DURHAM, N.C. – As the Blue Devils reflect on the past, present and future of the program, GoDuke.com will feature Duke swimming and diving alumni to highlight memories from their collegiate careers and the paths they’ve taken to success in their professional fields.
Leah Goldman, 2014-18
Goldman cemented her legacy at Duke by claiming honorable mention All-America honors in the 100-yard butterfly at the 2018 NCAA Championships. The team captain from Burlingame, Calif., became the sixth individual All-American in women’s program history and was a four-time NCAA qualifier. Goldman captured an ACC title in the 200 individual medley at her final ACC Championship meet, becoming the Blue Devils’ first individual ACC swimming champion on the women’s side since 2011.
A three-time All-ACC performer in the 100 butterfly, she graduated as Duke’s record holder in the 100 butterfly (51.46), 100 individual medley (56.52) and 200 individual medley (1:55.67), as well as a member of several relay teams.
Goldman graduated from the university with a degree in psychology and was a member of the CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team, All-ACC Academic Team and the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
Can you update us on where you are now and your current work?
Leah Goldman: I am living in New York City and working for Major League Baseball as an Account Manager in the Ticketing Department. I help with all ticketing-related business at both the club and league level, including directly supporting the San Francisco Giants, Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angles, Cincinnati Reds and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
I belong to the New York Athletic Club as a member of the swim team along with fellow alums Verity Abel and Kristin Gary.
I love trying new restaurants, cooking, and taking walks or runs along the Hudson River.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time at Duke?
LG: One of my favorite memories is beating UNC my junior and senior years and seeing our program transform to where the Duke-UNC dual meet developed into a true rivalry. Another was winning ACCs in the 200 IM to close out my career as a senior, especially since it came as a total shock – outside smoke lane 8. One year out and looking back, though, I now miss the daily routine and casual hangouts/meals with teammates the most. There’s nothing like having all your friends in one place.
What is your favorite Duke tradition?
LG: Burning the benches after we beat UNC at home or win a national championship in basketball!
What is your favorite spot on campus?
LG: Bella Union and the bridge outside with all the outdoor swinging benches and tables, where it was almost always sunny and quiet. I also loved Saladelia at Perkins (or “the perk” as we used to call it).
Who were some of your favorite professors at Duke?
LG: Johnny Moore – I took two classes with him: Sports Media 212 and an MMS Special Topics course on NCAA Ticket Sales. Also Charles Skender, Financial Accounting.
Favorite food on campus?
LG: WA Duke on food points. I heard this benefit was ending for students but this was by far the best place to spend food points. On campus I would say the law school (Café De Novo) for lunch, which conveniently isn’t too far from the pool.
Who was a teammate who influenced you in or out of the pool?
LG: Maria Sheridan, my roommate of all four years! Could not ask for a better best friend and teammate!
Favorite and/or toughest workout set?
LG: The toughest sets were probably any “Black” Saturday pace set (although Dan might have changed the name). Favorite set was anything broken 200 IM pace or 25’s kick underwater.
What lessons from your time as a Duke student-athlete or member of the swimming and diving program do you still call upon today?
LG: Having a strong work ethic and knowing how to communicate effectively and work with other people and personalities. One quote from Carl [Christensen], our strength training coach, still sticks with me: “Don’t say sorry, just do better next time.”
What advice would you give to current or future Blue Devils?
LG: Enjoy every moment in and out of the pool. It all goes by too fast. As they always say, the days are long but the years are short. Put yourself out there, make new friends and challenge yourself, remember no matter what you always have DSDT to help you up when you fall.