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Senior Jessica Lyden
Lyden Captures ACC Title to Lead Duke on Day Three
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/17/2012
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - The Duke women's swimming & diving team broke two school records, claimed one ACC title and turned in a pair of All-ACC performances Friday on the third day of the 2012 ACC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships at the Christiansburg Aquatic enter.  

The Blue Devils are in ninth place in the team standings after three days of competition with a total of 149 points. Virginia continues to lead the conference with a team score of 558, followed by North Carolina (401) and Florida State (302).

Senior Jessica Lyden captured the women's 3-meter diving title Friday evening, earning a score of 64.80 on her final dive to place first with a personal-best score of 365.95. Competing as the sole female diver from Duke at this weekend's conference meet, Lyden garnered a spot on the podium for the first time in her career after taking fourth in the event at the 2009 ACC Championships. Lyden also received All-ACC recognition for the first time in her career and claimed the program's fourth conference title on the 3-meter board in as many years, with Abby Johnston winning the gold medal each of the last three seasons.  

"It feels amazing. I couldn't ask for a better way to end my last season," Lyden said. "To be here with my teammates, and Drew [Johansen] is such an amazing coach ... I'm just so happy."  

The Blue Devils opened the evening session on a high note, with two school records falling in the finals of the 400 medley relay. Freshman Megan McCarroll swam a 55.22 leadoff split to break the previous program record of 55.32 in the 100 back. McCarroll combined with sophomore Christine Wixted, sophomore Lauren Weaver and junior Cara Vogel for an NCAA provisional time and a new school record in their 3:40.71 performance to finish seventh overall.

Freshman Ali Horn matched a personal best in the bonus final of the 400 IM, shaving over three seconds off of her prelim time with a 4:23.56 clocking in the finals to take 18th overall. Senior Steffi Niessl also improved upon her morning performance in the 100 fly, finishing 18th in the bonus final at 54.87 for her best mark of the season. In the consolation final of the 100 fly, Weaver scored for Duke in a 16th-place showing (54.81), moving up six spots from her finish in the event a year ago.

The evening continued with a couple of standout swims in the finals of the 100 breast. Freshman Katherine Plevka registered a personal best of 1:04.37 in the bonus final to come in 19th. In the championship final, Wixted touched in 1:01.50 to place third, earning All-ACC honors for the first time in her career. The 1:01.50 clocking was also good for an NCAA provisional standard, as Wixted improved upon her performance at last year's ACC Championships by six spots.   

"Getting All-ACC honors is really great," Wixted said. "It's always been a goal of mine ... I'm glad I could do that for the team. They were all behind me, so I couldn't have done it without them."

Duke closed out the evening with senior Meghan Dwyer and McCarroll finishing 19th and 22nd, respectively, in the bonus final of the 100 back. Dwyer notched a personal-best in the final, swimming 55.25, while McCarroll touched in 55.41 during the morning prelim for her lifetime best. After posting a personal-best time of 55.33 during the prelims, Vogel returned Friday evening to swim 55.59 in the consolation final while taking 15th.

Friday morning's preliminaries saw a total of nine Blue Devils record personal-best times, with eight swimmers qualifying for a finals event. In addition, two Duke divers surpassed NCAA Zone Championships qualifying standards in the prelims of the men's 1-meter competition. Junior Jordan Long received a score of 319.90 for Duke's third-best mark of the season in the event, and senior Cody Kolodziejzyk finished right behind Long in 14th with a score of 319.50.     

The 2012 ACC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships conclude Saturday with the preliminaries and finals of the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and the 1,650 free. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, while the evening finals will get underway at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the men's and women's platform diving competitions are also slated for Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.

Live results and live video will be available for Saturday's events, in addition to live blog coverage of the Blue Devils in action.

Team Standings Through Day Three:

1. Virginia 558
2. North Carolina 401
3. Florida State 302
4. Maryland 273
5. Virginia Tech 269
6. Miami 244
7. NC State 170.5
8. Georgia Tech 154.5
9. Duke 149
10. Clemson 90
11. Boston College 48