Athlete of the Week: Mackenzie Duarte

Sophomore qualifies in NCAA nationals, ends WSU’s nine-year drought

Sophomore+breaststroke+and+IM+swimmer+Mackenzie+Duarte+races+in+the+women%E2%80%99s+200-yard+breaststroke+against+the+University+of+Wyoming+on+Nov.+9+at+Gibb+Pool.
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Athlete of the Week: Mackenzie Duarte

Sophomore breaststroke and IM swimmer Mackenzie Duarte races in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke against the University of Wyoming on Nov. 9 at Gibb Pool.

Sophomore breaststroke and IM swimmer Mackenzie Duarte races in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke against the University of Wyoming on Nov. 9 at Gibb Pool.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore breaststroke and IM swimmer Mackenzie Duarte races in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke against the University of Wyoming on Nov. 9 at Gibb Pool.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore breaststroke and IM swimmer Mackenzie Duarte races in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke against the University of Wyoming on Nov. 9 at Gibb Pool.

SHAWN P. O'CONNOR, Evergreen columnist

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Mackenzie Duarte put on a show in the 2019 Pac-12 Championships.

The sophomore won her preliminary heat of the 200-yard breaststroke with a school record time of 2:09.47, a full two seconds faster than the prior mark set in 2015. This seeded Duarte second in the A-Final. She then finished seventh in the final, the highest ever finish for a WSU swimmer in the Pac-12 Championships.

Duarte is a breaststroke and individual medley swimmer who grew up in Walnut Creek, California, and attended Alhambra High School in Martinez, California. She earned four varsity letters in swimming and one in water polo.

As a junior and senior, Duarte set and reset school records in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM and competed in the 2015 and 2016 Junior Nationals in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. During her senior year, Duarte finished 13th in the 100 breaststroke in the state championships. Duarte was also a club swimmer, swimming for Orinda Aquatics.

Duarte’s freshman year at WSU was also extremely successful. Mackenzie recorded the NCAA “B” Standard time in the 200-meter breaststroke at the Ohio State Invitational with a time of 2:15.68, seventh in WSU history. She also finished 21st in the Pac-12 in the 200-yard breaststroke and also set the eighth-fastest 100 breaststroke time in WSU history at 1:03.19.

Duarte will compete in the NCAA National Championships in the 200 breaststroke on March 20-23 in Austin, Texas. Mackenzie’s record-breaking performance not only earned her a spot in the NCAA National Championships but also earned her this week’s Evergreen Athlete of the Week.