CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Friday’s installment of the 2010 Men’s ACC Swimming Championships saw another impressive performance from the Blue Devils. At the conclusion of Day 3, Duke stood in fifth place with a total of 243.50 points, trailing only Virginia (554.50), North Carolina (449.50), Florida State (421), and Virginia Tech (297.50). The Blue Devils’ best finish in four years under head coach Dan Colella was seventh at last year’s championships.
The individual events got underway with the 400 IM. The field consisted of just two Duke swimmers, but the two made the most of the opportunity. Freshman Alex Harmon got out to a time of 3:58.56 in prelims which was just a little more than one second off the existing school record. The performance earned him the 18th seed heading into finals which he admirably defended, taking 21st overall in finals. The other Blue Devil in the field was sophomore and Duke record-holder in the event, Alex Kluge. Kluge swam a time of 4:03.41 in the evening’s finals to take 23rd place in the conference.
The 100 butterfly was easily the most exciting event of the evening for the Blue Devils. Junior Nick Garvy took fourth place in a field which saw the top three finishers go under the previous pool-record time. His time of 47.42 earned him an NCAA ‘B’ cut and bested his own school record in the event by nine one-hundredths of a second. Fellow junior, Spencer Booth, jumped out to a season-best 48.15 in prelims. In finals, he fell just slightly off that mark to post an NCAA ‘B’ standard of 48.25 and earn a share of tenth place. Sophomore Ben Tuben won the third heat of finals by more than half a second. He posted a 48.34 and was the only swimmer in the third heat to earn an NCAA ‘B’ benchmark.
Senior Sean Smith was the only Blue Devil to reach the finals in the 200 freestyle. After a time of 1:39.88 in prelims, Smith registered a 1:40.25 in finals to take 20th place in the conference.
It was shared glory for two Duke swimmers in the 100 breaststroke. Senior David Carlson and freshman Jim Zuponeck both posted a time of 56.32 in finals to tie for 14th place, missing the school record by two tenths of a second.
The 100 backstroke was won in a conference-best time of 46.05 by Tommy Wyher of North Carolina, but the strength of the competition did not seem to faze seniors Murillo Adrados and David Hahn. Adrados took home 14th place in the conference with his season-best time of 49.15 while Hahn settled for 24th place in a time of 50.95.
Wrapping up the evening’s events was the 400 medley relay. Slotted to swim for Duke were Murillo Adrados, David Carlson, Nick Garvy, and Ben Hwang. The foursome of swimmers posted a time of 3:16.15 which earned them rights to sixth place in the ACC as well as established an NCAA ‘B’ standard.
Things wrap up on Saturday with the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, and 200 butterfly. An all-freshman contingent of Matt Carder and Alex Harmon will represent the Blue Devils in the 1650 freestyle. In the 200 backstroke, Booth has the best chance to reach the finals; the Duke record-holder is seeded 12th with a time of 1:49.94. Hwang and Smith will lead the way for Duke in the 100 freestyle. Hwang has the best Duke time this season of 46.01 while Smith recorded an in-season 46.46. The 200 breaststroke will showcase the talents of Kluge, Zuponeck, and Carlson as the trio looks to earn a trip to finals. The final individual event of the championships will be the 200 butterfly. Freshman Chris Cirillo is the top-seeded Duke swimmer with his time of 1:52.83 and will be joined by veterans Tuben and Ness.
Live video and commentary of the championships will be available Thursday through Saturday from 7-9 p.m. at http://www.theacc.com/championships/10-sd-championship.html. Live results can be found at http://www.theacc.com/livestats/m-swim/.
GoDuke.com will also be updated at the end of each day of competition with results, standing, and meet highlights.