This weekend, the Blue Devil swimmers are in Knoxville, Tenn. for the Tennessee Invitational, while their divers are down the road in Chapel Hill, N.C. for the Nike Cup Invitational. Both meets began Thursday, and will continue through Saturday.
“We’re off to a great start, and just looking forward to a great weekend,” head coach Dan Colella said. “It’s great to be here at Tennessee—one of the faster facilities in the southeast. It’s just a great facility to be finishing up our fall competition, and it’s our opportunity to have a three-day meet of prelims and finals and simulate what we’re going to be going through when we go to the ACC and NCAA Championships.”
At the Tennessee Invitational, the Duke women (2-3) are facing off against No. 7 Tennessee (5-0), Kentucky (1-5) and Colorado State (0-5). The women’s 200-yard freestyle, 200 medley and 400 medley relays are currently ranked in the top 50 in the nation, and will hope to improve their performances this weekend.
Thursday morning, junior Lauren Weaver almost broke the school record for the 50-freestyle, and was the No. 1 seed going into finals.
The Blue Devils will look to junior Christine Wixted to continue her domination of the breaststroke events after she established a new personal record of 1:02.01 at their last home competition Nov. 3. She is currently ranked 18th nationally in the 100-yard breaststroke, and has the second-best time in the ACC in the 200 breaststroke.
“Christine Wixted had a great start this morning in the 200 [individual medley] and we’re just looking forward to some great performances from her as well as a number of others,” Colella said.
The men (1-3) will face off against No. 13 Tennessee (3-2) and Kentucky (1-4) at the Tennessee Invitational. Senior Ben Hwang, who is currently tied for second in the nation for the 50 freestyle with 20.03, is not in Tennessee due to illness.
The divers are competing in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform events, with platform events held in Duke’s Taishoff Aquatic Pavillion. Olympic divers Abby Johnston and Nick McCrory are not competing.
In their last competition, the Blue Devils hosted N.C. State and the Miami women at Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion Nov. 3. Duke placed second, coming in behind N.C. State but besting Miami.