Duke Women Add 11 New Student-Athletes For 2018-19 Season

Photo Courtesy: Duke Athletics

Duke swimming and diving head coach Dan Colella announced Friday the addition of 11 student-athletes to the women’s program ahead of the 2018-19 academic year.

The incoming class includes Shae Nicolaisen of Arizona, Zoe Lusk of California, Melissa Pish of Illinois, Easop Lee and Maddy Pfaff of Maryland, Shay Hollander of New Jersey, Lucy Callard and Rachel Peroni of Ohio, Brynne O’Shea of Oregon, Cabell Ann Whitlow of Virginia and Maddi Pullinger of Australia.

“We’re very thrilled about the class coming in,” Colella said. “It’s a strong and versatile group that we expect will make an immediate impact. These women with their current times can do just that. Their versatility ranges from sprints all the way up to distance in every stroke. We have some coming in who are national team and junior national team veterans, and some who have made great breakthroughs throughout their high school careers. The arrival of this class will provide excitement on the pool deck, especially with its size. Our team is ready to welcome the newest Blue Devils and get the season rolling!”

Take a closer look at the Blue Devils’ incoming freshman class:

Lucy Callard – Cincinnati, Ohio
High School: 
The Seven Hills School
Club Team: Powel Crosley Jr. YMCA Tigersharks
Notes: Junior Nationals qualifier … NICSA All-American as a senior and sophomore … Three-time USA Swimming All-American … Three-time OHSAA Division II state champion in the 500 freestyle … Added a state crown in the 200 freestyle her senior year … 2018 Cincinnati Enquirer Swimmer of the Year … Finalist at 2018 YMCA Short Course National Championships in three events
On choosing Duke: “Duke is one of the few schools that combines elite athletics with elite academics. After meeting the team and the coaches, I knew immediately that Duke was the perfect place for me to grow as student and athlete. I am excited to learn and compete at the highest level.”

Callard Personal Records: 
200 Free SCY/LCM – 1:48.81/2:05.22
500 Free SCY – 4:49.41
1,000 Free SCY – 9:48.32
1,650 Free SCY – 16:33.71
200 Fly SCY/LCM – 2:02.24/2:19.00
400 IM SCY/LCM – 4:24.94/5:05.63

Shay Hollander – Cranford, N.J.
High School: 
Mount Saint Mary Academy
Club Team: Jersey Gators
Notes: Junior Nationals qualifier … State and sectional champion in the 100 backstroke as a senior at Mount Saint Mary Academy … State record holder in that event … Also a four-time county and three-time conference champion in the 100 backstroke … Added a county championship in the 100 butterfly her final year
On choosing Duke: “When looking at where I wanted to spend my college years, I knew I wanted a school that would support both my academic interests and athletic goals while also being surrounded by motivated and supportive classmates. At Duke, I found exactly that. While Duke is known for its academic rigor, the welcoming team and coaching staff is what sealed the deal for me.”

Hollander Personal Records:
50 Free SCY – 23.15
100 Free SCY – 50.68
200 Free SCY – 1:50.53
100 Back SCY – 53.80
200 Back SCY – 2:00.68
100 Fly SCY – 55.05

Easop Lee – Baltimore, Md.
High School: 
Club Team: North Baltimore Aquatic Club
Notes: Member of South Korean national team (2016-17) … Represented South Korea at 2017 FINA World Championships and 2017 World Junior Championships … South Korean record holder in the 200 and 400 freestyle … Four-time Maryland Outstanding Swimmer of the Year … Claimed titles in seven events at the Maryland Swimming Senior SCY Championships her senior year … Posted top-eight finishes in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle at the 2018 Speedo Junior National Championships
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke because of its excellence in both academics and athletics, unmatchable support to its student-athletes and great team atmosphere.”

