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Rookies rip through water in debut

If Ashley Twichell maintains this pace, her name might be the only one left in the Duke record book at the end of her career.

In her first collegiate race, the freshman shattered Duke's women's 1,000-yard freestyle record by more than six seconds, leading the Blue Devils to season-opening wins over Richmond and UNC-Wilmington-190-93.5 and 199-96, respectively-at Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion Saturday afternoon. The Duke men also routed UNC-W 187-109.

Twichell's victories in the 1,000-yard and 200-yard freestyles highlighted a wave of sparkling debuts by Duke freshmen. On the men's side, Spencer Booth (200 butterfly and 500 free) and Andy Osterland (100 and 200 free) each won two individual events, while classmate Nick Garvy took the 100 butterfly in a time of 51.99. For the women, freshman Jess Perry swept the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, and Melissa Reynolds also notched a first-place finish in her first Duke appearance, winning the 500 freestyle in 5:15.34.

Head coach Dan Colella raved about his rookies after the meet, particularly focusing on Twichell, whose time of 9:59.15 in the 1000 free also toppled the previous pool record at Taishoff.

"For her to swim as well as she did was pretty awesome," Colella said. "She's a distance swimmer who, truthfully, has not done a whole lot of work in the past, so her workload has increased significantly here this year."

"It's something I'll always remember-[setting a record in] the first meet as a freshman of my college career," Twichell said of her record-breaking performance.

Fresh with optimism, the Blue Devils will next travel to Raleigh Oct. 26 to face N.C. State and Campbell.

"People were swimming seconds faster today than where we were last year," Colella said. "We've been working really, really hard the last seven weeks, and the great thing to see for the athletes is that all that hard work does pay off."


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