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Blue Devils place 4th at Nike Cup Invitational

Duke wrapped up competition for the Fall semester with fourth-place finishes on both the men’s and women’s sides this weekend at the Nike Cup Invitational in Raleigh, N.C.

Senior Christine Wixted broke personal and school records in the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard breaststroke. Wixted went out in the medley race with the fastest 50-yard butterfly split and extended her lead with the fastest 50-breaststroke split by more than a second. Touching the wall in 1:58.60, she surpassed her previous school record of 1:59.37 from the 2011 ACC Championships. Breaking another record from the same meet last year, Wixted dropped 0.09 seconds in her 200-yard breaststroke time, finishing at 2:10.10.

Wixted also earned a third first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, touching the wall in 1:00.27.

Sweeping both the springboard and platform events, senior Nick McCrory earned three individual wins and qualifying marks for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships. In the 1-meter event, McCrory posted 446.50 points, 50 points more than closest competitor Jack Nyquist of North Carolina. McCrory scored 477.65 points to Nyquist’s 405.00 on the 3-meter board.

In platform competition at Duke’s Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion Saturday, McCrory dominated the field, scoring 460.30 points.

In the women’s 50-yard freestyle, senior Lauren Weaver out-touched teammate freshman Maddie Rusch by a hundredth of a second in a time of 22.91 seconds. The pair finished third and fourth, respectively.

Senior Hunter Knight checked Ian Bishop of N.C. State in the 100-yard breaststroke, tying for first place with 54.19. Bishop had beaten Knight to the wall by more than half a second at the dual meet between Duke and N.C. State two weeks ago.

The Blue Devils tallied 1,456.5 and 1,214.5 points on the women’s and men’s sides, respectively, to finish fourth overall after finals Saturday night.

Meet host North Carolina took first on both sides, outscoring the rest of the field by more than a thousand points. With wins in the 500-yard and 1650-yard freestyles, recently-crowned world champion Stephanie Peacock led the women to a final score of 2,908.5 points. The men sealed a victory for the Tar Heels with 2,751 points.

On the women’s side, East Carolina edged out N.C. State 1,504-1,480 for second place. The Wolfpack fared better on the men’s side, securing second with 1,554 points ahead of Navy's 1,365.5.

The tough competition brought out strong performances from the Blue Devils. Duke earned seven first-place individual performances, set two program records and reached 17 NCAA Zone Diving Championships qualifying marks and 15 NCAA ‘B’ cuts.

Duke will lessen up training heading into the end of the semester. The team will take a training trip at the end of winter break to gear up for the next round of competition, starting with a dual meet at South Carolina Jan. 11.

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