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Arthofer, Pearce establish new Duke records at ACCs

Two Duke records were broken over the weekend at the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Maryland, but the Blue Devils could not move up in the standings and finished the meet in ninth place.

Junior Kevin Arthofer started the weekend off for Duke by breaking his own record in the 100-yard breaststroke not once, but twice Friday-first in the preliminary heat and then in the consolation finals. His time of 56.14 seconds was good enough for 11th place overall in the event.

"This year I thought we were in a position to break more records than we did, but it was still exciting to see so many good performances," head coach Dan Colella said.

During Saturday's events, senior Billy Pearce posted a new school record in the 200-yard backstroke in the final race of his career. He won the bonus finals, which put him at 17th place overall with his time of 1:49.15 seconds.

Also on Saturday, Arthofer finished 14th in the 200-yard breaststroke to score points for the Blue Devils for the second time. Senior Andy Storm swam to 19th place in the same event.

Unfortunately, there were few more scoring opportunities for Duke-only 10 Blue Devils made it past their respective preliminaries to final heats over the weekend. Still, there were 32 career-best times set in the last two days of the meet.

"It was a great week for us," Colella said. "There were a tremendous number of lifetime bests. We just had great performances across the board."

The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Pearce and sophomores Ryan Packer, Matt Rinehart and Scott Champagne beat their season-best time by five seconds to finish in ninth place and close out the meet for the Blue Devils.

"I found as a coach over the last two weeks that we're a team that can be really competitive in the ACC," Colella said. "We made some good strides this year and we're looking forward to next year's ACCs."

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