NC State Sweeps Duke Women and Men in Dual Meet; Abbey Webb Wins Three

rafal-kusto-nc-state
NC States' Rafal Kusto -- Photo Courtesy: Luke Jamroz Photography

NC State Sweeps Duke Women and Men in Dual Meet; Abbey Webb Wins Three

NC State lost out on its chance to race top rival North Carolina when a Friday dual meet between the two teams was cancelled, but the Wolfpack raced Duke in time trial exhibition Friday before the Blue Devils returned to Raleigh for a traditional dual meet Saturday. NC State’s women, the runnerup at last year’s NCAA Championships, won by a 139-87 margin, while the NC State men won 167-56.

NC State’s women saw Australian-native Abbey Webb put on a show in the freestyle events, as she won the 50 (23.45), 100 (49.85) and 200 (1:48.43), while teammate Katharine Berkoff won the 100 back (52.45) and 200 back (1:55.13) to open 2022 in fine fashion after winning two gold medals at the Short Course World Championships in December. Additionally, Abby Arens won the 100 fly (53.93) and 200 fly (1:58.18). For Duke, the standout performer was freshman Xi Xuan Chang, who won the 500 free (4:53.64) and 200 IM (2:02.08).

NC State’s dominant performance on the men’s side saw the Wolfpack capture first place in all but one event. Sam Hoover doubled with wins in the 100 free (43.84) and 200 free (1:36.25), and Rafal Kusto won the 100 breast (53.84) and 200 breast (1:58.00). Noah Bowers led a 1-2-3-4 finish in the 100 back, but he finished just behind Duke’s Michael Jiang in one of the top races of the day in the 200 IM. Jiang won, 1:49.79 to 1:49.83, for Duke’s only first-place finish of the day. However, NC State swam exhibition in the final three individual events and the 200 free relay.

Check out full results from the meet here, and read the full press release from NC State below:

NC State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams extended their season winning streak after defeating the Duke Blue Devils Saturday morning during the Wolfpack’s first dual of the 2022 calendar year.

The No. 2 NC State men defeated Duke 167-56, and the Wolfpack women rounded out the session with a 139-87 victory over the Blue Devils.

NC State absolutely dominated the meet by capturing the first place spots in all but four of the 28 swimming events contested. Of those events, the Wolfpack swept a total of eight events, earning the first, second, and third place spots in those races.

INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Wolfpack distance powerhouse once again showed their endurance, as the men and women collectively swept the podium in several events.

In the women’s 1000-yard freestyle, the trio of Brooke Travis (10:05.44), Yara Hierath (10:09.82), and Grace Sheble (10:20.81) collected first, second, and third places, respectively.

The men followed the women’s lead in the same event, securing first through fourth places. Will Gallant led the way (9:00.89), followed by Eric Knowles (9:13.41), Curtis Wiltsey (9:15.48) and Owen Lloyd (9:19.71).

Australian native Abbey Webb finished the session with three individual victories in the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.43), 50-yard freestyle (23.45), and 100-yard freestyle (49.85).

Freshman Sam Hoover won both the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events with his performances of 43.84 seconds in the 100 and 1:36.25 seconds in the 200.

After bringing home two gold medals from World Championships in December, Katharine Berkoff returned to competition in both relays and the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events. Her times of 52.45 and 1:55.13 seconds were both good for first place.

Butterflier Abby Arens won the 100 (53.93) and 200-yard butterfly events (1:58.18), in addition to swimming a leg in both the 400-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays, earning four wins in the session.

Wolfpack diver Bayne Bennett once again led the boards in both the one-meter and three-meter events. His score of 343.73 points in the one-meter marks as his second best performance this season, while his 362.03 points on the three-meter stand as his highest score this season.

RELAY HIGHLIGHTS:

NC State claimed the top spot in the 400-yard medley relay on both sides to start off the swimming portion of the day’s events.

Berkoff, Heather MacCausland, Arens and Julia Poole brought the team home with a time of 3:37.36, ahead of second place finishing Duke by more than four seconds.

The men’s quartet of Hunter Tapp, Giovanni Izzo, Luke Miller and Noah Henderson claimed first on the men’s side with their time of 3:11.32. They were followed by the B relay of Garrett Boone, Markus Wennborg, John Healy and David Curtiss, who snagged second place (3:16.00).

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, NC State was victorious once again, with the women and men securing the first place finish. Berkoff, Webb, Poole, and MacCausland edged-out Duke by just over a tenth of a second with their 1:32.23 performance.

Though swimming exhibition, Hoover, Korstanje, Henderson, and Curtiss posted the fastest time of the men’s event (1:18.41).