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Duke men's swimming looks to break records at ACC Championships

Junior Hunter Knight is the No. 4 in the ACC for the 100-yard breaststroke.
Junior Hunter Knight is the No. 4 in the ACC for the 100-yard breaststroke.

Even though the rest of the team has completed its ACC Championship meet, the men’s swim team is heading over to Greensboro, N.C. Wednesday for the ACC Championships.

The men’s swim team is starting off its competition in second place after totaling 91 points in the diving events, which finished Saturday.

“Just based on [last weekend’s] diving going into the swimming portion of the meet we’re in second place behind Virginia Tech,” Duke head coach David Colella said. “That gives us some really good cushion to get the meet started with, and hopefully we will see some absolutely great performances from our men’s swimming as well.”

The ACC features five nationally-ranked teams, including No. 9 Virginia and No. 21 Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers (8-1-0, 3-0-0 in the ACC), who have swept the past five conference titles, are heading to the championships with the fourth seed, while the Hokies are entering Wednesday’s competition as the top-seeded team.

Colella noted that he expects to see Duke (1-6-0, 0-5-0), which is ranked eighth in final conference standings, break more records in the coming days.

“For the last four or five years, we’ve been doing a pretty good job of breaking the records, but then there’s a point where these times are really pretty incredible times to be striving for,” Colella said. “To keep breaking them year in and year out is really tough and shows how hard our student athletes are working.”

Junior Nick McCrory finished competition Saturday as the first male diver to earn a sweep of three diving crowns in the men’s platform competition. He also secured first-place finishes in the 1- and 3-meter springboard. Senior Jordan Long, sophomore Clay Pinckney and freshman Deon Reid also scored points in diving events.

Beyond McCrory’s record-breaking performance, the men on the swim team are looking to break both personal and school records.

“We have some relays that could potentially break records,” Colella said. “Individually, [senior] Ben Hwang in the sprint freestyle, and Hunter Knight and Jim Zuponeck in the breaststrokes.”

Hwang, who ranks fifth in the conference in the 50 freestyle, is still trying to break his season-best time of 20.03, which he set in the Greensboro Aquatic Center Oct. 5, 2012. Knight, a junior, is currently Duke’s top performer in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, with times of 54.86 and 1:59.80, respectively. He is ranked fourth in the ACC for the 100 breaststroke. Zuponeck, a senior, trails with times of 55.79 in the 100 breaststroke and 2:05.71 in the 200.

The men’s team will wrap up its action Saturday.

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