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Ready for Rio: Several Blue Devils set for 2016 Summer Olympics

Ahead of this summer's Olympics, we break down who Duke fans could see in Rio de Janeiro in a few months:

Men’s basketball

Mike Krzyzewski

After capturing gold medals in 2008 and 2012, Krzyzewski will look to become the first head coach ever to lead the United States to three consecutive gold medals when he heads to Rio de Janeiro later this summer. The 2016 Olympics will be Krzyzewski’s final run, as the Duke head coach is set to step down after the tournament.

Leading up to the summer, the 69-year old has been rehabilitating from knee replacement surgery and putting the final touches on the Blue Devils’ incoming recruiting class, with five-star center Marques Bolden committing to Duke in late May to give Krzyzewski his third straight top-ranked freshman class.

Before departing for South America, Krzyzewski will have to trim a list of 30 Olympic team finalists to a final 12-man roster by late June. The national team will then play five exhibition contests in the United States before leaving the country to begin its quest for gold.

Jeff Capel

Capel joined USA Basketball in July 2013, so Capel will be making his first trip to the Olympics following his stint as court coach and scout during the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

An associate head coach with the Blue Devils, Capel will be part of a staff featuring Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau and Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams as assistants to Krzyzewski.

The Fayetteville, N.C., native was Krzyzewski’s starting point guard from 1993-1997 and rejoined the Duke basketball program as an assistant in 2011 after nine years as a head coach at both Virginia Commonwealth and Oklahoma.

Capel led Blake Griffin and the Sooners to the Elite Eight in 2009 and has been instrumental in helping the Blue Devils secure three straight top-ranked recruiting classes. He was promoted to associate coach in July 2013 and associate head coach before the 2014-15 campaign, in which Duke captured its fifth national championship and Capel was part of his first national title team.

Kyrie Irving

Irving led the United States to the gold medal in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup as the tournament’s most valuable player, and now hopes to make the Olympic team for the first time in his career. The dynamic point guard competed as part of the United States Select Team that trained against the 2012 Olympic squad after his rookie season in the NBA.

Irving was named as one of the 30 Olympic team finalists in January and will be competing for one of the 12 spots on the final roster by the end of June along with fellow point guards Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, John Wall and Mike Conley. The five-year NBA veteran is averaging 24.3 points per game this postseason for the Cavaliers, who are in the middle of their NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors.

During the 2010-11 campaign, Irving was one of the most explosive guards in the country as a freshman at Duke, scoring in double figures in his first 11 games before missing the rest of the regular season with a toe injury. If he makes the Olympic team, Irving will once again compete internationally for Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Women’s basketball

Lindsey Harding

After being a finalist for a spot on the 2012 Olympic team, Harding will look to make her first Olympic appearance in Rio. But the former top overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft will not be representing the red, white and blue.

Harding was naturalized as a citizen of Belarus in February 2015 and hopes to lead the country to the Olympics with a top-five finish in this June’s qualifying tournament. Harding last represented Belarus at EuroBasket Women 2015, where she averaged 5.3 assists per game and led her team to a fourth-place finish. The Belarus women finished sixth at the 2008 Olympics before failing to qualify in 2012.

The former Blue Devil left Durham as one of the most decorated players in program history. In addition to being only the second player in program history to have her number retired, Harding won the Naismith Award during her senior season in 2007. The former Duke standout currently plays for the New York Liberty in the WNBA.

Women’s golf

Laetitia Beck

With just days remaining before the June 11 Olympic qualifying deadline, former Blue Devil Laetitia Beck is poised to represent Israel as golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

Beck is the 235th-ranked player in the world, but golf’s Olympic qualifying rules should prove advantageous to the 2014 graduate. With talent-heavy countries maxing out their player allocations, room opens up for representatives from countries without as much internal competition.

Beck is the only Israeli on the LPGA Tour—she became the first Israeli to ever compete on the LPGA Tour during a start in 2011—so there are no fellow countrywomen who could potentially edge her out for a spot in the summer games.

A member of Duke’s 2014 NCAA national championship-winning squad, Beck earned All-American honors as both a junior and senior, in addition to All-ACC accolades all four years.

