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Duke closes out regular season with North Carolina, Clemson

Duke ended its regular season on a high note over the weekend, racking up a slew of strong individual performances against North Carolina Friday and against Clemson and Richmond Saturday morning.

“There were a lot of great performances out there,” head coach Dan Colella said. “It’s kind of a continuation of last Friday, with [North Carolina] and Virginia being two of the most dominant programs in the ACC in the last several years. For us, it’s important to be able to stand up and race these guys and race them hard and, as last week, the group raced them as hard as I’ve seen them race in my seven years.”

Against the Tar Heels, the Blue Devil men and women lost 165-121 and 178-111, respectively. Duke’s women (5-7, 1-6 in the ACC), however, rebounded to defeat both the Tigers 159-130 and the Spiders 167.5-117.5. The men (4-7, 1-6) fell to Clemson in a narrow 156-144 result.

Relays continued to be a strong point for the Blue Devils. Against North Carolina, both the men’s and women’s teams won the 400-yard freestyle and came in second in the 400-yard medley relay. Against the Tigers and Richmond, the women’s team won the 200-yard medley relay and placed second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The men’s team placed second in both relays.

Another highlight of the weekend was Duke’s performance in breaststroke. Sophomore Christine Wixted swept the events in that discipline, winning the 200-yard and 100-yard races both days. Wixted’s 200-yard breaststroke time of 2:15.98 was a pool record. On the men’s side, graduate student Piotr Safroncyzk won the 100-yard breaststroke both days, as well as the 200-yard event Saturday. In the 100-yard event against the Tar Heels, the Blue Devils swept the event, with Safroncyzk setting a pool record time of 55.79. Junior Jim Zuponeck finished second, and sophomores Hunter Knight and Tyler Fleming finished third and fourth, respectively.

Diving also continued to dominate, sweeping the three-meter event over the weekend and taking the one-meter event against Clemson and Richmond. Senior Jessica Lyden won both the three-meter and the one-meter competitions Saturday. Senior Cody Kolodziejzyk also won both three-meter events and freshman Clay Pickney won the one-meter Saturday.

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