CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Duke men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams were downed by No. 14 North Carolina on the road Friday evening in Koury Natatorium. The women were outscored 169-123 to fall to 7-3 (3-2 ACC) and the men lost 182-101 and are now 5-3 (1-3 ACC) with one dual meet remaining in the regular season. UNC marked the second consecutive ranked opponent on the Blue Devils' slate, as they faced No. 13 Virginia last weekend.
The losses cost Duke a pair of Carlyle Cup points as North Carolina picked up one on each side to build its lead to 8.5-2.5 in the year-long clash between the local rivals. The Carlyle Cup is sponsored by Carlyle & Co. of Greensboro, N.C.
“We set up this weekend [with back-to-back meets] as another opportunity to have a dress rehearsal for the ACC and NCAA Championships – to get to see what we have to do to be competitive, then come back and swim fast the next day,” said head coach Dan Colella. “We had several season-best swims today, and it was nice to close out with the men’s 200 free relay winning – that gave us a nice high note – and everybody is looking forward to coming back tomorrow against Clemson.”
The Blue Devils’ best performance of the evening came on the diving boards as freshman Abby Johnston continued her stellar rookie season by winning both the one- and three-meter events on the night. In the three-meter, Johnston led a Blue Devil 1-3-4 finish with a season-high 395.25, an NCAA Zone qualifier and a season-high score by 29 points and over 100 ahead of the second-place finisher from UNC. Johnston was also the leader on the one-meter with a score of 321.83.
The men’s divers saw Cody Kolodziejzyk win the three-meter with a season-high 374.70 along with a second-place showing of 313.05 on the one-meter.
In the pool, the Duke women led off the meet with a second-place showing in the 200 medley relay as the team of Meghan Dwyer, Meredith Bannon, Steffi Niessl, and Shannon Beall clocked a 1:45.22 behind the Tar Heels’ top team.
The Blue Devils received a strong performance in the women’s 1000 freestyle from sophomore All-America Ashley Twichell, who touched the wall in 9:49.26, her second-best of the season. Her best performance in the event this season came as part of a mile-long swim. Freshman Nathan French was third on the men’s side, clocking 9:33.01.
Meredith Bannon was second in the 100 breast – her second-fastest swim of the year – in 1:04.79, before taking third in the 200 breaststroke in 2:20.33. Shannon Beall was second in the 200 butterfly in 2:02.68.
Nick Garvy was second for the Blue Devils in the 100 free in 46.90, while Spencer Booth was second in the 200 backstroke in 1:50.94. Jackie Fasano was second in the 500 free in 4:53.25. That performance – as well as her 1:51.98 in the 200 free – was a season as well as lifetime best for the junior.
The men closed out the meet with a victory in the 200 freestyle relay, posting a 1:24.07, as the tandem of Spencer Booth, David Hahn, Pieter Den Hartog, and Garvy notched Duke’s second-best time of the season in the event.
The Blue Devils will return home to Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion tomorrow morning to close out the regular season with a tilt versus ACC foe Clemson at 11 a.m. The meet will serve as senior day for the program’s nine seniors. There will also be a pre-meet ceremony to honor the late Bob Thompson, who passed away Sunday at age 66. He was the Duke swimming & diving head coach for 27 years before his retirement following the 2004-05 season.