After making eight cuts in 14 starts during her rookie year on the LPGA Tour in 2015, Beck has seen weekend action in just three tournaments so far this season. The Caesarea, Israel, native recently posted the best finish of her career, though, after tying for 15th at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic May 5-8.

Leona Maguire

The second-ranked amateur in the world and junior at Duke sits comfortably within the top-60 standings cutoff for this summer’s games—she is currently No. 48—and is the highest ranked player from Ireland.

Maguire led Duke in scoring average during each of her first two seasons and captured four individual wins during that same span. The Cavan, Ireland, native also claimed National Player of the Year honors in 2015 and has posted 16 top-10 finishes in 19 starts.

The junior also has plenty of valuable experience outside of NCAA competition, as Maguire has competed in three of women’s golf’s five professional majors—the British Open, ANA Inspiration and Evian Masters—and advanced to the round of 16 in last year’s British Amateur Open. Later this summer, Maguire will have another opportunity to test her game against some of the best young players in the world when she represents Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup for the third time in her career.

Candy Hannemann

Golfers this summer on both the men’s and women’s side will compete in a traditional 72-hole stroke play format, and Hannemann—a native of Rio de Janiero—will look to nab the automatic spot awarded to Brazil as the host nation.

As a Blue Devil, Hannemann helped lead Duke to the national championship in 1999, finishing as the runner-up individually. She went on to claim the individual title two years later, besting future LPGA star Lorena Ochoa on the first playoff hole in the 2001 tournament. Hannemann was named National Player of the Year that season, her final in a Blue Devil uniform.

Later that calendar year, Hannemann finished as the low amateur at the U.S. Open, setting the stage for a successful professional career in which she has earned almost $500,000. Hannemann initially retired from competitive golf in 2009, got married and had two children in 2012 and 2014—but returned when rumors of golf making its way to the Olympics Games in Rio surfaced. Hannemann started practicing again in March 2015 and at 36 years old, will be more than a decade older than many of the women on the course.


Ibtihaj Muhammad

Muhammad has spent many years training for her Olympic dream, and she will finally make history this summer as the first American woman to compete while wearing a hijab, a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women in the presence of men outside of their immediate family and non-Muslims. Muhammad is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation in saber and No. 12 in the world.

The Maplewood, N.J., native has medaled in the team saber competition at the past five World Fencing Championships. But at age 30, Muhammad had never qualified for the biggest stage until she clinched a position on the Olympic team in February. To honor her pioneering accomplishment for American Muslims, TIME Magazine named her to its 100 Most Influential People list in April.

During her college career, Muhammad was a three-time All-American at Duke in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and won the Junior Olympic National Championship in 2005.

Women’s soccer

Rebecca Quinn

One of the Blue Devils’ most experienced players, Quinn has spent two consecutive spring semesters away from Durham preparing for major soccer tournaments with the Canadian national team. In 2015, Quinn prepared for the Women’s World Cup, but was not selected to the final roster for the event.

The versatile midfielder has plenty of international experience, however, as she participated in the 2015 Pan American Games, 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship and the 2016 Algarve Cup—which Canada won. Quinn has also trained with Canada’s U-20 team and played in the 2012 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan.

The Toronto native was a third-team All-ACC performer last year and helped Duke advance to the national championship game. Quinn was part of a defensive unit that led the ACC with 14 shutouts and with 10 of their 11 starters returning, the Blue Devils hope to get back to the College Cup final and capture the program’s first national championship next year.


Abby Johnston

Johnston is one of Duke’s most decorated athletes ever, dominating the ACC in diving during her first three years with the Blue Devils before claiming a silver medal in the 3-meter springboard synchronized diving event at the 2012 London Olympics.

The Upper Arlington, Ohio, native took the 2011-12 college season off as she focused on training for the Olympics, and she narrowly qualified for the team at the Olympic Trials before reaching the podium in London with teammate Kelci Bryant.

