DURHAM, N.C. - Duke University head swimming & diving coach Dan Colella has announced the schedule for the 2012-13 season, which includes three home meets at Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion.
"This year's schedule is a very competitive schedule - one that will really test us throughout the course of the season," Colella said. "This schedule is one that's really going to show us what we're capable of doing and will hopefully make us an even better championship-caliber team."
The 2012-13 campaign gets underway Oct. 5-6 when the men's and women's teams travel to Greensboro, N.C. for the North Carolina College Invitational. The two-day meet will be held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, the site of the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming & Diving Championships.
The Blue Devils open action at home on Oct. 27 when they host ACC opponents Virginia Tech and Florida State in addition to UNC Wilmington. The following week will see NC State and the Miami women visit Durham for a meet that also coincides with the swimming & diving program's alumni weekend celebration. Another highlight for Duke will be a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 15-17 for the Tennessee Invitational.
"One of the big changes for us is going outside of the conference for our fall invitational at the University of Tennessee," Colella said. "We're going to be facing some really great competition there, which will help us be that much better prepared for the championship season."
In the final home meet of the season on Jan. 12, Duke will host South Carolina in Taishoff, with the dual meet also serving as Senior Night for the program's 17 seniors. The Blue Devils will then travel to Charlottesville, Va., on Jan. 20 to face five-time reigning ACC champion Virginia and make the short trip to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina Jan. 26. before competing at the Hokie Invitational in Christiansburg, Va., Feb. 8-10.
The 2013 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships will be held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, with the women and divers competing Feb. 20-23, followed by the men Feb. 27-March 2. Duke's divers will aim for NCAA Championship qualification at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships March 11-13 in Knoxville, Tenn. The Blue Devils will then seek to close out the season with an appearance at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis Ind. The women's NCAA Championships are slated for March 21-23 at the Indiana University Natatorium and the IUPUI Sports Complex, while the men will compete March 28-30 at the same location.
The Blue Devils are coming off of a successful end to the 2011-12 season that culminated in a 29th-place finish by the men's team at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Piotr Safronczyk and Ben Tuben, both 2011 graduates of the program, earned All-America accolades in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100 butterfly, respectively, and were the first Blue Devil swimmers to score at an NCAA Championships meet in over 30 years. Safronczyk also captured an ACC title in the 100 breaststroke while the men also placed two relays on the podium at the conference championships. On the women's side, 2011 graduate Jessica Lyden won the ACC title in women's 3-meter springboard diving. In another highlight from the 2011-12 campaign, the men's 200 medley relay team of Steven Gasparini, Safronczyk, Tuben and Ben Hwang broke an ACC record with a 1:25.98 clocking at the Ohio State Last Chance Qualifier in March.
Over the summer, the Duke program received international recognition as divers Abby Johnston and Nick McCrory each won Olympic medals at the 2012 London Games. Johnston and Kelci Bryant claimed silver in the women's synchronized 3-meter springboard competition, while McCrory teamed with David Boudia to take bronze in the men's synchronized 10-meter platform event. Additionally, Duke diving coach Drew Johansen served as the head coach of the U.S. Olympic diving team which brought home four medals - one gold, one silver and two bronze.
Earlier in the summer, nine current and former Duke swimmers competed at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb. after earning qualifying marks.