This past weekend, the Duke men’s swimming and diving team competed in the ACC Championships in Atlanta, finishing fifth out of 11 teams with 353 points.
Head coach Dan Colella was thrilled with his squad’s effort, noting the progress the program has made over the last several years.
“It was a very exciting weekend for us,” Colella said. “We’ve been steadily moving up through the ACC. It’s very exciting stuff.”
The team moved up one spot from sixth place on Friday night and never relinquished that spot. As a whole, the team had numerous impressive accomplishments. They smashed 15 previous school records, breaking a record for every event in which they competed Friday night, and scored a landmark victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
“As far as I know, at least in the last 30 or 40 years, we haven’t won an ACC relay event,” Colella said.
He also recalled that winning this particular event was one of the team’s stated goals since last year’s ACC competition, when the team finished sixth overall. Swimming the first leg, Spencer Booth’s 100 freestyle time of 43.73 seconds was enough to shatter a previous school record.
“It was a goal they set last year after ACC’s,” Colella said. “They wanted to be up on that podium, and it was great to see them work the way they did to accomplish that goal.”
Colella was also excited by a number of individual performances. Booth and Nick Garvy finished high in the 100-yard freestyle, placing sixth and eighth, respectively. Senior Bryan Durazo closed his career with a strong performance, placing 15th in the 100-free.
Colella also singled out sophomore Alex Harmon, responsible for breaking several of the team’s 15 records. One was broken by his performance in the 1650-yard freestyle race, in which he finished ninth overall. Harmon also broke the school record in the 500-yard freestyle, last set in 1990, by placing 13th overall in 4:26.74 on day two.
Sophomore Ben Hwang also turned in an impressive performance on Thursday night, placing fourth in the 50-yard freestyle. Colella was impressed by the “terrific underclassmen performances” throughout the weekend, which should provide plenty of reason to look forward to next year.
For now, however, the team will enjoy its success.
“The guys were absolutely thrilled to be able to accomplish what they did,” Colella said.
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