Since her college career ended, Johnston has balanced her international diving career with medical school at Duke, and she recently competed in the 2016 FINA Diving World Cup in February in Rio de Janeiro. Johnston finished in eighth in the 3-meter synchronized springboard with Laura Ryan.

Johnston was the first Duke diver ever to qualify for the NCAA championships, and she was the 2011 national champion in the 3-meter springboard and earned All-America recognition twice in the 1-meter springboard and twice in the 3-meter springboard. Johnston captured five individual ACC championships during her career and was the ACC Women’s Diver of the Year in 2010 and 2011.

She returned to Durham for her senior year after the 2012 Olympics, but season-ending shoulder surgery after competing in just two meets cut her career short.

Mackenzie Willborn

Although Willborn only has a year of collegiate experience under her belt, she has an outside chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games later this summer.

The Flower Mound, Texas, native had a solid showing at the 2015 USA Diving Winter National Championships in Indiana, notching a 12th place finish in the final round of the women’s 3-meter springboard. Last summer, Willborn placed third in the same event against the junior age group and finished in the top 10 in the senior competition.

In addition to competing nationally, Willborn posted a solid performance during her first year as a Blue Devil. She won the 10-meter platform competition at the Nike Cup in November and earned the top score on the one-meter and three-meter platforms on two separate occasions during her rookie campaign.

Field hockey

Stefanie Fee

Fee will look to help the United States to its second medal after winning the bronze during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles if selected for this year’s Olympic team. The 2012 graduate was a standout defender at Duke and started every game during her four seasons. During her senior year she received All-American and All-ACC honors.

Fee is now a seasoned international competitor, having played with the U.S. every year since graduation. She played her 50th game as a member of the team this February during a test series with Argentina. The Virginia Beach, Va., native was also a part of the team that won the 2015 Pan American gold medal, holding opponents to just one goal in six games.

Lauren Blazing

The Durham native and 2015 first-team All-ACC goalie was named an All-American three times during her four years starting for the Blue Devils. In the process, she led Duke to national semifinal appearances in 2013 and 2015 while playing alongside her sister Robin, who is a rising senior. Blazing ranks third in program history with 385 career saves and a 1.46 goals against average.

Blazing will look to make the 18-player Olympic roster, having competed with the national team since 2014 and been a part of the U-21 team that finished seventh at the 2012 Junior World Cup. Blazing was a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, and she gained more international experience playing against Canada this February and against Chile in May as a part of a three-game series in Lancaster, Pa.

Track and field

Shannon Rowbury

Rowbury has been one of the top distance runners in the nation for the last decade and heads into this summer’s Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., July 1-10 looking to qualify for her third straight Olympics in the 1,500 meters.

The current American record holder in the 1,500 meters with a 3:56.29 last July, Rowbury won the 1,500 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008 and finished seventh in the event at the Beijing Olympics before finishing sixth four years later in London. She won her second straight USA outdoor championship in 2009 in the 1,500 meters and went on to win the bronze medal at the World championship in Berlin that year.

At Duke, Rowbury was the 2007 national champion in the indoor mile as a senior and bested school records in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters and 3000-meter steeplechase during the outdoor season, but none of her personal-best times made the official Duke record books since she competed unattached during the spring of her senior year.

Curtis Beach

After finishing his decorated collegiate career in 2014 for the Blue Devils, Beach has been training for the decathlon portion of the U.S. Olympic Trials with the hope of qualifying for his first Olympic Games. Beach participated in the 2012 Olympic Trials, where he made headlines for slowing down in the last event—the 1,500 meters—to allow Ashton Eaton to set the new decathlon world record.

The two-time NCAA champion in the heptathlon has his name littered throughout the Duke record books, holding the top spot in the heptathlon, decathlon, indoor 5,000 meters, outdoor 200 meters, outdoor 400 meters and outdoor long jump.

Most recently, Beach participated in the 2016 International Amateur Athletic Federation World Indoor Championships in late March for the United States, taking fourth place in the heptathlon with a score of 6,118.

Megan Clark

The most decorated pole vaulter in Blue Devil history will head to the U.S. Olympic Trials with the opportunity to qualify for her first Olympic Games. Clark graduated in May and was named ACC Women’s Field Performer of the Year as a junior.

