DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke swimming and diving squads will split this weekend for a pair of invitationals in Knoxville, Tenn., and Chapel Hill, N.C. The Blue Devil swimmers head to Knoxville for their final outing of the fall season at the Tennessee Invitational, while the program's divers will stay close to home at the Nike Cup Invitational. Both competitions get underway Thursday and continue through Saturday.
Tennessee Invitational, Nov. 15-17 - Knoxville, Tenn. The Duke men will face 13th-ranked Tennessee (3-2) and Kentucky (1-4) at the three-day meet, while the women will go up against No. 7 Tennessee (5-0), Kentucky (1-5) and Colorado State (0-5). Live video (http://bit.ly/Zvbyv1), live results (http://bit.ly/W6EgCk) and a live blog (http://bit.ly/ZvbVp8) will be available for all three days of action. Competition begins with morning preliminaries each day in Knoxville, followed by finals events in the evening.
Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup Invitational, Nov. 15-17 - Chapel Hill, N.C. The Blue Devil divers will compete in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform competitions at the Nike Cup Invitational, with the platform events being held at Duke's Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion Thursday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. Live results for the meet will be available at http://bit.ly/Qe2VU9.
Last Time Out In their last outing, the men and women hosted Atlantic Coast Conference opponents NC State and the Miami women on Nov. 3 in dual meet action at Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion. The Blue Devil women defeated Miami, 164-133, while both the men's and women's teams fell to the Wolfpack. The women now own a record of 2-3 and 1-2 in conference action while the men are 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the ACC.
New pool records were established in two events, as junior Steven Gasparini clocked 49.88 in the 100-yard backstroke and junior Christine Wixted bested her own record in the 100 breaststroke at 1:02.01. Gasparini added another first-place finish in the 200 IM, while Wixted swept the breaststroke events with a win at the 200-yard distance and also took first in the 200 IM. Junior Hunter Knight won both breaststroke events on the men's side, placing first in the 100-yard race for the third time this season and classmate Lauren Weaver tapped the wall at 23.24 to claim the title in the women's 50 freestyle. Senior diver Jordan Long rounded out the 10 individual titles at the meet with a first-place finish in the men's 3-meter diving competition.
Duke in the National and Conference Landscape Members of the men's and women's teams have also turned in some of the nation's top times so far this season, according to CollegeSwimming.com. Senior Ben Hwang's time of 20.03 in the 50 freestyle is currently tied for the second-best time in the nation and the top mark in the conference with Mark Weber of Florida State. In addition, Hwang is also ranked 40th in the country with a 45.09 clocking over the 100-yard distance.
Hunter Knight posted a time of 55.92 in the 100 breaststroke in last weekend's home meet for the 30th-best time in the nation and the second-best time in the ACC, while the men's 200 freestyle relay of freshman Romain Decrop, senior Adam Flur, freshman Sam Skinner and Hwang is ranked 13th in the nation heading into the weekend with a 1:21.96 mark at the season-opening All-North Carolina Invitational. Meanwhile, senior Ted Minturn, senior Jim Zuponeck, Skinner and Hwang combined for a time of 3:23.86 in the 400 medley relay for the nation's 24th-best performance so far. In addition, the Blue Devils' 200 freestyle relay is among the top three in the conference following last week's action.
On the women's side, Wixted currently ranked leads the conference and is ranked 18th nationally in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.01), while Weaver comes in at 34th nationally and fifth in the ACC in the 50 freestyle (23.23). Wixted also owns the second-best time in the conference and 32nd-best time in the country at the 200-yard distance (2:16.50). Duke's 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 medley relays are also ranked in the top 50 nationally heading into the weekend.
Colella's Take Head coach Dan Colella on his expectations for the Tennessee Invitational: "Fall invite is always a great, great meet - it's something that we always shoot for during the course of our training. It's the only opportunity that we really have to simulate what ACCs are going to be like with a three-day meet, prelims and finals. It gives everyone an idea of what the championship meet is going to be like. We're really excited to be going to a great facility and we're excited about the upcoming meet. We're hoping to report some season-bests and maybe even some NCAA qualifying times."
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