Duke Swimming & Diving Adds Nine For 2017-2018 Season

Photo Courtesy: Duke Athletics

Duke University head swimming and diving coach Dan Colella announced Friday the addition of nine student-athletes to the program ahead of the 2017-18 academic year.

Connie Dean, Halle Morris, Carly Perri and Ellie Winslow will bolster the women’s swimming and diving roster while Nathaniel Hartley, Spencer LaFata, Zach Washart, Teddy Zeng and Adam Zimmer are set to join the men’s team.

“This freshman class is smaller than we’ve had in the past, but it’s a very talented group of individuals who have a tremendous amount of potential,” Colella said. “These men and women have achieved some pretty significant swimming and diving already in their careers. Each of them demonstrates the kind of character and skills we’re looking for in Duke student-athletes and we’re really thrilled to have them join the Duke family.”

Duke Swimming and Diving Class of 2021:

Connie Dean – Maidenhead, England
High School:
Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School
Club Team: Maidenhead Marlins
Notes: Two-year member of England’s national team … 2016 British Nationals finalist in the 400-meter individual medley … Also took sixth in the women’s open 200 individual medley at that meet, as well as seventh in the Target Tokyo 2020 200 breaststroke … Gold medalist in the 200 breaststroke at the 2016 ASA South East Region meet … Also claimed silver medals in the 50 breaststroke, 400 individual medley and 100 breaststroke and a bronze in the 200 individual medley in that showing
On choosing Duke: “Duke has a great balance of academia and sport.”
Colella on Dean: “Connie’s specialty is the IMs and she’s also a magnificent breaststroker. She’s someone who is going to provide a great boost to our IM events – both the 200 and 400 IM. Connie has great potential to achieve significant feats both at the conference and NCAA levels.”

Dean Personal Records:
200 IM LCM – 2:15.34
400 IM LCM – 4:45.3
100 Breast LCM – 1:11.73
200 Breast LCM – 2:33.9

Halle Morris – San Rafael, Calif.
High School (Coach): Terra Linda (Tim Baker)
Club Team (Coaches): North Bay Aquatics (Ken Demont and Don Swartz)
Notes: U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke … Summer and Winter Junior Nationals qualifier … Registered a pair of top-30 finishes in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke at the 2017 U.S. Open … Tabbed the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) Swimmer of the Year her final senior at Terra Linda after claiming league titles in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley … Claimed a state crown in the 100 breaststroke as a junior
On choosing Duke: “There is an amazing balance between academics and athletics. I was welcomed by the team and coaches and felt at home the moment I stepped on campus.”
Colella on Morris: “Halle is a great addition to the program. Her specialty is breaststroke and she’s also a very strong IMer. She’s going to have an immediate impact within the conference. We anticipate her playing a critical role not only in the individual events but also when it comes to medley relays.”

Morris Personal Records:
100 Breast SCY/LCM – 1:00.85/1:10.29
200 Breast SCY/LCM – 2:13.19/2:33.39
200 IM SCY/LCM – 2:05.02/2:23.21
100 Free SCY/LCM – 52.82/1:00.32

Carly Perri – Fountain Valley, Calif.
High School: Fountain Valley
Club Team (Coach): Irvine Novaquatics (Jeri Marshburn)
Notes: Summer and Winter Junior Nationals qualifier … Placed eighth in the 100 butterfly at the CIF State Championships as a senior … State finalist in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke as a sophomore … Captured back-to-back league titles in the 200 freestyle her freshman and sophomore seasons … Added additional league championships in the 100 butterfly as a freshman and in the 100 backstroke as a sophomore
On choosing Duke: “I decided to commit to Duke because it had everything I was looking for in a university and swim team. Duke has the perfect balance of academics and athletics that allow student-athletes like myself to pursue their passions in and outside of the classroom.”
Colella on Perri: “Carly specializes in the butterfly and mid-distance free. I could see her adding some firepower to the 800 free relay. We’ll be looking to her to bring some depth to an already strong butterfly core as well.”

