DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Devil swimmers are set to compete in the Janis Hape Dowd Nike Invitational this weekend in Chapel Hill and Durham, N.C.
Joining Duke and North Carolina in the three-day invitational are swimmers from Johns Hopkins, NC State, Thomas More College, William Peace University and William & Mary.
Competition Friday and Sunday will be hosted by the Tar Heels at Koury Natatorium, while Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion will serve as the site for Saturday’s events. Preliminaries begin at 10 a.m. each day followed by finals at 6 p.m., with the exception of Sunday, when finals get underway at 5 p.m.
A parking and traffic alert is in effect for Saturday's events at Taishoff due to multiple home athletic events.
Blue Devil Basics
In a back and forth battle that came down to the final relays, the Blue Devil men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams came away with a pair of victories over North Carolina to cap the regular season in style last Saturday at Koury Natatorium.
With both the men’s and women’s team scores tight at the final diving break, both Duke squads received a boost from the boards and closed strong over the last few swimming events to defeat their Tobacco Road rivals for a third straight season. The 21st-ranked Blue Devil women came away with a 165.5-134.5 victory while the Duke men prevailed over the Tar Heels by a 155-145 score.
The Blue Devil women closed the regular season with a 4-1 dual meet ledger and a 2-1 mark against ACC opponents while the men finished up at 3-2 (1-2).
Moretti, LaFata Collect Weekly Accolades
Senior Evan Moretti was named the ACC Men’s Diver of the Week Monday, earning the accolade for the second time this season. Moretti swept the men’s diving events in Saturday’s regular season dual meet finale at North Carolina. After claiming the one-meter event with an award of 371.03 earlier in the meet, the Scarsdale, N.Y., native came through with a win on the three-meter board later in the afternoon. He topped the 400-point mark in that performance, picking up valuable points that helped push the Blue Devil men past the Tar Heels for the victory.
Sophomore swimmer Spencer LaFata was selected the Duke Student-Athlete of the Week Wednesday for his strong performance at North Carolina. A native of Pelham, N.Y., LaFata came from behind in thrilling fashion to earn a pair of individual first-place finishes against the Tar Heels. His win in the 500-yard freestyle (4:33.78) late in the meet helped the Blue Devil men push past their Tobacco Road rivals to secure the dual meet victory, 155-145. In addition, LaFata’s time of 9:16.84 in winning the 1,000 freestyle was good for the fourth-fastest in program history.
Following this weekend’s action, the Blue Devils shift their focus to the postseason, preparing for the ACC Championships. The Duke women and divers head to the conference championship in Greensboro Feb. 20-23 before the Blue Devil men’s swimmers take their turn at the meet Feb. 27-March 2.