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Duke Announces Swimming & Diving Fall Signees
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/23/2015
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DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University swimming and diving head coach Dan Colella and the Blue Devil coaching staff signed a standout group of 16 recruits during the fall 2014 commitment period. Duke will welcome six female and five male swimmers for the 2015-16 campaign. In addition, head diving coach Nunzio Esposto will add two female and three male divers to the program for the coming year.  

“Every year it’s exciting to report back to our administration that we’ve had another successful recruiting cycle,” Colella said. “The program just continues to improve year-to-year here at Duke, and we don’t see that changing any time in the near future.”

Lexy Aitchison, Alyssa Arwood, Lizzie Fitzpatrick, Maddie Hess, Mickayla Hinkle, Susan Hynes, Brittany Kahn and Mackenzie Willborn will begin their collegiate careers with the Blue Devil women in 2015-16.

“All these young ladies are going to be major contributors individually, but also what this class will do for our relays is significant,” Colella said. “Not only is the swimming group deep and talented, but we also picked up two of the top diving recruits in the country. Coupled with the women we’ll have returning, we’re going to see some exciting things in the coming years. Another great thing about this class is the personality of all these young women. They’re all outgoing and very excited to be a part of a program that is on the rise.”

Lee Christensen, Riley Hickman, Judd Howard, Yusuke Legard, Evan Moretti, Josh Owsiany, Max St. George and Sean Tate will join the Duke men next season.

“We signed three high-caliber diving recruits on the men’s side, which was a priority this year,” Colella said. “Given our numbers, we were also able to be more focused on finding the right group of men for Duke, and I believe we were very successful in that area. They are coming in with times and scores that are extremely competitive in the ACC, and they have the potential to in their careers qualify for NCAAs. This group really fits the model of the student-athlete and chose Duke not only for what we’re doing in the pool, but equally as important, they’re coming here to get a great education.” 

For a closer look at each member of the recruiting class of 2015, check out the biographical information below.

Women’s Swimming and Diving Class of 2019

Lexy Aitchison – Clearwater, Fla.
High School/Coach
: East Lake/Timothy O’Keefe
Club Team/Coach: Clearwater Aquatic Team (CAT)/Randy Reese
Notes: 2014 Junior Pan Pacific medalist (400 freestyle), Canadian Senior National champion (400 freestyle, 1,500 freestyle), 2013 Junior World Championships finalist, U.S. and Canadian Olympic Trials qualifier, U.S. junior nationals qualifier, NISCA High School All-American, Florida 4A state champion (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay)
Colella on Aitchison: “Lexy is going to have an enormous impact her freshman year. She’ll bring so many different things to the program – she’s dynamic, very outgoing and will be a great team member who will help inspire others. In terms of her athletic ability and versatility, this young lady over the summer represented Canada at the Pan Pacific Junior Championships and swam everything from the 50 free to the open water 10K.”

Aitchison Personal Records: 

50 Free SCY/LCM 100 Free SCY/LCM 200 Free SCY/LCM 500 Free SCY 100 Back SCY 200 Back SCY/LCM 400 Free LCM 800 Free LCM  1,500 Free LCM 400 IM LCM 
23.06 / 26.64 50.43 / 57.39 1:46.52 / 2:00.81 4:44.88 56.90 2:00.79 / 2:17.97 4:11.16  8:41.90  16:39.70  4:55.08 


Alyssa Arwood – Asheville, N.C.
High School/Coach
: TC Roberson/Jim Cottam
Club Team/Coach: YMCA of Western North Carolina/Chris Snyder, Kirk Hampleman
Notes: Summer and winter nationals and junior nationals qualifier, three-time YMCA national champion, won 100 breaststroke at 2014 YMCA Short Course Nationals and was .01 off the national record, high school All-American (100 breaststroke)
Colella on Arwood: “Alyssa Arwood has been coming on like a freight train the last couple of years. This past summer at YMCA nationals she broke two nationals records and had enormous drops just from the previous summer season. She is very excited about her college career. Alyssa is going to be not only a great team member, but is also going to promote excellence every day in the pool.”

