DURHAM, N.C. – A program-record 12 Blue Devil swimmers and divers will take aim at the 2018 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships this week in Columbus, Ohio.
Action at Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion gets underway Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. The meet continues through Saturday, with preliminaries slated for 10 a.m. each day and finals for 6 p.m., with the exception of Friday’s finals session, which begins at 5 p.m.
Duke’s contingent in Columbus will include seniors Verity Abel, Lizzie Devitt, Leah Goldman, Isabella Paez and MaryEllen Targonski, juniors Hunter Aitchison, Maddie Hess and Susan Hynes, sophomores Jaina Gaudette, Kylie Jordan and Alyssa Marsh and freshman Connie Dean.
Goldman headlines the group as a four-time NCAA qualifier while Paez and Hess will both be making their third appearances at the NCAA meet. Targonski returns to the national stage after claiming honorable mention All-America honors last season in platform diving.
On the Air
Friday’s finals session will be broadcast on ESPNU beginning at 5 p.m., while Saturday’s 6 p.m. finals session will be streamed on ESPN3. All other preliminaries and finals sessions will be streamed at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Duke at the NCAA Championships
The Blue Devil women will be represented at the NCAA Championships for the sixth consecutive season and 11th time overall. Historically, Duke women’s swimmers and divers have totaled 10 individual All-America honors under the watch of head coach Dan Colella.
Duke sent eight swimmers and divers to the 2017 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., with four qualifying in individual events. The squad also competed in the 200-yard medley and 400 freestyle relays. Targonski punctuated the final day of the meet with a 16th-place finish in platform diving. She became the third female diver in program history to garner All-America recognition. With Targonski’s finish in platform diving, the Blue Devils scored one point to finish in a tie for 47th place.
Goldman enters this year’s meet seeded 13th in the 100 butterfly (51.46) to lead a quartet of Blue Devils eligible to compete in the event. She will be joined in the NCAA field by Jordan (52.03), Marsh (52.10) and Paez (52.79). Goldman is also ranked 19th in the 200 individual medley (1:55.67) heading into this week’s action, while Paez is seeded 19th in the 200 butterfly (1:54.93), Abel 21st in the 1,650 freestyle (16:04.66), Hess 30th in the 100 backstroke (52.38) and Devitt 34th in the 400 individual medley (4:09.58).
Blue Devils Take Sixth at ACC Championships
Duke closed out February’s conference championships sixth in the final team standings with a total of 756.5 points – up more than 30 points from a year ago. Over the course of the four days in Greensboro, N.C., the Blue Devil women turned in eight program record-breaking performances and three podium finishes.
Goldman captured the first individual ACC title for the women’s program since 2012, bringing home the hardware with a first-place finish in the 200 individual medley. The captain from Burlingame, Calif., was back on the podium again after taking second in the 100 butterfly. Targonski claimed All-ACC honors for the second time in her career, placing second in the platform diving championship final.
Gaudette, Targonski Punch NCAA Tickets at Zones
Targonski and Gaudette secured NCAA qualification with top-five finishes on the platform at last week’s NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. Targonski was fourth in the platform competition with a combined score of 529.00 while Gaudette finished right behind her in fifth, totaling 500.80 points across her two lists of dives.
Targonski will make her second consecutive appearance at the national meet while Gaudette punched her ticket to NCAAs for the first time in her career.
By the Numbers
13 - Senior Leah Goldman’s seed in the 100 butterfly entering the NCAA Championships with a time of 51.46
4 - Blue Devil swimmers eligible to compete in the 100 butterfly - Goldman, Kylie Jordan, Alyssa Marsh and Isabella Paez
19 - Entry ranking for Paez in the 200 butterfly
25 - The Duke women’s ranking in the final TYR/CSCAA Division I poll of the season
2 - Consecutive dual meet victories for the Blue Devil women over Tobacco Road rival North Carolina following a 151-149 result Jan. 27 at Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion
13 - Seasons head coach Dan Colella has directed the Duke programs
10 - Number of All-America honors Duke women’s swimmers and divers have totaled under Colella’s watch