For the first time in over 30 years, two Blue Devils scored at the NCAA championships, earning All-America honors.
Senior Ben Tuben and graduate student Piotr Safronczyk were named first team and honorable mention All-Americans in the 100m butterfly and 100m breaststroke, respectively, in Federal Way, Wash. over the weekend.
“It was incredibly difficult to make the NCAA championships this year,” head coach Dan Colella said. “Just to get here was quite an accomplishment for both Piotr and Ben and for both of them to be All-Americans is just incredible.”
Tuben competed in the 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle events after qualifying at the Ohio State Last Chance Qualifier at the beginning of March. Safronczyk qualified for the 100m and 200m breaststroke after finishing 11th at the same competition.
Tuben’s time of 46.84 seconds earned him an eighth place finish at the NCAA championships, his first as a Blue Devil, and making him Duke’s sixth-ever All-American.
Safronczyk, in contrast, who claimed the individual ACC title earlier this season, is extremely used to the championship stage. He claimed two Division II national championships while competing at the University of Bridgeport as an undergraduate, garnering multiple distinctions, including Division II All-American honors in the 100m breaststroke in 2010 and 2011, as well as in the 200m medley and freestyle relays last season.
Safronczyk finished 22nd on the final day of the meet in the 200m breaststroke, and became an honorable mention All-American with a 15th place finish in the consolation final of the 100m breaststroke with a time of 53.71.
“We couldn’t be more proud of what these two young men have done this year,” Colella said. “They have been two great leaders for our program.”