Arwood Personal Records:

100 Breast SCY/LCM 200 Breast SCY/LCM 50 Free SCY/LCM
1:01.41 / 1:11.68 2:16.02 / 2:44.39 23.77 / 26.93


Lizzie Fitzpatrick – Darien, Conn.
High School
: Greenwich Academy
Club Team/Coach: Marlins Dive Club/Lindsay Weigle Iordache
Notes: Two-time USA Diving senior nationals qualifier, member of USA Diving Junior Elite Squad, platform medalist at YMCA nationals, junior zones and junior nationals
Esposto on Fitzpatrick: “Lizzie has a really bubbly personality and she’s fun to work with. She’s been here at Duke for several camps so I got to know her pretty well, and I’m familiar with her and her style of diving. Lizzie is more of a springboard specialist but she dives platform also. She jumps high and makes corrections really easily, so it’ll be exciting to work with her.” 

Fitzpatrick Personal Records:

1-Meter 3-Meter
502.00 (11 dives) 479.40


Maddie Hess – Brandon, Fla.
High School
: Newsome
Club Team/Coach: Blue Wave Swim Team/Ron Turner
Notes: 2016 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier, junior nationals finalist, member of 2011 Florida Zone team, district, state and regional champion in 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and as member of 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays
Colella on Hess: “Maddie Hess is an absolute top-flight backstroker and freestyler, and is also a great flier – something she is exploring. She’s going to be a major contributor at both the conference and NCAA level. One thing we learned about Maddie during the recruiting process is that she is incredibly focused and driven. Those are great qualities that will really enhance the training environment.”  

Hess Personal Records:

50 Free SCY/LCM 100 Free SCY/LCM 200 Free SCY/LCM 100 Back SCY/LCM 200 Back SCY/LCM 100 Fly SCY/LCM
23.09 / 27.05 49.64 / 57.61 1:48.37 / 2:03.60 54.02 / 1:03.31 1:55.79 / 2:15.77 55.06 / 1:03.02


Mickayla Hinkle – Woodbury, Minn.
High School
: Math & Science Academy
Club Team/Coach: St. Croix Swim Club/Olga Splichalova Espinosa
Notes: Summer and winter nationals and junior nationals qualifier, 2013 USA Swimming National Select Camp, 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier, 2012 NCSA USA Team vs. Japan, NCSA Junior Nationals champion (50 Backstroke), Minneapolis Grand Prix finalist, USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
Colella on Hinkle: “Mickayla is a very dynamic and outgoing individual who has really big goals for her college career. She’s going to provide us a lot of points at ACCs and is an NCAA-caliber athlete. She’ll also be a major contributor when it comes to relays.”

Hinkle Personal Records:

50 Back SCY 100 Back SCY/LCM 200 Back SCY/LCM 50 Fly SCY 100 Fly SCY/LCM 200 IM SCY/LCM 100 Breast SCY
24.74 52.97 / 1:02.96 1:56.60 / 2:16.69 24.64 54.68 / 1:03.59 2:03.34 / 2:24.29 1:04.65


Susan Hynes – Chesapeake, Va.
High School/Coach
: Hickory/Katherine Bodecker
Club Team/Coach: Old Dominion Aquatic Club (ODAC)/Steve Bialorucki
Notes: Competed at 2013 USA Swimming Speedo Short Course Nationals and 2014 Summer Junior Nationals, Two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American
Colella on Hynes: “Susan is a very light-heartened and competitive individual who will add tremendous depth in the breaststroke events and in the IM. She’s coming off a great junior year and has had some really fast performances this fall. She came on her visit and really connected with the team and fell in love with Duke.”

Hynes Personal Records:

100 Breast SCY/LCM 200 Breast SCY/LCM 200 IM SCY/LCM 400 IM SCY/LCM
1:02.40 / 1:13.61 2:15.47 / 2:40.11 2:03.80 / 2:25.63 4:26.03 / 5:15.91


Brittany Kahn – Carlsbad, Calif.
High School/Coach
: JSerra Catholic/Kevin Clements
Club Team/Coach: Aquazot Swim Club/Brian Pajer
Notes: Summer and winter nationals and junior nationals qualifier, three-time high school All-American
Colella on Kahn: “Brittany, from the start of the recruiting process, made it very clear that Duke was one of her top two choices, and after visiting knew where she wanted to spend her college career. We are thrilled to have her. Her mile time last season as a high school junior was just a few tenths shy of being invited to NCAAs. She’s going to make a real impact in the distance freestyle crew. Brittany will bring a lot of energy to that group.” 

