DURHAM, N.C. – Coming off of a season that saw the Blue Devils earn a top-25 finish at the 2014 NCAA Championship and collect one individual national championship and four All-ACC accolades, head coach Dan Colella and the Duke men’s swimming and diving program have added nine newcomers ahead of the 2014-15 season.
The incoming group features nine swimmers from five different states, and includes freshmen Nick Bigot, Michael Camarda, Josh Furth, Marco Hosfeld, Matthew Johnson, Ryan Nicholson, Parker Pearson and Alex Peña as well as transfer student David Armstrong.
Take a closer look at the newcomers to the Duke men’s team below:
David Armstrong - Fly/Free - Thousand Oaks, Calif. - Thousand Oaks
Best SC Times: 50 Free - 20.62; 100 Free - 45.13; 100 Fly - 47.76; 200 Fly - 1:47.55
Best LC Times: 50 Free - 24.38; 100 Free - 52.20; 100 Fly - 55.75
Armstrong transferred to Duke after spending two seasons at BYU, where he was the Cougars’ top performer in the butterfly events. He earned a spot on the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation second team in the 100 and 200 butterfly and the 400 medley relay as a sophomore in 2012-13 and won the 100 butterfly at the MPSF conference meet his rookie season. Armstrong completed his prep career at Thousand Oaks, winning CIF titles in the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle.
Colella’s Take: “We’re really excited to have someone of David’s ability and maturity coming in as a transfer. David is going to bring some great depth for the fly, sprint freestyle and all the relays. I know he has big goals with two seasons left. We’ve had the opportunity to work with him this summer and have seen some great things. We’re thrilled to have him on board.”
Nick Bigot - Freestyle - San Rafael, Calif. - Terra Linda
Best SC Times: 50 Free - 20.77; 100 Free - 44.62; 200 Free - 1:37.91
Best LC Times: 50 Free - 24.12; 100 Free - 52.00
Bigot comes to Durham from Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, Calif., where he was an All-American in the 100 and 200 freestyle. He also collected a North Coast Section championship in the 100 freestyle and was tabbed the Marin County Athletic League Swimmer of the Year as a senior. A member of the North Bay Aquatics club program, Bigot has been a multiple-time finalist at Junior Nationals.
Colella’s Take: “Nick is coming off of a spring of some really outstanding performances, including winning the CIF in the 200 freestyle. I think he’s going to have an impact right away both in his individual events as a sprinter but also in terms of adding some great depth, particularly to the 800 freestyle relay.”
Michael Camarda - Sprint Free - Laguna Hills, Calif. - Phillips Academy [Andover, Mass.]
Best SC Times: 50 Free - 20.85; 100 Free - 46.11
Best LC Times: 50 Free - 24.12; 100 Free - 53.07
A USA Junior Nationals summer qualifier, Camarda garnered All-America accolades in the 50 freestyle, 400 freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay. While at Phillips Academy, he guided his team’s 400 freestyle and 200 medley relays to New England records. Camarda also won a New England title in water polo and was a member of the Irvine Novaquatics National Team.
Colella’s Take: “Michael has some very untapped talent. He’s definitely shown some real speed during his last couple of years. He’s a big, strong individual who I think with some specialized training in the sprint events could add some great depth in that area, as well as on the sprint relays.”
Josh Furth - Mid-Free/Back - Stamford, Conn. - Hopkins School
Best SC Times: 200 Free - 1:45.42; 100 Back - 52.05; 200 Back - 1:50.46
Best LC Times: 100 Back - 1:00.52; 200 Back - 2:12.05
Furth completed his prep career at Connecticut’s Hopkins School, helping his squad win the Western New England Prep School title his senior year. He qualified for finals events at the NEPSAC all six years, while capturing individual championships in the 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly at the Western New England Prep School Championships. A standout on the Hopkins relay teams, Furth also guided the 400 freestyle and 200 medley relays to Western New England Prep School titles.
Colella’s Take: “Josh in the last year has really developed and improved greatly in his 200 backstroke. He will add to our backstroke core, specializing in the 200 back, but with some additional strength and conditioning can develop more speed for his 100. He is really just starting to come into his own. In this environment, we can see him really excel for us both as an in-season and post-season swimmer.”
