DURHAM, N.C. – The Blue Devil swimming and diving program commemorated the 2016-17 campaign Sunday evening at the team’s annual banquet.
The Duke coaching staff and student-athletes celebrated athletic and academic achievements from the course of the season and recognized the program’s 18 seniors. Max Elston, who has been an integral part of the Duke swimming and diving team for three years through the Team IMPACT organization, was also honored as a member of the senior class.
Several Blue Devils were selected for team awards in recognition of their athletic excellence and leadership during the course of the season.
Seniors Lindsay Schlichte and Joey Maginnis were honored with the program’s Above and Beyond Awards. The Blue Devils were recognized for performing above and beyond the expectations of the coaching staff in and out of the pool. Their contributions in training and in competition were considered instrumental to the success of the women’s and men’s squads this season.
Two more seniors, Maddie Rusch and Dylan Payne, were named recipients of the Blue Devil Award, an all-encompassing accolade that celebrates excellence and leadership in the pool, in the classroom and in the community. A team captain for the 2016-17 season and now two-time recipient of a Blue Devil Award, Rusch made her third career appearance at the NCAA Championships this spring. The three-time All-ACC Academic Team selection has served as Duke’s on-campus ambassador for Team IMPACT and this year spearheaded the program’s Swimming with the Blue Devils initiative. Payne made his first career appearance at the NCAA Championships this season after reaching the ACC Championships finals in the 100 breaststroke. He earned his second selection to the All-ACC Academic Team.
Junior MaryEllen Targonski took home an award for the Most Outstanding Diving Performance for the second straight season, and was joined by freshman Nathaniel Hernandez in receiving the honor. Targonski became only the third female diver in Duke history to garner All-America recognition, earning honorable mention laurels in the women’s platform competition at NCAAs. She turned in a top-16 finish in just her first appearance at the national meet. Hernandez also qualified for NCAAs, representing the Blue Devil men in the preliminaries of the platform after reaching ACC Championships finals on the one-meter and three-meter boards.
Junior Leah Goldman and senior Peter Kropp were awarded Most Outstanding Swimming Performances for their efforts during the postseason. Goldman captured All-ACC honors in the 100 butterfly for the second time in her career, shattering her own school record in the event with a time of 51.62. She went on to post top-20 finishes in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle relay at the NCAA Championships. Kropp was recognized for his podium finish in the 100 breaststroke at the conference championship and ACC record he set during preliminaries with a 51.46 clocking. The Los Angeles, Calif., native rounded out his career with a strong performance at NCAAs, garnering first team All-America laurels in his signature event. Kropp joined an elite group at Duke by becoming the eighth individual All-American in men’s program history.
The final awards of the evening, the Most Valuable Athlete awards, also went to Goldman and Kropp for their performances throughout the season.
Both the men’s and women’s teams were represented at the NCAA Championships in 2016-17, with the men finishing 32nd and the women tying for 47th.