"We had a ton of great performances all weekend, a lot of lifetime-bests and the opportunity to break several school records," said head coach Dan Colella. "We're just really proud of our guys."
The night started off with the finals of the 1,650 freestyle, which saw junior Alex Harmon post his top time of the season at 15:27.34 for an NCAA provisional standard. He also tapped the wall mid-swim for Duke's best mark of the season in the 1,000 freestyle at 9:24.38. Harmon finished ninth overall, picking up nine points for the Blue Devils.
Junior Ted Minturn continued the strong start for Duke, taking fourth in the 200 backstroke in a personal-best and an NCAA 'B' standard time of 1:44.75. The fourth-place finish added 15 points to the Blue Devils' score, as Minturn moved up an impressive 12 spots from an 18th-place showing at last year's ACC Championships.
"The performance that [Minturn] turned in in the 200 backstroke was one of the highlights of the weekend," Colella said. "That swim was really terrific and for him to finish fourth was outstanding."
Two Blue Devils advanced to the finals of the 100 freestyle following personal-best performances in the morning preliminaries. Freshman Jack Forese came in 21st overall with a mark of 45.38 and junior Adam Flur touched at 45.87 to finish 23rd.
The school record in the 200 breaststroke fell three times on Saturday, with sophomore Hunter Knight topping his own mark in an NCAA 'B' cut time of 1:59.36 during the third heat of the prelims. Graduate student Piotr Safronczyk then broke Knight's newly-minted record just two heats later in a 1:57.86 clocking to notch an NCAA ' B' cut and the best time of the morning session. Both Knight and Safronczyk qualified for the championship final of the event, while junior Jim Zuponeck made it through to the consolation final with a personal-best time of 2:00.79 in the prelims.
All three Blue Devils advanced to the finals session for the second consecutive evening, as Knight Safronczyk and Zuponeck represented Duke Friday night in the championship final of the 100 breast, with Safronczyk capturing the gold and All-ACC honors.
In the 200 breaststroke final, Safronczyk earned a spot on the podium for the second straight night, touching at 1:57.03 to break his own program record and grab another NCAA provisional qualifying time. He also garnered his second All-ACC honors of the conference championships, coming in second to add a silver medal to his collection of accolades. Knight followed in seventh-place with a time of 2:00.23, and Zuponeck took 14th with a 2:01.63 clocking.
"Tonight, the breaststrokers did an outstanding job, having two in the finals and one in the consolation," Colella said.
Senior Ben Tuben also scored for the Blue Devils with a 16th-place finish in the finals of the 200 butterfly, tapping the wall at 1:50.33. Fellow senior Hunter Roux joined Tuben in the finals, swimming a personal-best time of 1:51.31 to come in 21st overall.
In the final event of the meet, Duke notched a seventh-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. Freshman Stefan Knight, sophomore Steven Gasparini, junior Ben Hwang and Safronczyk combined for a time of 2:58.45 to surpass the NCAA provisional standard in the event and close out the 2012 ACC Championships with another strong relay performance.
Virginia captured its fifth consecutive ACC Championship and 25th overall, finishing in first place with 626.5 points. Virginia Tech placed second with 594.5 points, while North Carolina totaled 564 points to come in third.
The Duke men finished seventh overall and set new school records in the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and the 400 medley relay. Both the 200 medley and 400 medley relay teams garnered podium finishes in second and third place, respectively, while Safronczyk registered a pair of All-ACC performances in the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke.
"This is the closest team race that we've seen in the ACC from top to bottom," Colella said. "We're proud of our Blue Devils and we know we've got our work cut out for next season."
Final Team Standings
|2. Virginia Tech||594.5|
|3. North Carolina||564|
|4. Florida State||542|
|5. NC State||334.5|
|6. Georgia Tech||289|
|10. Boston College||78|