Kahn Personal Records:

200 Free SCY/LCM 500 Free SCY 1,000 Free SCY 1,650 Free SCY 400 IM SCY/LCM 400 Free LCM 800 Free LCM 1,500 Free LCM
1:51.10 / 2:10.02 4:52.35 9:50.58 16:21.12 4:22.88 / 5:01.29 4:22.95 8:55.12 17:00.83


Mackenzie Willborn – Flower Mound, Texas
High School
: Edward S. Marcus
Club Team/Coach: GC Diving/Jefferson Bro
Notes: 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, represented USA at 2014 FINA Junior World Championships in Penza, Russia, summer and winter nationals finalist on 3-meter
Esposto on Willborn: “Mackenzie’s a springboard specialist – her best event is probably 3-meter. She also has a really bubbly personality. A lot of people have called her a workhorse so I’m excited to work with her next year.”

Willborn Personal Records:

1-Meter (6 dives) 1-Meter (11 dives) 3-Meter (5 dives) 3-Meter (10 dives) Platform (9 dives)
293.1 547.1 293.3 495 389.2

Men’s Swimming and Diving Class of 2019

Lee Christensen – Darien, Conn.
High School: Darien
Club Team/Coach: Whirlwind Diving/Joe Somma
Notes: Three-time high school All-American, Second Connecticut State Class L
Esposto on Christensen: “I’ve known Lee for a while and I’ve seen him dive over the years. As he’s gotten older, he’s gotten better. He’s very excited to be coming to Duke. Lee dives all three events and dives all three events well. I think we’ll be seeing good things from him once we put him on a weight training program.” 

Christensen Personal Records:

1-Meter 3-Meter Platform
302 (6 dives) 340.6 (6 dives) 290 (6 dives)


Riley Hickman – Davis, Calif.
High School
: Davis School for Independent Study
Club Team/Coach: Davis Arden Racing Team (DART)/Billy Doughty
Notes: Winter nationals qualifier, summer and winter junior nationals qualifier, three-time high school All-American, conference and sectional individual champion
Colella on Hickman: “Riley had a lot of visits, and we were thrilled when he made the decision to be a Blue Devil. He’s going to add some considerable depth in the 200 and 500 free, and will be in a position to score at ACCs his freshman year. Riley is extremely passionate and a student of the sport, which as a coach is always fun to work with. His current high school mascot is a Blue Devil, so it will be an easy transition to come to Duke.” 

Hickman Personal Records:

50 Free SCY/LCM 100 Free SCY/LCM 200 Free SCY/LCM 500 Free SCY 100 Fly SCY/LCM 200 IM SCY 400 Free LCM
21.02 / 24.49 45.28 / 52.15 1:38.27 / 1:54.30 4:29.49 50.83 / 58.2 1:55.5 4:05.73


Judd Howard – Irvine, Calif.
High School
: University High School
Club Team/Coach: Aquazot Swim Club/Brian Pajer
Notes: Competed at 19th World Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel (2013) along with current Blue Devils Leah Goldman and Josh Furth and at 2011 Pan American Maccabiah Games in Sao Paolo, Brazil, winter nationals and summer and winter junior nationals qualifier, selected to 2012 North American Challenge Cup team, CIF Division I finalist (500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke)
Colella on Howard: “After meeting Judd, I knew that he was the right fit for Duke University. We were ecstatic about his performances this summer at nationals, especially considering that he was out of the water for a period of time as a result of surgery. To come back and swim the way he did despite being in some pain, it was incredible. We have a great core of breaststrokers, and he is going to fit right into that mix.”

Howard Personal Records:

100 Breast SCY/LCM 200 Breast SCY/LCM 500 Free SCY 400 Free LCM 400 IM SCY/LCM 200 IM LCM
55.97 / 1:04.41 2:01.14 / 2:20.01 4:33.65 4:04.91 3:59.48 / 4:37.30 2:10.37


Yusuke Legard – Weybridge, Surrey, UK
High School
: Eton College
Club Team/Coach: Windsor Swimming Club/Matt Heathcock
Notes: AASE apprenticeship with ASA British Swimming (Tenerife training camp), competed at United Kingdom and Japan nationals, regional champion in the 50 butterfly, finalist in Great Britain junior trials
Colella on Legard: “We’re excited about the addition of Yusuke to the program. He’s demonstrated real improvement this past year in the sprint freestyle. The potential is incredible, and I know he’s really looking forward to joining us at Duke.”

