event so far with one day of competition remaining.
Freshman Kiera Molloy broke the school record in the 400 IM twice Friday while racing to an 11th-place finish in the conference. The morning session saw Molloy best the oldest remaining program record on the women's side, as her preliminaries time of 4:20.53 surpassed Amy Halligan's mark of 4:21.19, which was set in 2004. Molloy then went 4:19.76 in the event consolation final for another program record.
Fellow rookie Meghan Price also represented Duke in the 400 IM, touching at 4:36.37 in the bonus final to place 22nd. Price earned a personal-best in the event preliminaries with a 4:35.69 swim.
In the finals of the 100 butterfly, Horn matched her personal-best time from the morning preliminaries and earned an NCAA provisional cut at 54.43 to come in 10th overall. Freshman Linsay Cooper competed in the bonus final of the same event, finishing 17th with a mark of 55.75 after turning in a personal-best 55.57 performance during the morning session.
The Blue Devils had another strong showing by a freshman swimmer in the finals of the 200 freestyle, as Chelsea Ye finished 18th at 1:49.35. Meanwhile, junior Kelly Hagerty turned in a personal-best 1:50.74 to come in 23rd.
Wixted took home All-ACC accolades for the second straight year in the 100 breaststroke, moving up one spot from a year ago to place second at 1:00.49. Her NCAA provisional qualifying time of 59.95 in the event preliminaries was just .14 seconds off of the conference record in the event and demolished her own program record by over a second.
"She got a bronze last year, a silver this year, set a school record with a 59.9 this morning," said head coach Dan Colella. "We're incredibly proud of her and what she accomplished."
Junior Emily Barber also scored for Duke with a 12th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke at 1:02.95 and sophomore Katherine Plevka tapped the wall in a personal-best 1:03.43 in the bonus final to come in 18th.
The Blue Devils rounded out the evening with a pair of strong swims in the 100 backstroke, led by McCarroll's 12th-place showing at 54.49. A native of Portland, Ore., she also broke her own school record and collected an NCAA 'B' cut with a 54.24 showing Friday morning. Joining McCarroll in the 100 backstroke final was Kathryn Eckhart, who took 21st in a personal-best 55.81.
Other personal-best performances on the day included junior Eneka Lamb's (1:53.53) preliminary swim in the 200 freestyle and a 1:00.27 clocking by junior Tricia Leeson in the preliminaries of the 100 backstroke.
"The whole group has just really been on fire," Colella said. "They're getting really excited, and it's always nice when you see the hard work pay off at the end. The freshmen have been terrific - it's been a great learning experience for them. With each session they're getting a little more competitive. We have one more day and we're looking forward to it."
The Duke women are in seventh place with 174 points through three days of swimming and diving events. Virginia continues to lead the field with 560 points, while Virginia Tech (348) and Florida State (340) are in a tight competition for second place.
The 2013 ACC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships conclude Saturday, Feb. 23 with the preliminaries and finals of the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 1,650 freestyle, the men's and women's platform diving events and the final of the 400 freestyle relay. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. with diving slated for the afternoon and finals for 7 p.m.
Team Standings Through Day Three
2. Virginia Tech
3. Florida State
4. NC State
6. North Carolina
8. Georgia Tech
9. Boston College