Duquesne swimming trounces Toledo in dual meet

Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics A Duquesne swimmer competes in the breaststroke competition in a dual meet versus Oakland University back on Oct. 14. The Dukes have gone a perfect 7-0 since their first meet against Oakland.

Courtesy of Duquesne Athletics
A Duquesne swimmer competes in the breaststroke competition in a dual meet versus Oakland University back on Oct. 14. The Dukes have gone a perfect 7-0 since their first meet against Oakland.

By David Borne | Staff Writer

In just their third head-to-head meet of the season, the Duquesne Dukes swimming team took down the Toledo Rockets by a score of 159-100, which improved its record to 7-1 on the season.

The Dukes wasted no time before they took the lead, as they opened the meet with a victory in the 400-yard medley relay. The first place team of Abby Watson, Abigail Stauffer, Kayla Owens and Heather Svitavsky finished with a time of 3:54.86.

Stauffer, who later finished first in the 100-yard breastroke with a time of 1:05.87, was proud of the way her team was able to battle through the events.

“It was a great win. It was a tough win; we’re really tired right now,” Stauffer said. “It’s at the point of the season where we’re wearing down a bit, but we got up, and we raced and did what we need to do.”

With her four first place finishes, Stauffer earned Atlantic 10 Conference women’s swimming performer of the week honors on Nov. 15. This was her first conference accolade of the 2016-17 season, but she also earned A-10 Rookie of the Week twice last year.

In the 1000-yard freestyle, Summer Svitavsky (10:40.43), Carson Gross (10:44.80) and Lauren Devorace (10:49.63) had top three finishes for Duquesne.

Morgan Smith added another first place finish for Duquesne in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:07.27.

Coach David Sheets had nothing but good things to say after the meet. He mentioned a few names in particular that stood out to him from the afternoon.

“Abby Stauffer did really well. Morgan Smith as well. They’re both sophomores this year, and they’re really growing into their roles in the program,” Sheets said. “Lexi Santer always does really well. Kayla Owens and our freshman distance kids did a really good job today, too. Overall, it was really solid team effort.”

The Dukes will now compete in a couple of tournaments before their next dual meet on Jan. 14. They will participate in the CSU Magnus Cup from Nov. 18-20, then the squad will travel down to Atlanta on Nov. 30 for the AT&T Winter Nationals.

Junior Lexi Santer recognizes that while the next few months will be filled with a lot of work, it is necessary for the team to succeed in the A-10 Championship meet.

“We have a midseason focus meet over Thanksgiving break, and that’s where we’ll really be able to put on our fast suits and we’re really looking forward to that,” Sheets said.

Following the Thanksgiving meet, Sheets said his team really begins to crank up the intensity in their training. Their training schedule may mean a lot of tough workouts and long hours in the pool, but it is highlighted by a trip to Florida where Sheets and his team get a chance to boost their camaraderie.  

Sheets mentioned that dual meets like the one against Toledo are a great way to get prepared for larger competitions.

“Dual meets are what we call ‘dress rehearsals’ for the conference championships in February,” Sheets said. “Win or lose, what we want to do is come into the meets be competitive, and we want to really focus on learning how to race the races that we’re going to race in the championships.”

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