The Fort Benning, Ga., native set school records in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault during the 2014-15 campaign and has continued to rewrite the record books during her final season in Durham. On April 24, Clark’s 15 feet, 2 ¼ inches clearance—4.6 meters—qualified her for the trials, which have a 4.5-meter threshold.

The indoor first-team All-American will conclude her career with the NCAA outdoor championships in Eugene June 8-11 before turning her attention to qualifying for the Olympics. At the 2012 Olympic games, world No. 1 Jennifer Suhr cleared 4.75 meters to win the gold medal, and competitors needed to clear 4.55 meters to advance past the qualifying round.

Anima Banks

An All-ACC honoree and former indoor All-American, Banks has been one of Duke’s top distance runners throughout her four years in Durham. The Mamaroneck, N.Y., native will compete for a spot on the Olympic team after she concludes her Duke career at the NCAA championship beginning June 8.

Banks qualified for the 800 meters in the Olympic trials at the ACC outdoor championship May 15, clocking a time of 2:02.50—which earned her a silver medal and ranks second in Duke history. Banks then clinched a spot in the NCAA championship May 27 when she finished first in the 800 meters at the NCAA East preliminary round with a time of 2:02.49.

Although the 800 and 1,500 meters have been Banks’ specialties, the senior has also competed with Duke’s relay teams. In 2013, Banks was a member of a relay squad that posted the second-fastest time in school history in the sprint medley relay. Last year, Banks helped Duke’s 4-x-400 meter relay squad post the third-fastest time in Duke history.

Shaun Thompson

Another Blue Devil who will participate in the NCAA outdoor championship before trying to compete at the Olympic trials, Thompson is one of Duke’s most decorated long-distance runners.

Throughout his first four years in Durham, Thompson specialized mainly in the steeplechase and 5,000 meters. But this year, the graduate student has benefitted from shifting his attention to the 10,000 meters, the event he would run at the Olympic trials.

The Baldwinsville, N.Y., native broke Robbie Perkins’ all-time Duke record in the 10,000 meters in April with a time of 28:47.48—which was, at the time, also the fastest finish among all Division I distance runners this spring. A month earlier, Thompson finished second in 10,000 meters at the Raleigh Relays with a time of 29:02.18.

Thompson has continued to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 5,000 meters in order to avoid running the 10,000 meters—the longest running event in track and field—every weekend. Prior to qualifying for the 10,000 meters in the NCAA championship at the NCAA East preliminary round, Thompson received second-team All-ACC honors by recording the second-fastest time in school history in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and placing fourth in the 5,000 meters at the ACC championship in May.

Thomas Lang

A two-time All-American, Lang has been one of Duke’s top javelin specialists. In 2015, the 6-foot-7 Royersford, Pa,. native set a Duke record at the NCAA championship with a throw of 237 feet, 10 inches and won his second consecutive ACC title thanks to heave of 231 feet, 8 inches.

At this season’s ACC championship, Lang recorded a throw of 211 feet, 8 inches to earn second team All-ACC honors. The redshirt senior was unable to qualify for the NCAA championship this year but could find himself at the trials thanks to his previous performances.


Isabella Paez

The Medley, Fla., native will attempt to qualify for the Olympics and represent Venezuela in Rio in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly. Paez has been a consistent performer for Duke head coach Dan Colella’s squad during her first two seasons in Durham and set a program record in the 200-yard event with a time of 1:56.04 at the ACC championship in February, good for a fourth-place finish. She finished 25th at the NCAA championship in the event with a time of 1:56.75.

Paez has also competed at NCAAs in the 100-yard butterfly as a freshman and sophomore. Her best time in the 2015-16 campaign in the event was 52.61 seconds—which was second-best among Blue Devils.

Paez was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and is attempting to qualify for the Olympics even though Venezuela does not have a trials meet. However, the country can select up to two representatives in each event to send to Brazil. Last winter, Paez posted some of the best times of any Venezuelan competitor at the AT&T Winter Nationals, and will wait and see if her efforts were enough to earn an Olympic bid.

