For the past several years, North Carolina has dominated Duke in swimming.
This year, the Blue Devils managed to make it competitive with the Tar Heels.
The Duke men lost 149-88 and the women lost 145-89 Wednesday night in Chapel Hill. But the Blue Devils were upbeat about their performance against the Tar Heels, whose men are ranked 22nd and women are 23rd.
"It doesn't reflect in the score, but the coaches were real pleased with the the team's attitude," head coach Dan Colella said. "We didn't just roll over. We competed."
Due to the prestige of North Carolina's program-one that Colella said has been "leaps and bounds ahead of us"-Duke entered the meet simply trying to stay close.
"We anticipated that they would win in that fashion," Colella said. "Against a program like UNC, you just have to stand up and compete."
Duke succeeded in that aspect. Colella and captain Jake McCafferty both said this was one of the most competitive Duke-North Carolina meets in recent years.
"Our program's headed in the right direction," McCafferty said. "Now we're actually competing with them. We're not the cupcake on their calendar anymore."
It's not as though there were no tangible results for the Blue Devils either. Freshman Julie Brummond won the one-meter dive with a score of 274.80.
In addition, several Duke freshmen-including Tim McKeever and Andrew Clark-turned in career-best performances.
"We did pretty well as a team," McKeever said. "We wanted people to step up and have good swims, and that's what we did."
Get Overtime, all Duke athletics
Signup for our editorially curated, weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.