Legard Personal Records:

50 Free SCM/LCM 100 Free SCM/LCM 200 Free SCM/LCM 50 Fly SCM/LCM 100 Fly SCM/LCM 50 Back SCM/LCM 100 Back SCM/LCM
23.58 / 24.03 51.70 / 53.06 1:54.57 / 1:57.59 25.61 / 26.31 57.08 / 58.38 27.68 / 29.38 59.15 / 1:02.51


Evan Moretti – Scarsdale, N.Y.
High School
: Scarsdale
Club Team/Coach: New York Dive Club/Zhihua Hu
Notes: Junior nationals qualifer, NYSPHSAA state diving finalist, 2014 sectional champion, Scarsdale High School varsity diving record holder
Esposto on Moretti: “A cool thing about Evan is he comes from a program in New York where he his coach is Chinese. He’s been able to train in China for the last two years, for a month at a time. A lot of his diving style is mimicked after the Chinese, and that’s one of the things that drew me to him. He spins fast and the type of come-outs he was taught remind me of the Chinese divers. I think his potential is great. As he gets more strength, he will get better and better.” 

Moretti Personal Records:

1-Meter (6 dives) 1-Meter (11 dives) 3-Meter (11 dives)
321.76 536.00 520.90


Josh Owsiany – Spring City, Pa.
High School/Coach
: Episcopal Academy/Tom Novak
Club Team/Coach: West Chester Diving/Patrick Fatta
Notes: Senior and junior nationals qualifier, high school All-American, three-time All-Delco county
Esposto on Owsiany: “Josh is one of our more seasoned recruits. He also dives all three events. Josh just broke a school record in one of his recent high school meets. He’s so very excited, and he’s one of the most polite people I’ve ever met. Josh has been to some of our camps here, so I got to know him over the past year as we had camps. He’s going to be awesome for us next year.” 

Owsiany Personal Records:

1-Meter (6/11 dives) 3-Meter (6/11 dives) Platform (10 dives)
338 / 573 355 / 567 447


Max St. George – Wheaton, Ill.
High School/Coach
: Wheaton North/Jacob Ayers
Club Team/Coach: BR Ryall YMCA/Chris Flamion
Notes: USA Swimming winter nationals and summer and winter junior nationals qualifier, 2014 YMCA Nationals Long Course champion (50 back), 2014 YMCA Nationals Short Course finalist (100 back), Senior U.S. Open qualifier (100 back), 2014 Illinois state meet finalist (100 back, 200 IM)
Colella on St. George: “Max’s times coming in are already high-quality, but the thing that’s really exciting is the tremendous strides he’s made just in the last year. He’s taken his training to another level. One of the areas we’re looking to add depth is in the backstroke, and Max really fits that bill well. He’s got a great swimming physique, and that definitely will be enhanced when we get him here in terms of strength and conditioning. Max is a great guy. Both he and the team knew Duke was a great fit. We’re looking forward to his arrival next fall.” 

St. George Personal Records:

100 Back SCY 200 Back SCY 200 IM SCY 50 Back SCY/LCM
49.12 1:49.82 1:52.07 23.56 / 26.73


Sean Tate – Omaha, Neb.
High School/Coach
: Creighton Prep/Tom Beck
Club Team/Coach: Swim Omaha/Docker Hartfield and Doug Krecklow
Notes: Winter nationals and summer and winter junior nationals qualifier, two-time state champion in 50 and 100 free, won state titles as member of 200 and 400 freestyle relays, 200 and 400 relay state record holder
Colella on Tate: “Sean is very respectful and a great communicator. He is going to have a major impact right away. He is one of the better sprinters out there in the country right now and has been having a terrific year. We feel he’ll benefit from what we’re doing in the area of strength and conditioning. He already has some really great sprint tools, and should be a factor on our sprint relays as a freshman.” 

 Tate Personal Records:

50 Free SCY/LCM 100 Free SCY/LCM 200 Free SCY/LCM 100 Back SCY/LCM 200 IM SCY/LCM
20.59 / 23.88 44.95 / 52.48 1:40.95 / 1:55.76 51.95 / 59.70 1:54.49 / 2:11.60