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Blue Devils sit in 9th after 1st day

The men's swimming and diving team opened the ACC Championships at the University of Maryland Wednesday, and after two competitions Duke is in ninth place.

The 800 relay of senior Billy Pearce, sophomore Ryan Packer, junior James Ashenfelter and sophomore Scott Champagne placed ninth out of 10 teams. Pearce's lead-off leg of 1:41.07 was a career-best time, and the overall relay time of 6:48.85 was also a season-best performance. The team chopped 18 seconds off its previous fastest time from earlier this season.

"The 800 free relay was just short of the school record," head coach Dan Colella said. "Ryan Packer was about a half second off his best, and Scott was about three seconds off."

In the 200 medley relay, the Duke team of junior Alex Sidelnik, junior Kevin Arthofer, junior Jacob McCafferty and Packer at anchor, also placed ninth out of 10 teams, in a time of 1:33.22. Their finish represented a season-best performance.

"The 200 medley relay had some great splits, but also some slow exchanges, especially one at the very end that cost us some time," Colella said. "It was actually a great start. The team's been excited and looking forward to this and working toward this meet all season."

The Championships continue tomorrow with the Blue Devils competing in the 500 freestyle, the 200 IM, 50 freestyle, and the 200 freestyle relay.

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