DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s swimming & diving team was back in action Saturday afternoon, competing in its first home meet of the 2008-09 campaign and earning dual meet victories over Miami and Campbell at the Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion.
The Blue Devils downed Campbell, 132-92, and edged out ACC rival Miami by a score of 129-104 as the squad recorded three pool records on the afternoon and improved to 3-0 on the early season.
“The team looked very good today, and we are excited about the level of competiveness,” said head coach Dan Colella. “Everything from their attention to detail and how they implemented the little things was good to see. There was some great racing and it was good to see that if they were head-to-head with an opponent under the flags down the stretch they were determined to get their hands on the wall first.”
The first of the pool records was set in the 200 medley relay in the day’s opening event, as the team of Meghan Dwyer, Meredith Bannon, Shannon Beall, and Steffi Niessl touched in at 1:44.83 to take first place. Duke took 1-2 in the event, as the team of Katharine Bodnar, Jessica Perry, Elizabeth Bellew, and Kirstie Jeffrey clocked in at 1:49.29 to edge Miami’s first relay team.
Individual pool records were later set by sophomore Ashley Twichell in the 1000 freestyle (9:53.92), as she picked up where she left off from her successful 2007-08 campaign to break her own pool record by nearly four seconds and take first.
Twichell also won the 500 free in 4:54.95 and anchored Duke’s first-place 400 free relay team.
Niessl, a freshman, set a pool record in the 50 freestyle as she won the event in 23.87.
Junior Shannon Beall secured the victory in the 200 butterfly, touching in first with a time of 2:03.90. She was followed by teammate Elizabeth Bellew in second in 2:04.75. Beall also won the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:05.54. Meredith Bannon turned in a strong performance in the 200 breast stroke, clocking the fastest time of 2:19.82.
On the boards, Duke battled the tough Miami diving corps, with freshman Abby Johnston taking second on the one-meter with a score of 288.15. Johnston was third on the three-meter with a 289.28 as the Hurricanes won both events.
“We had great performances all across the board,” said Colella. “We’re excited about the results and with our first ACC meet.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams will return to the pool next weekend to face conference opponents N.C. State and Maryland for a two-day competition. Day one will take place at N.C. State in Raleigh at 5 p.m. next Fri., Oct. 31, followed by day two here at the Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion on Sat., Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.