A record-number of Blue Devils have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials June 26-July 3 in Omaha, Neb., and will try to become the first Duke athletes to swim at the Olympics since 1984:

Ashley Twichell

Twichell—who graduated in 2011—missed the 2012 Olympic team after finishing 10th in the 800-meter freestyle and 18th in the 400-meter freestyle at the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials, but has an outside chance to qualify this year when she competes in both events once again.

The Fayetteville, N.Y., native captured the 5K and 10K titles at the 2012 Open Water Nationals and added a gold medal in the 5K Team Pursuit and bronze in the 5K at the 2011 FINA World Championships. Twichell added to her celebrated resume as a long-distance swimmer in April, winning the 10K at Open Water National Championships.

In 2011, Twichell set Duke records in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyles that still stand today. During her sophomore year, she recorded a first-place finish in each of Duke’s dual and invitational meets. Twichell is still involved with the Blue Devil program as a volunteer assistant coach.

Leah Goldman

Goldman is eyeing a solid performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials from June 26 to July 3 in Omaha, Neb., to compete on the world’s biggest stage at the end of the summer. The Burlingame, Calif., native is coming off of another successful season in Durham after qualifying for the NCAA championship for a second straight year.

The junior’s best chance at qualifying for the Olympics will be in the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley. Goldman garnered second-team All-ACC honors in the 100-yard butterfly during her freshman campaign and finished 24th at the NCAA championship as a sophomore with a time of 52.68 seconds, just shy of her program record in the category of 52.28, which was set at the 2015 ACC championship.

Goldman also competed in March’s NCAA championship in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing 44th with a time of 1:59.48. She owns the program record in the 200-yard event as well with a time of 1:58.41.

Verity Abel

Abel locked down an Olympic Trials cut in the 800-meter freestyle during the first day of competition at the Arena Pro Swim Series, held in the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, N.C., this spring. The Westport, Conn., native recorded a time of 8:49.52 in an 800 split of the 1,500-meter freestyle to come in under the benchmark and qualify for the trials.

Abel has also qualified for the trials in the 400-meter individual medley, posting the second-fastest time in the 400-yard individual medley of any Blue Devil last season.

A rising junior, Abel has stood out in freestyle events, posting the program record in the 200-yard freestyle and contributing to the Blue Devils’ record-setting 800-yard freestyle relay team. She also holds the second-fastest times in program history in the 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyles.

Maddie Rusch

Rusch has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly, securing a qualification in the 50-meter freestyle with a 26.19-second swim at the Georgia Tech Long Course Trials Qualifier at Georgia Tech’s Aquatic Center in February.

The New Canaan, Conn., native posted the fastest 50-yard freestyle time in program history last year as a junior with a 22.14, and also stood out for the team’s record-breaking 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams last year.

Rusch posted a season-best time of 53.17 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly last season, the third-best on the Blue Devil squad.

Maddie Hess

Hess was a standout as a freshman at Duke this year, shattering the school record with a 1:55.14 time in the 200-yard backstroke at the Nike Cup in November. The 100-yard backstroke Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion record holder could have her hands full in Omaha, as she has qualified in the 50-meter freestyle, 100 and 200-meter backstroke and the 100-meter butterfly.

The Brandon, Fla., native improved markedly in the 100-yard backstroke during the 2015-16 season. She posted a time of 53.93 seconds against Pittsburgh in October and 54.26 in January before finishing 10th at the ACC championship in February with a time of 53.11 seconds. Hess also finished sixth at the ACC championship in the 50-meter freestyle with a personal-best time of 22.42.

Hess was part of the Blue Devils’ record-setting 200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle relay teams as a freshman.

Hunter Aitchison

During her first season in Durham, Aitchison helped set a program record in the 800-yard freestyle relay at the ACC championship in February, swimming a 1:48.87 leg to help her team break the Blue Devil record by more than four seconds.

Aitchison had her hands on the program record in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:47.93 before sophomore Verity Abel posted a 1:47.90 at the ACC championship in the first leg of the relay to best the rookie. She will look for a strong performance at the trials, having qualified in the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyles, to build momentum entering her sophomore campaign, with the entire record-setting 800-yard freestyle relay among the pieces Duke brings back next season.