Marco Hosfeld - Mid-Free/Distance - Coral Springs, Fla. - University School of Nova Southeastern University
Best SC Times: 200 Free - 1:41.72; 500 Free - 4:31.73; 1,000 Free - 9:30.32; 1,650 Free - 15:52.18
Best LC Times: 200 Free - 1:55.81; 400 Free - 4:00.60; 800 Free - 8:24.69; 1,500 Free - 15:59.70
A four-year letterwinner at the University School of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Hosfeld also competed for the Swim Fort Lauderdale club team. He was a three-time MVP of his high school team and qualified for USA Junior Summer and Winter Nationals. The Coral Springs, Fla., native owns long course personal bests of 4:00.60 in the 400 freestyle, 8:24.69 in the 800 freestyle and 15:59.70 in the 1500 freestyle.
Colella’s Take: “I love this guy’s level of enthusiasm for distance freestyle. This was a priority for us and adding him to the roster is going to add some much-needed depth along with three other distance swimmers – Matt Johnson, Parker Pearson and Alex Peña. Marco loves to train and has a real love for the sport of swimming, and we’re really looking forward to helping him grow and develop.”
Matthew Johnson - Mid-Free/Distance - Valencia, Calif. - Hart
Best SC Times: 200 Free - 1:39.60; 500 Free - 4:28.23; 1,000 Free - 9:19.64; 1,650 Free - 15:34.34
Best LC Times: 200 Free - 1:55.85; 400 Free - 4:03.76; 800 Free - 8:22.53; 1,500 Free - 15:51.22
Johnson will bring national-level experience to Duke, having previously qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, World Championship trials and the Summer and Winter Junior Nationals. He completed his prep career at Hart High School in Newhall, Calif., earning MVP and Coaches Award accolades, and also swam for the Canyons Aquatic Club team.
Colella’s Take: “We’re excited to have Matt join the program to really add some much-needed depth in the distance events. We feel like he is one that can add the depth that we need not only in dual meet competition, but I also see him being able to compete at a high level within the ACC.”
Ryan Nicholson - Sprint Free/Fly - Ithaca, N.Y. - Ithaca
Best SC Times: 50 Free - 20.25; 100 Free - 44.34; 200 Free - 1:39.75; 50 Fly - 21.89; 100 Fly - 47.76; 200 Fly - 1:50.15; 200 IM - 1:51.80
Best LC Times: 50 Free - 24.12; 100 Free - 52.95; 100 Fly - 56.30
Nicholson collected All-American recognition in 10 events while at Ithaca High School, including three times in the 100 butterfly and two times each in the 50 and 100 freestyle. He was also an All-American as a member of his team’s 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays. Also an Academic All-American, Nicholson is a Summer and Winter Junior Nationals qualifier.
Colella’s Take: “Ryan is coming off another great high school season in New York. He is a high school champion and one of the top recruits coming out of high school in his events. He is going to be an immediate impact in the sprints, both freestyle and butterfly. He’s going to add some versatility to us in terms of medley and sprint relays, and we’re really excited to see what he can do both at the conference and national level.”
Parker Pearson - Distance Free - New Vernon, N.J. - Delbarton
Best SC Times: 200 Free - 1:45; 500 Free - 4:43
Best LC Times: 1,500 Free - 16:29.24
An all-county selection in high school, Pearson comes from a family of Duke graduates. As a member of the Berkeley Aquatic Club team, he earned a third-place finish in the 1500m freestyle at the 2014 Central Zone Speedo Series Sectionals. Pearson owns long course personal-best times of 4:15 in the 400 freestyle, 8:43 in the 800 freestyle and 16:29 at the 1,500-meter distance.
Colella’s Take: “Parker has made some great improvements in the last two years. We think there’s a lot of untapped potential for the coming years. We know how excited he is about being here at Duke and we’re excited about having him on board in the distance group.”
Alex Peña - Mid-Free/Distance/Back - Orlando, Fla. - Lake Highland Preparatory
Best SC Times: 200 Free - 1:39.23; 500 Free - 4:27.64; 1,000 Free - 9:19.78; 1,650 Free - 15:36.27; 200 Back - 1:48.24; 200 IM - 1:50.36
Best LC Times: 200 Free - 1:55.70; 400 Free - 4:05.16; 800 Free - 8:34.61; 100 Back - 1:00.60; 200 Back - 2:09.69
A three-time All-American at Lake Highland Preparatory, Peña was the Florida state runner-up in the 500 freestyle as a junior. He previously qualified for the USA Junior Summer and Winter Nationals and also garnered Academic All-American recognition in the classroom. Peña is a member of the Highlander Aquatics club team.
Colella’s Take: “It’s great to have Alex as a part of the group of incoming distance swimmers. They’re not only going to be able to compete at a high level in the distance events, but we’re also looking to them as impact swimmers in the mid-distance events and as potential swimmers on the 800 freestyle relay. We’re thrilled to have such a solid core of distance guys this coming season.”