Wednesday's college roundup
UNC QUALIFIES FOUR — Durham’s Jackson Bryant-Comstock is among four North Carolina fencers who qualified for the NCAA Championships, to be held March 21-24 at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas.
Gillian Litynski will compete in women’s sabre, Joseph Alter in men’s foil and Bryant-Comstock and Sam Austin in men’s sabre.
This will be the first NCAA appearance Bryant-Comstock, a senior who attended Durham School of the Arts.
At last Saturday’s NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Region Championships, Litynski took fourth, Alter fifth, Bryant-Comstock ninth and Austin 10th. NCAA berths are awarded based on performance throughout the season as well as finish at the Regional.
“They all had a phenomenal year and obviously very good regional championships,” UNC coach Ron Miller said. “In men’s sabre both Sam Austin and Jackson Bryant-Comstock were consistent all year and showed that same consistency throughout the tournament.”
DUKE’S LONG, MCCRORY ADVANCE — Nick McCrory and Jordan Long of Duke qualified for the NCAA Division I men’s swimming and diving championships with their performances in the Zone B diving championships that concluded Wednesday at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center.
McCrory bested the field in the men’s platform competition Wednesday afternoon, totaling 947.00 points over two rounds of diving. The Chapel Hill native earned 469.20 points in the preliminary round and increased his total with a score of 477.80 in the event final.
In addition to McCrory’s win on the platform, he also took first in Monday’s 1-meter springboard competition, bumping Long up a spot on the NCAA Championships qualification priority list. Long will now join McCrory in Indianapolis at the NCAA Championships following his third-place finish Tuesday on the 3-meter board.
DUKE 10, JACKSONVILLE — Freshman Kelci Smesko collected the first hat trick of her career to lift No. 6 Duke to a 10-7 victory over Jacksonville in the first meeting between the two programs Wednesday at the Dolphins’ D.B. Milne Field.
Duke (7-1, 1-1 ACC) took a one-goal advantage into halftime and outscored the Dolphins 6-4 in the second period to earn its third consecutive win and second on the road. A strong second-half showing at the draw helped the Blue Devils win the category by an 11-8 margin while Jacksonville held the edge in shots (24-21) and in ground balls (17-12).
Duke opened the contest on a 3-1 run with senior Makenzie Hommel scoring the game’s first goal and sophomore Brigid Smith following with two of her own. While turnovers plagued both squads over the next 10 minutes, the Blue Devil defense stayed solid on its end of the field, led by freshman Kelsey Duryea’s six first-half stops in goal.