Mickayla Hinkle

Like many of her classmates, Hinkle made a big splash during her freshman campaign last year, establishing a new program record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.04 seconds at the Bulldog Invitational in February.

Hinkle has a personal best of 52.97 seconds in the event and the Woodbury, Minn., native qualified for the trials in the 100-meter backstroke. Hinkle also qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Anna Quinn

The UCLA transfer stood out during her sophomore campaign in the 200-yard butterfly, posting the second-best time on the team in the event with a 1:58.84. Quinn owns a personal record of 1:57.25 in the 200-yard butterfly.

Quinn competed in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly bonus finals at the 2015 Pac-12 championship. Classmate Isabella Paez, who owns the program record in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:56.04, will attempt to qualify for the Olympics through Venezuela’s trial process.

Emily Barber

Barber—who graduated from Duke in 2014—is one of the only competitors with Duke ties hoping to qualify in the 100-meter breaststroke.

During her time at Duke, the Guilford, Conn., native finished as high as 12th at the NCAA championship in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.39, which ranked second all-time at the time of her departure in 2014.

Despite suffering a season-ending injury forcing her to miss the entire 2011-12 season, Barber rebounded the following year to finish 15th in the U.S. Open in the 100-yard breaststroke. Throughout her Blue Devil career, Barber also swam in the 200-yard breaststroke, clocking a personal best of 2:12.65.

Maria Sheridan

Sheridan, who recently finished her sophomore campaign at Duke, has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials for the second time in her swimming career. The Charlotte, N.C., native qualified in the 200-meter backstroke—she posted the fourth-best time on the Duke team last season in the 200-yard backstroke with a 1:59.85.

Sheridan also competed in the ACC championship as a freshman in the event, and will look to build momentum before her junior season at Duke. She has also competed in the 100-yard backstroke for the Blue Devils.

Kylie Jordan

An incoming freshman, Jordan qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100-meter butterfly. The Leesburg, Va., native owns a personal record of 53.00 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly, which would have been good enough for the third-best time of any Blue Devil last season.

Jordan was Duke’s first public verbal commit in the Class of 2016 when she committed in May 2015.

Alyssa Marsh

A second incoming freshman who has qualified for the trials on the women’s side, Marsh qualified in the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly as a high school competitor. The Davidson, N.C., native has a personal record of 22.48 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle—which would have been good enough for third-best on the Duke team last year.

Marsh has a personal-best time of 52.95 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly, which also would have left her third among Blue Devils during the 2015-16 campaign. She is the daughter of David Marsh, who is the U.S. Olympic Team head women’s coach and led Auburn to seven men’s NCAA championships and five women’s NCAA championships during his time as head coach from 1990-2007.

Marsh committed to Duke in October 2015.

Peter Kropp

One of the most successful breaststroke swimmers in program history, Kropp has qualified to compete in the Olympic trials in both the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke.

As a sophomore in 2014-15, the Los Angeles native set an ACC record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 52.02 seconds. He followed that performance up with a 52.17-second effort at the ACC preliminaries that year—setting a conference meet record—and posted a 52.13 mark against Pittsburgh in October for his best time in the event as a junior.

Kropp also broke Duke’s school record in the 200-yard breaststroke as a sophomore, clocking a 1:55.05 in the conference finals to beat the previous record by more than three-quarters of a second. He regressed slightly as a junior, though, posting a season-best time of 1:57.75 that was nearly three seconds slower than his record-breaking swim.

Michael Miller

Miller will likely be one of the busiest Blue Devils at the U.S. Olympic Trials having qualified in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and the 200- and 400-meter individual medley.

The Houston native has set plenty of Duke records in three seasons of work, including three of the events in which he has qualified. Miller has posted a 1:44.41 in the 200-yard butterfly, a 1:45.26 in the 200-yard individual medley and a 3:45.53 in the 400-yard individual medley to cement his name in the record books.

