GREENSBORO, N.C. - Junior Nick McCrory captured the Atlantic Coast Conference title in men's 1-meter springboard diving for the third time in his career and classmate Lauren Weaver earned All-ACC honors in the 50 freestyle to lead Duke on the second day of the 2013 ACC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The Blue Devil women are currently in seventh place with 107 points and trail North Carolina by just six points after the first two days of competition in Greensboro. Virginia leads the field with 309 points, followed by Florida State (177) in second and NC State and Virginia Tech in third (166).
After pacing the field in the 1-meter springboard diving preliminaries, McCrory passed Virginia Tech's Logan Shinholser in the fifth round of the event final to claim the ACC title. McCrory totaled 433.95 points in the final, with his highest-scoring dive coming in the fourth round on a back 2 ½ somersault in the tuck position which earned him a score of 81.00 from the judges. The Chapel Hill, N.C., native has now won the 1-meter conference title three times in his career and owns five ACC titles overall, matching an ACC record for men's diving. McCrory is just one title shy of becoming the most decorated men's diver in the history of the ACC Swimming & Diving Championships.
"I'm happy with the way this went," McCrory said. "It was definitely a tough final, with a lot of competition coming from Logan Shinholser of Virginia Tech. I was really happy with my return to the ACC Championships."
The opening event of Thursday's evening session saw the Blue Devil women set a new program record in a relay event for the third time in as many outings. Junior Lauren Weaver, freshman Chelsea Ye, junior Christine Wixted and freshman Kathryn Eckhart placed fourth out of eight teams in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a mark of 1:30.56, nearly a second faster than the previous school record. The time also surpassed the NCAA provisional standard in the event.
Freshman Kiera Molloy turned in an impressive performance in the 500 freestyle, dropping time from her personal-best showing in the morning preliminaries to finish 19th at 4:54.37. A pair of Blue Devils followed suit in the finals of the 200 IM, as sophomore Ali Horn finished 15th in a personal-best 2:02.08 and classmate Katherine Plevka took 24th with a 2:05.27 clocking. Plevka also grabbed a personal-best time during the event preliminaries at 2:04.87.
Weaver rounded out the evening on a high note, garnering the first All-ACC accolades of her career with a third-place finish in the finals of the 50 freestyle (23.37). The junior from Cincinnati, Ohio also broke her own school record in the event during the morning session, posting a time of 22.27 for an NCAA provisional cut. Meanwhile, Ye competed in the bonus final of the 50 freestyle, taking 22nd at 23.37. The Duke rookie also notched a personal-best time of 23.33 in the event preliminaries.
The morning's events saw several other Blue Devils record personal bests in individual swimming events, with five best times coming in the preliminaries of the 50 freestyle. Eckhart (23.41), junior Kelly Hagerty (23.53), freshman Linsay Cooper (24.07), junior Tricia Leeson (24.11) and senior Cara Vogel (24.34) all registered personal bests in the 50 freestyle while junior Eneka Lamb also collected a best time in the 500 freestyle preliminaries (5:09.77).
Duke also excelled in the preliminaries of the women's 3-meter and men's 1-meter springboard diving events Thursday afternoon. Freshmen Jaimee Gundry (271.25) and Kendall McClenney (268.10) came in 13th and 14th, respectively on the 3-meter board and senior Jordan Long surpassed the NCAA Zone Diving Championships standard at the 1-meter height with a score of 301.55. Long finished 14th in the field of 23 divers, followed by freshman Deon Reid in 15th (296.55) and sophomore Clay Pinckney in 18th (290.50).
"We had a lot of lifetime bests this morning, highlighted by Lauren going 22.2 for a really strong 'B' cut in the 50 free," said head coach Dan Colella. "With her coming back tonight and getting on the podium, we're really proud. We're also very proud of what our divers did today on the boards, especially Nick coming back and winning. It was great to see."
The 2013 ACC Championships continue Friday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. with the preliminaries of the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and the 100 backstroke. The preliminaries of the women's 1-meter and men's 3-meter springboard diving events will be held Friday afternoon, followed by the finals of all individual swimming and diving events and the 400 medley relay.
Team Standings Through Day Two:
2. Florida State
3. NC State
3. Virginia Tech
6. North Carolina
8. Georgia Tech
9. Boston College