Perri Personal Records:
100 Fly SCY/LCM – 54.54/1:03.10
200 Fly SCY/LCM – 1:59.17/2:18.86
200 Free SCY/LCM – 1:48.57/2:06.78
100 Back SCY/LCM – 55.51/1:04.95

Ellie Winslow – Upper Arlington, Ohio
High School (Coach): Upper Arlington High School (Ryan Wilson)
Club Team (Coach): Ohio State Diving Club (John Appleman)
Notes: Four-time Junior National qualifier … Reached one-meter and platform semifinals in the 16-18 girls division at the 2016 USA Diving AT&T National Championships … Finished sixth in one-meter diving at her state meet as a senior … All-American and state runner-up as a junior … Also received NISCA Best of the Best All-American in Diving her junior year
On choosing Duke: “Duke is my dream school and has been for several years. I love the balance of academic and athletic rigor that makes Duke such a dominant school all around. The Duke community has been welcoming since day one and I cannot deny the thrill that comes with the phrase ‘Forever Duke.’”
Head Diving Coach Nunzio Esposto on Winslow: “Ellie comes from the Ohio State Diving Club, which is a relatively large club. She did well as a junior diver. I’m excited to see her transition into a college athlete and I’m looking forward to teaching her a 10-meter platform list. That’s one of our goals for her. She’s very strong and I think she’s going to be a great addition to the team.”

Winslow Personal Records:
One-Meter (6 dive) – 309.9
One-Meter (10 dive) – 390.85
One-Meter (11 dive) – 558.05
Three-Meter (10 dive) – 431.75
Platform (9 dive) – 395.10

Nathaniel Hartley – Lake Wylie, S.C.
High School (Coach):
Gaston Day School [N.C.] (Becca Hurd)
Club Team (Coach): Rock Hill Rays (Tim Conley)
Notes: North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A/2A state champion in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke as a sophomore … Qualified for YMCA Short Course Nationals all four years of high school … Finalist in the 100 and 200 backstroke at the 2017 YMCA Short Course Nationals … Took fifth in the 100 freestyle at the 2017 South Carolina Short Course Championships
On choosing Duke: “I loved the coaching staff and the team.”
Colella on Hartley: “Nathaniel was our first commitment in this class. It’s been a long time coming, waiting for him to arrive on campus. Nathaniel has a multitude of talents. Right now we see his primary events being backstroke but he’s very skilled in the other strokes. I can see him having a future in the IMs. He has a lot of untapped potential and we’re anticipating him growing into a leadership-type position in his events.”

Hartley Personal Records:
100 Back SCY/LCM – 49.49/59.77
200 Back SCY/LCM – 1:47.35/2:09.74
100 Free SCY/LCM – 45.72/53.44
200 Free SCY/LCM – 1:39.90/1:59.80
200 IM SCY/LCM – 1:51.82/2:15.23

Spencer LaFata – Pelham, N.Y.
High School:
Fordham Preparatory School
Club Team (Coaches): Badger Swim Club (John Collins and Dominick Gallimi)
Notes: 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier in the 1500-meter freestyle … Summer Junior Nationals qualifier in the 400 and 1500-meter freestyle … Turned in a pair of top-30 finishes in the 800 and 1,500-meter freestyle at the 2017 U.S. Open … All-American as a junior and senior at Fordham Preparatory School … State champion in the 500 freestyle as a junior while also taking second in the 200 freestyle … Member of 200 and 400 freestyle relays that also captured state crowns at that meet
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke University for the outstanding academics and athletics. It is very difficult to find a school that balances the two so well, but I think Duke is the place that will help me to obtain my goals both in the classroom and in the pool.”
Colella on LaFata: “Spencer is coming off of a great U.S. Open. He is going to provide some additional strength in the distance events. We’ll be working to determine what his third event will be outside of the 500 and the mile. He’s shown some potential in the backstrokes. Spencer is a really outgoing individual who, from the moment he arrived on campus, seemed to really fit in. I think it’s going to be a great experience for him here at Duke University.”

