Individual Achievers

Three student-athetes crowned national champs
June 1, 2011
 

Dive and parry: championship student-athletes Johnston, Ward, and McCrory, from left.

Dive and parry: championship student-athletes Johnston, Ward, and McCrory, from left.
Jon Gardiner

Diver Abby Johnston, a junior, won the national championship three-meter springboard, her first and the first for Duke women’s swimming and diving program, while fellow diver Nick McCrory, a sophomore, and fencer Becca Ward, a junior, each captured their second individual titles in their respective events this spring. The wins were Duke’s fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth individual championships overall.

Johnston, a native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, led throughout the final round at the Women’s NCAA championship in Austin after finishing fifth in the preliminary round. She finished fourteenth overall in the same event last year. After the season, she was named ACC Diver of the Year for the second consecutive year. McCrory, a Chapel Hill native, beat out his closest competitor—and USA Diving teammate—David Boudia of Purdue University, in the platform diving event. He also collected ACC Diver of the Year honors.

Ward, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist in Beijing and native of Portland, Oregon, defeated her rival from Harvard University, Carolina Vloka, en route to her second national championship in the sabre event. She is the first Duke fencer to win multiple national championships.