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Duke swimming and diving loses to North Carolina despite strong individual showings

It was a smooth day in the pool for juniors Christine Wixted and Hunter Knight as the two glided in wins in both the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke in their last dual meet of the season against North Carolina. Despite both of their solid performances, the Blue Devil men and women fell short against the Tar Heels losing 164-128 in men’s competition and 166-127 in women’s action. Duke finished with nine individual wins and one relay win on the afternoon.

The Blue Devils’ relay victory came in the first event of the meet when the 200-medley relay team of Megan McCarroll, Christine Wixted, Lauren Weaver and Chelsea Ye touched in a time of 1:43.61.

Although Wixted enjoys swimming individual events, she finds relays to be much more exciting.

“I think relays are more fun because you get to swim for three other people, you are not just swimming for yourself,” Wixted said. “Everyone thinks of swimming as an individual sport. With relays, it makes it a team sport…. You definitely get more amped up swimming for the [relay] team.”

Both Wixted and Knight swept the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke. The sweep marks Wixted’s fourth time doing so this season.

Junior Nick McCrory also turned in a stellar performance, winning the 1 and 3-meter spring board competitions. Duke head coach Dan Collela praised the London Olympic bronze medalists’ confidence and poise on the afternoon.

“[Nick] really stood up and performed in Nick McCrory fashion,” Colella said. “He nailed a lot of his dives. I think he is setting himself up for a great championship run. He looked great [at North Carolina] and we are extremely proud that he performed so well.”

Some Blue Devils will head to Charlottesville, Va. Feb. 15 to compete in the Cavalier Invitational, but many will stay behind and prepare for the ACC Championships, which take place in Greensboro starting Feb. 20 for the women and Feb. 27 for the men.

Knight is confident that even though he has nearly a month off until the next time he will compete, he will be prepared.

“[The break] is just part of the college season,” Knight said. “We do a good job of taking care of each other. You pretty much just think about how you want to swim and visualize your races. Visualization is something a lot of teams do…[So for the next few weeks] we just relax and have fun. You can’t worry about it too much since it’s not here yet.”

Colella commended Wixed and Knight on the dominating performances they turned in to close out the dual meet season and is certain they will be geared up for the championships in a few weeks.

“[Wixed and Knight] have done a terrific job the entire season long in their specialties,” Colella said. “Hunter pulled away in the end [of one of his races] in championship manner. It has been a great dual meet season for the two of them, and we look forward to them keeping that up.


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