The All-ACC performer also brings ACC championship and NCAA championship experience to the trials, as he competed in March’s NCAA meet as part of Duke’s 400-yard medley relay team.

Bradley Cline

Cline qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200-meter individual medley during the August 2015 Mt. Hood Futures Championship in Gresham, Ore., with a time of 2:04.67.

At Duke, Cline ranks second all time in program history in the 200-yard individual medley with a personal-best time of 1:46.51, which he set as a freshman in 2013-14. Cline also set the program record in the 100-yard individual medley the following year, and is also in the top five all time in the 200-yard backstroke.

The San Francisco native will look to build momentum ahead of his final season in Durham at the Olympic trials.

Judd Howard

Coming off his freshman season, Howard will look to set personal records in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials. The Irvine, Calif., native posted the second-best time of any Blue Devil in the 200-yard breaststroke last season with a time of 1:57.17 and the fourth-best in the 100-yard event by clocking in at 53.85.

Howard’s best time in the events at Duke were personal records, and he will look to build on his first season which included an ACC championship appearance during the summer.

Dylan Payne

Payne qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100-meter breaststroke, as the Laguna Beach, Calif., native owns the fourth-fastest time in Duke history in the 100-yard breaststroke. Payne posted the time of 53.34 seconds—the second-fastest of any Blue Devil in the event in 2015-16—at the ACC championship in February.

Payne has also competed in the 200-yard breaststroke during his three years at Duke, and will look to set a new personal record in the 100-meter event ahead of his senior campaign.

Mike Seaberg

Seaberg finished eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke at the ACC championship in February and set a personal record with a time of 53.50 seconds, but is expected to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50-meter freestyle. The Gambrills, Md., native posted the third-fastest time of any Blue Devil in the 50-yard freestyle during his junior season with a 20.25 and will bring three years of ACC championship experience to the Olympic trials meet.

Like many of his classmates, Seaberg is hoping to carry positive momentum from a strong performance at the trials into his final season in Durham.

Kaz Takabayashi

A rising senior from Glastonbury, Conn., Takabayashi qualified for the Olympic trials in the 100-meter butterfly ahead of his final year at Duke.

He recorded the fourth-best time for the 200-yard butterfly in program history with his 1:47.43 mark at the 2015 ACC championship. Takabayashi was also a part of the Blue Devils’ 200-yard medley relay that set a school record at the ACC championship meet in February, and the quartet claimed six first-place finishes during the 2014-15 season.

Max St. George

The rising sophomore qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials before college with a 57.16-second showing in the 100-meter backstroke at the 2015 Illinois YMCA State Championships.

This February, the Wheaton, Ill., native set the Duke record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:44.17 at the ACC championship. He also temporarily held the 100-yard backstroke program record, as he broke Kaz Takabayashi’s time with a 47.43-second effort. Less than two minutes later, however, Takabayashi took the record back.

Stefan Knight

Knight—a 2015 graduate—qualified for the Olympic trials in the 50-meter freestyle, continuing to compete in an event he thrived at during his Duke career.

He finished his career with the program’s third-best time in the 100-yard freestyle, a 44.04 time he recorded at the 2013 ACC championship. Knight also graduated ranked fourth in program history in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:37.75.

Roger Kriegl

Kriegl is an incoming freshman for head coach Dan Colella’s program but has already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in two events—the 400-meter individual medley and the 1,500-meter freestyle. The Moorpark, Calif., native has a personal-best of 3:58.49 in the 400-yard individual medley, which would have been the fourth-best time among Blue Devils last season.

Kriegl also specializes in distance events, as his 1,650-yard freestyle personal-best time of 15:12.58 would have been the third-best on the Duke team last year and less than four seconds off Matt Johnson’s program record time.

Eric Strickland

An incoming freshman, Strickland was accepted to Duke as an engineering student before showing major improvements in freestyle sprint events during his final high school season. The Norcross, Ga., native qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50-meter freestyle, and owns a personal-best time of 20.36 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, which would have been seventh-best among Blue Devils last season.

Strickland also competed in the 100-yard freestyle as a high school competitor.


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