CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Duke swimmers achieved three NCAA provisional qualifying standards and senior diver Nick McCrory won his second event in as many days as the second session of the 2013 Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup came to a close Friday at North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium.
The Blue Devil women remain in second place in the seven-team field with a total of 466 points and the men’s team moved up a spot to fourth out of six squads with 339 points through two days of action. The Tar Heels lead the women’s and men’s competitions with one finals session remaining in the meet.
McCrory earned a season-best score en route to a first-place performance in the men’s 1-meter diving event during the afternoon. The Chapel Hill native totaled 446.50 points over his list of six dives to surpass the NCAA Zone Diving Championships qualifying mark while sophomore Deon Reid also notched a Zones qualifying score of 341.45 to come in third. Freshman Kirby Quinn was impressive in the women’s 3-meter competition, placing second and topping the Zones standard at 285.65.
The evening began with the 200 medley relay, which saw junior Megan McCarroll, senior Christine Wixted, freshman Maddie Rusch and senior Lauren Weaver take second with a time of 1:40.74. The men’s team of freshman Kaz Takabayashi, senior Hunter Knight, freshman Bradley Cline and freshman James Peek came in fourth at 1:30.45.
A pair of Blue Devils advanced to the ‘A’ final in the 400 IM with solid swims during the preliminaries. Freshman Michael Miller touched at 3:57.91 to place seventh Friday evening and sophomore Kiera Molloy was eighth on the women’s side in 4:21.56. In the next event, the 100 butterfly, Rusch posted an NCAA ‘B’ cut at 54.43 to come in third overall. Another rookie turned in a strong performance in the 200 freestyle as Brittany Friese clocked a time of 1:50.62 to finish fifth.
Wixted and Knight led the way for Duke in the 100 breaststroke, collecting a pair of NCAA ‘B’ cuts along the way. Wixted won the women’s ‘A’ final at 1:00.27 while Knight tied for first with NC State’s Ian Bishop after both tapped the wall at 54.19. Freshman Dylan Payne also earned a spot in the men’s 100 breaststroke ‘A’ final, placing sixth overall (55.26). McCarroll rounded out the individual events with an eighth-place showing in the 100 backstroke at 55.71.
In the final event of the evening, the women’s 800 freestyle relay team of Rusch, Molloy, freshman Lindsay Schlichte and Friese took fourth in 7:32.26 and the men’s squad of Miller, Peek, Takabayashi and Cline combined for a time of 6:50.38 to finish 10th.
Saturday’s events at the Nike Cup include the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 1,650 freestyle as well as the 400 freestyle relay and the men’s and women’s platform diving competitions. Preliminaries begin at 10 a.m. and finals are slated for 7 p.m. in Chapel Hill, while the diving will take place at Duke’s Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion beginning at 11 a.m.