Lee Personal Records: 
100 Free SCY/LCM – 49.56/56.42
200 Free SCY/LCM – 1:44.63/1:58.64
500 Free SCY – 4:40.89
1,000 Free SCY – 9:36.03
100 Fly SCY/LCM – 53.23/1:01.21
200 Fly SCY/LCM – 1:56.55/2:10.40
100 Back SCY/LCM – 53.47/1:04.58
200 Back SCY/LCM – 1:53.74/2:16.26
200 IM SCY/LCM – 1:58.51/2:21.46
400 IM SCY/LCM – 4:08.59/4:49.63

Zoe Lusk – Palo Alto, Calif.
High School: 
Palo Alto
Club Team: Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics
Notes: Competed at 2017 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup in Eindhoven, Netherlands … Earned a spot in 100 backstroke finals at that meet … NISCA All-American in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley as a junior … Two-time NISCA All-American in the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays … Guided her high school squad to CIF Central Coast Section titles as a sophomore and junior
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke because in addition to phenomenal academic opportunities, the school spirit and coaches are extraordinary. When I met the team they were so fun and welcoming and I felt right at home with them. I am so excited to spend the next four years at DUKE!”

Lusk Personal Records:
200 IM SCY/LCM – 2:00.99/2:20.26
400 IM SCY/LCM – 4:19.58/5:04.83
100 Breast SCY/LCM – 1:03.16/1:14.39
200 Breast SCY/LCM – 2:15.88/2:37.31
100 Back SCY/LCM – 54.86/1:05.40
200 Back SCY – 1:59.02

Shae Nicolaisen – Phoenix, Ariz.
High School: 
Desert Vista
Club Team: Scottsdale Aquatic Club
Notes: U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier … Two-time NISCA All-American … State champion in the 200 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay as a junior … Also tabbed the Arizona East Valley Swimmer of the Year her junior year … Set three Tempe All-City and six school records as a senior … Claimed titles in the 200 and 1,000 freestyle at the 2018 AzSI Short Course Senior Open Championships
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke because of the unmatched excellence in both academics and athletics. I love the emphasis that Duke places on the balance between the two, and I know Duke is a place where I can excel both in the classroom and the pool. I loved the coaching staff and the team’s energy, and I felt instantly at home when I stepped on campus.”

Nicolaisen Personal Records:
100 Free SCY/LCM – 51.89/58.12
200 Free SCY/LCM – 1:49.79/2:03.79
400 Free LCM – 4:18.68
500 Free SCY – 4:51.02
800 Free LCM – 8:46.92
1,000 Free SCY – 10:03.52
1,500 Free LCM – 17:14.41
1,650 Free SCY – 16:50.27
200 Fly SCY/LCM – 2:01.46/2:20.55
400 IM SCY/LCM – 4:21.04/5:00.80

Brynne O’Shea – Portland, Ore.
High School: 
Club Team: Multnomah Athletic Club
Notes: Nationals and Junior Nationals qualifier … All-American as a junior … Placed sixth in 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke at state meet her junior year … Earned top-eight finishes in the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke at states her senior year
On choosing Duke: “The academics and athletics are very respected for outstanding achievement. I wanted to go somewhere that would encourage me to push myself in and out of the pool and provide a supportive environment. The team and coaches were beyond what I expected in terms of kindness and motivation. Overall, Duke made me feel at home.” 

O’Shea Personal Records: 
200 Back SCY/LCM – 1:56.88/2:15.80
100 Back SCY/LCM – 56.00/1:04.15
400 IM SCY/LCM – 4:29.96/5:04.87
200 IM SCY/LCM – 2:07.38/2:26.20

Rachel Peroni – Powell, Ohio
High School: 
Olentangy Liberty
Club Team: Ohio State Swim Club
Notes: OHSAA All-American as a senior … Tabbed a top five athlete of the year in Central Ohio her final year, winning a district title in the 100 butterfly … Took second in the same event at the state championships and was fourth in the 100 backstroke
On choosing Duke: “Duke provides amazing academic opportunities, a top 25 DI swimming program, beautiful campus, great coaches and a very close team bond.”

