For the first time this season, Duke got to compete at home, and it did not disappoint. Strong showings in the relay and sprint events as well as wins in three of the four diving events were the highlights Friday night at Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion.
“This is probably the best meet we’ve had against Virginia in terms of just not backing down and not feeling like we were outclassed,” head coach Dan Colella said.
The Blue Devil men lost to the 12th-ranked Cavaliers 155-140 and women fell to 11th-ranked Virginia 154-131. Duke’s diving team won both the men’s and women’s three-meter events and the women’s one-meter event.
The Blue Devil women kicked off the meet with a win in the first race, the 200-yard medlay relay, with a time of 1:43.44. Freshmen Megan McCarroll led the relay followed by sophomore Christine Wixted, senior Steffi Niessl and sophomore Lauren Weaver. The men’s 200-yard medley relay team was disqualified. Both the Duke men and women won the final relay event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The women’s team took first through third and the men’s team took first through fourth.
“We’re really starting to take some real pride in our relays and it’s really starting to come together,” Collela said. “[The Duke relays are] going to be the relay to beat come ACC [meets].”
After losing the 1000-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke, Duke bounced back by winning the 100-yard breaststroke. Wixted won the event with a resounding three-second victory in a time of 1:02.69. Graduate student Piotr Safronczkyk followed up with another resounding two-second victory in 55.86 seconds.
The Cavaliers then took both 200-yard butterfly events. Ben Hwang swept the sprint events and also won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 45.09.
Junior Ted Minturn took first in the 200-yard back with a time of 151.30 and Hunter Knight took first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:04.44. The Blue Devils finished strong with a victory in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 400-yard IM. Weaver won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.68. Senior Ben Tuben followed that up with a 49.73 victory. Freshmen Ali Horn and sophomore Tyler Fleming both won the 400-yard IM events.
Senior Jessica Lyden swept the diving events an qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships. Senior Cody Kolodziejzyk also claimed first in the men’s three-meter diving event.
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