LaFata Personal Records:
200 Free SCY/LCM – 1:40.52/1:54.94
500 Free SCY – 4:27.03
400 Free LCM – 3:59.51
1,000 Free SCY – 9:11.34
800 Free LCM – 8:17.02
1,650 Free SCY – 15:21.94
1,500 Free LCM – 15:45.98
400 IM SCY/LCM – 4:10.86/4:48.18
200 Fly SCY/LCM – 1:55/2:05.13

Zach Washart – Sewell, N.J.
High School (Coach): St. Augustine Preparatory School (Jon Stinson)
Club Team (Coach): Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club (Matthew Sprang)
Notes: Summer and Winter Junior Nationals qualifier … Four-time Cape Atlantic League first team and South Jersey first team selection at St. Augustine … State finalist in the 200 and 500 freestyle as a senior, finishing second at the 200-yard distance
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke because I felt like it had everything that I was looking for in a school. I knew that I wanted to attend medical school in the future and I thought that I would have a lot of great opportunities to do that at Duke. Another major factor was the swimming program, which I was sold on as soon as I came to visit the campus. The team’s drive and general atmosphere was exactly what I was looking for in my college swimming experience, which played a major part in my decision to come to Duke.”
Colella on Washart: “Zach, like Spencer, is adding some substantial depth in the distance freestyle events. I think Duke University is a great fit for Zach in terms of having a great complement of academics and athletics. We’re looking forward to seeing how he’ll thrive here both in and out of the pool.”

Washart Personal Records:
100 Free SCY/LCM – 47.45/57.65
200 Free SCY/LCM – 1:41.55/1:54.32
500 Free SCY – 4:30.58
1,000 Free SCY – 9:11.37
1,650 Free SCY – 15:38.59
200 Back SCY/LCM – 1:53.75/2:08.41
400 IM SCY/LCM – 4:06.27/4:44.17
200 Fly SCY/LCM – 1:58.29/2:17.74

Teddy Zeng – Hong Kong, China
High School:
Daniel Hand High School [Conn.]
Club Team (Coach): Dive Haven (Chris Bergère)
Notes: Three-time All-American out of Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Conn. …  Conference, state and States Open champion in diving all four years … Holds diving records for the Southern Connecticut Conference, Class M and L state meets and the States Open … New Haven Register Area Boys Swimming MVP as a senior … Competed at the 2012 FINA Diving World Cup in London
On choosing Duke: “The reason I chose Duke is because of the many resources that I can use for my future, and also because of the team. It made me feel that the whole team is just like a big family.”
Esposto on Zeng: “Teddy is originally from Hong Kong, pretty established as a diver when he was young. I think that he gets better and better as he travels up the boards – one-meter, three-meter and of course platform. He competed in the 2012 World Cup in London so I’m excited for him to get back up on platform and see what he can bring to Duke.”

Zeng Personal Records:
One-Meter (6 dive) – 370
One-Meter (11 dive) – 627

Adam Zimmer – Missoula, Mont.
High School (Coach): Big Sky High School (Helen Houlihan)
Club Team (Coaches): Missoula Aquatic Club (Jay Friend and Dave Berkoff)
Notes: World Championship trials qualifier … Summer and Winter Junior Nationals finalist … Three-time All-American in the 100 breaststroke … Four-time state champion in that event, setting a state record on each occasion … Also a three-time state champion in the 200 individual medley with state records in those swims … Tabbed Big Sky MVP three times … Named Montana Swimmer of the Year as a freshman
On choosing Duke: “I loved the team, coaches and the campus. The athletics and academics are amazing.”
Colella on Zimmer: “Having graduated a core of our breaststroke group last year, Adam is going to be a very welcome addition in those events. He also shows some real potential in the IMs. He’s coming off of very successful short course and long course seasons. I think the World Trials this summer was a great experience for him. Having finaled at the meet provides some experience that is going to help him really excel at the collegiate level.”

Zimmer Personal Records:
100 Breast SCY/LCM – 55.35/1:04.09
200 Breast SCY/LCM – 1:58.63/2:23.11
200 IM SCY/LCM – 1:50.98/2:12.23
200 Back SCY/LCM – 1:49.85/2:14.45
400 IM SCY/LCM – 3:59.78/4:50.54

Press release courtesy of Duke Athletics. 

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5 years ago

Yay Spencer LaFata!! ???


Congratulations to Carly! ~Jeri