Peroni Personal Records:
100 Fly SCY/LCM – 54.68/1:02.66
200 Fly SCY/LCM – 2:01.30/2:20.15
100 Back SCY/LCM – 55.61/1:06.91
200 Back SCY/LCM – 2:02.21/2:23.34
50 Free SCY/LCM – 23.79/27.66
100 Free SCY/LCM – 51.48/1:00.16

Maddy Pfaff – Bethesda, Md.
High School: 
Bethesda-Chevy Chase
Club Team: Montgomery Dive Club
Notes: Maryland state champion as a senior, setting a state meet 11-dive record in the process … Two-time division and regional champion … METROs champion and All-Met first team and all-county selection her final year
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke because I was drawn to the culture of excellence and the extremely welcoming team and coaching staff.  I love that Duke’s athletic program is not only highly competitive but also expects athletes to thrive academically.”
Head Diving Coach Nunzio Esposto on Pfaff: “Maddy is going to add great depth to the women’s diving team. She has a lot of potential to improve and refine her diving.”

Pfaff Personal Records: 
One-Meter (10 dive) – 395.20
One-Meter (11 dive) – 485.50
Three-Meter (10 dive) – 409.60

Melissa Pish – Bloomington, Ill.
High School: 
Normal Community West
Club Team: BNY Waves
Notes: Member of the U.S. junior national team … Competed at 2015 FINA World Junior Championships … U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier … Nationals and Junior Nationals qualifier … Illinois state champion in the 200 and 500 freestyle as a senior … Placed seventh in the 100 freestyle at the 2018 Speedo Junior National Championships
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke for a variety of reasons; however, the most compelling of those was how I felt when I was around the team and coaches on campus. As cliché as it sounds, Duke felt like home. It is a place where I know I will be able to excel in both academics and athletics. Having a combination of these two factors in my life is extremely important to me as I am currently working towards being the best I can in the pool, while also recognizing that, later in life, I will need to move forward with the security of a strong education. Duke is able to provide both of these along with an incredibly motivated team and support staff. The sense of family that I perceived within the swim team was something that I greatly appreciated, and I consider myself extremely lucky that I will have the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Pish Personal Records:
50 Free SCY/LCM – 23.44/26.48
100 Free SCY/LCM – 49.80/55.91
200 Free SCY/LCM – 1:46.08/2:00.58
500 Free SCY – 4:44.07
1,000 Free SCY – 9:50.78
1,650 Free SCY – 16:30.17

Maddi Pullinger – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
High School: 
Oxford Falls Grammar School
Club Team: New South Wales Institute of Sport
Notes: Competed at 2014 Dresden International Youth Meet … Five-time recipient of the Sporting Excellence Award in high school, given to an athlete who has competed at the highest school level possible
On choosing Duke: “As an Australian athlete, the prospect of attending an American college with a top-eight academic ranking and a diving coach with an international reputation and results makes Duke impossible to pass up.”
Esposto on Pullinger: “Maddi is a strong diver with international experience. She will immediately be a strong competitor in the conference. I look forward to working with her.”

Pullinger Personal Records:
One-Meter (5 dive) – 255.05
Three-Meter (5 dive) – 276.80

Cabell Ann Whitlow – Roanoke, Va.
High School: 
Patrick Henry
Club Team: Virginia Gators
Notes: Nationals qualifier … Three-time All-American in the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley relay … Won state titles in the 200 individual medley as a senior and sophomore … Guided her high school team to three straight state championships
On choosing Duke: “I chose Duke because of the amazing academic and athletic opportunities available. I felt like it was the perfect fit for me. I really like the coaches and all the swimmers I’ve met so far. Duke will be a place I can grow as a person, swimmer and student.”

Whitlow Personal Records: 
200 Fly SCY/LCM – 1:59.42/2:15.64
200 IM SCY/LCM – 2:00.57/2:23.20
100 Fly SCY/LCM – 54.61/1:02.35
400 IM SCY/LCM – 4:21.34/4:59.87
100 Back SCY/LCM – 56.02/1:06.13
200 Back SCY/LCM – 1:59.77/2:21.41

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