CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A number of best times and one school record highlighted the final day of competition for Duke swimmers at the Janis Hape Dowd Nike Invitational Sunday at North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium.
“For those who swam the entire meet this weekend, we had some really great performances – a number of lifetime bests and big drops,” said head coach Dan Colella. “People are very excited about how they’ve performed. Like we always say, you put in the work, it’s going to be there at the end of the season."
The Blue Devils opened the evening session with a pair of first-place finishes in the mile. Sophomore Zach Washart turned in a career-best mark of 15:30.29, good for the seventh-fastest in program history, while freshman Shae Nicolaisen clocked 17:10.79 on the women’s side.
Junior Kira Page added a victory in the women’s 100-yard freestyle (51.69) and freshman John Day was fifth after recording a best time of 47.05 during preliminaries. Another Blue Devil rookie, Henry Wu, dropped time from his season-best swim in preliminaries to win the men’s 200 breaststroke at 2:00.84. Freshman Colson Zucker posted a best time of 2:03.02 in the 200 breaststroke preliminaries before adding a best time in a 100 freestyle time trial Sunday evening (46.06).
Duke closed out the evening with a one-two finish by sophomore Carly Perri and freshman Rachel Peroni in the women’s 200 butterfly. Perri’s time of 1:58.29 ranked top five on the program’s all-time performance list and Peroni’s mark of 2:01.04 was good for a season best.
A Duke record went down for the second consecutive day as senior Maddie Hess bested her own program record in the women’s 200 backstroke during morning preliminaries. The Brandon, Fla., native stopped the clock at 1:53.86 for the top time of the day in the event. Junior Kylie Jordan had the top mark of the morning in the 200 butterfly, going 1:57.33 for the third-fastest clocking in school history.
“We saw several school records get broken,” Colella said. “Yesterday the [100 butterfly] school record by Kylie – that was a pretty special swim … We’re really, really excited about the upcoming conference and NCAA championships. It’s been one of those seasons where people have done a terrific job. It’s been consistent day in and day out. Now we’re just starting to see all the work come through. It’s exciting to watch.”
Championship season comes next for the Blue Devils, with the program’s divers and women’s swimmers headed to Greensboro, N.C., for the ACC Championships Feb. 20-23.
Men’s 200-Yard Breaststroke: Henry Wu (1st), 2:00.84
Women’s 200-Yard Butterfly: Carly Perri (1st), 1:58.29